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Matiang'i wants mechanism established for rewarding outstanding teachers

By Joe Ombuor | September 6th 2016
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i at the Centre for Mathematics, science and technology Education in Africa where he launched the STEM project. (Photo: Joe Ombuor/Standard)

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to have in place a mechanism of rewarding talent and innovation in the teaching profession to motivate deserving teachers into working harder.

“It is unfair to lump dedicated teachers who go an extra mile in their quest to produce results with those obsessed with matters bread and butter at the expense of learners,” he said in Nairobi when he launched the novel Science, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project at the Centre for Mathematics, science and technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA).

Matiang’i said there ought to be a difference in remuneration between teachers who spend their free time including holidays at innovation centres such as CEMASTEA arming themselves with new skills for the benefit of their students and those who go full blast into personal or family business for personal gain until schools reopen.

The CS sampled various educational materials developed by teachers with a challenge to them to develop enough content for sale to schools to tap into the existing Sh10 billion market for such materials. He was conducted around the exhibitions by the Director of CEMASTEA Stephen Njoroge.

He hailed efforts by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to strengthen mathematics, science and technical education by providing requisite infrastructure at CEMASTEA. 

He said plans were afoot to have only individuals passionate about the teaching profession considered for teaching opportunities as opposed to a situation whereby people take up teaching after losing out in other areas. “These are the people we must weed out to get the best out of our schools,” he said.

Matiang'i described the role played by CEMASTEA and other technical institutions as critical if the country is to achieve its goal to become middle income and industrialised.

“To that end, we must strike a balance between humanities and science centred courses, hence the relevance of STEM project currently rolled out in 47 schools, one for every County  at a cost of sh32 million,” he said.

“This is money saved by prudent spending of allocated resources. We intend to increase the number of STEM model schools by 47 every year until a balance with humanities is struck,” he swore.

Matiang'i said the Government had doubled money for technical and vocational education from Sh300 million last year to sh600 million this year. “The proposed differentiation in costing for university courses is meant to promote science and technical degrees where 80 per cent of students currently pursue courses in humanities,” he said.

Matiang'i regretted that schools notorious for indiscipline and all those that were involved in countrywide arson activities recently would lose out on new government initiatives and projects such as STEM until their rehabilitation was beyond reproach. “It is up to parents, teachers and students to make sure that their schools are not black listed for unruly activities,” he said.

The launch was witnessed by directors of education from all the 47 counties, officials from the Teachers Service Commission and principals of the 47 selected model schools.

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