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School heads call for talent centres

BUSINESS
By | October 3rd 2009

By Patrick Beja

Primary school head teachers want the Government to address the plight of thousands of students who do not make it to secondary schools and universities.

Participants of the five-day Kenya Primary School Head Teachers Association (Kepsha) conference in Mombasa called for further review of the curriculum to develop critical thinking, skills and talent.

"The Government should address the fate of the majority of the students who do not make it to secondary schools and universities," said Kepsha in resolutions released by Secretary-General William Mukoya, on Friday.

Proper attitude

The 6,000 delegates, representing 18,000 primary schools, want the new curriculum to focus on proper attitude besides developing greater confidence among pupils. The school heads backed the setting up of non-academic universities to shape talents in different fields.

Kepsha chairman Joseph Karuga said neglect of primary school leavers who don’t make it for higher education had enhanced the sprouting of criminal gangs.

"It is necessary we critically examine how education can be used to develop skills, talent and proper attitudes besides developing greater confidence among products of our schooling," Karuga said.

The teachers also urged the Government to employ more than 60,000 teachers to alleviate the present shortages. They also called for immediate promotion of teachers with degrees.

They want Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to be mandated to train them through capacity building courses.

"The scheme of service for head teachers should be rolled out and defined well as a motivation to head teachers," the resolution statement said.

Remittance of funds

It was resolved school management committees and head teachers should be fully trained on financial management. Kepsha also said the parents who seek appointment into the committees should be reasonably educated.

The Ministry of Education was asked to revert to the earlier schedules of remitting funds and also revise the vote heads to meet the current market rates.

According to the school heads, the funds for free primary education programme are delayed and are inadequate as cost of commodities has shot up since the programme’s launch in 2003.

Embrace change

Mukoya said Kepsha members want to be fully incorporated in all education institutions, including district and provincial education boards, and constituency development funds.

Mr Christopher Mutavi, a delegate from Sotik proposed the resolutions, which were seconded by Ms Nanyama Wanjala from Bungoma before adoption.

The delegates resolved to partner with environmentalists in promoting environmental action learning approach in schools.

Participants were urged to embrace and manage change in the delivery of curriculum and running of schools.

"As an umbrella of heads, Kepsha will make our schools centres of excellence by managing school programmes in line with stipulated Government regulations," said Mukoya.

Consult others

Kepsha would liaise with other education stakeholders such as the Parliamentary Education Committee to improve standards of education in primary schools.

The teachers resolved to support the Government’s initiative in improving infrastructure in public schools.

Kepsha will also liaise with other heads associations within the East Africa Community to lobby for the creation of similar education systems in the region.

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