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Report: How Sh8 billion fund boosts learning

By Augustine Oduor | May 26th 2019
Candidates at Pema Academy School in Nakuru prepare to sit KCPE examination. (File, Standard)

A new report has revealed top five schools per region that have registered remarkable improvement in academic, institutions management and accountability among 4,000 schools placed under government intervention to boost best practices. 

The report lists five top schools per region that have excelled under the School Improvement Programme (SIP) aimed at increasing early grade mathematics competencies and strengthening management systems.

SIP is a Ministry of Education project under the Sh8 billion Global Partnership for Education funding. It has been implemented under the Kenya Primary Education Development project from 2015-2019.

The 40 schools spread across eight regions emerged best displaying excellent results.

Quality assurance

They are spread across Bungoma, Busia, Meru, Isiolo, Embu, Mombasa, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Homabay Migori, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Nairobi, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nyeri counties.

These improved schools previously posted lower performance – below the national average of 243 marks – but have now registered good results after four years of funding.

The details are contained in the report on assessment of SIP good practices.

The report finds that the SIP project played a critical role in improving learning outcomes and enhancing school management systems.

The survey covered seven sub themes which include school management and accountability, school improvement planning, financial management and accountability and curriculum and instruction.

Other areas were school specific KCPE analysis, teacher performance appraisal and development, school environment, physical infrastructure, water, sanitation and pupil welfare. 

Overall, the report reveals that most schools under the programme have now instituted Boards of Management (BOMs) and were running dedicated sub-committees.

On curriculum and instruction, the schools had established internal quality assurance and subject panels to monitor syllabus coverage and improve performance.

The survey also brought out key issues like needs for schools to adopt a holistic approach in aspects of school management.

“Most schools had made significant progress toward becoming child friendly as indicated by suitable learning environment; adequate physical facilities and general welfare of pupils,” reads the report.

The findings revealed that most schools had access to 2014-2016 KCPE analysis which had been discussed by all stakeholders. These reports were used to set targets for improving performance.

On teacher performance appraisal and development, report shows that the tools have been embraced in schools.

Under finance management and accountability, BOMs and head teachers were trained on prudent financial management and procurement procedures, which impacted positively on funds utilisation. The thematic area posted an average score of 85 per cent with minimal range across the country.

The good practices noted under this category were availability of budgets for SIP and annual work plans, budget processes were consultative and there was disclosure of all funds received. The school improvement planning was the best performed with 91.05 per cent. “In most of the schools, improvement plans had been developed and implemented,” says report.

Curriculum and instruction theme sought to capture syllabus coverage and performance, existence of Internal Quality Assurance mechanism, the functionality of the subject panels, curriculum leadership, the pupil textbook ratio in languages and sciences (Grade 2-3) and Grade 6-7) and the policy on maintenance of the text books.

“This was the second best performed thematic area at 91  per cent indicating that most schools had covered the syllabus within the prescribed time, regular analysis of performance and functional quality assurance mechanisms,” reads the report.

On school specific KCPE analysis, report shows schools in this thematic area posted an average score of 81.4 per cent in the top 100 schools nationally.

Most schools had received 2014/2015/2016 KCPE analysis which had been discussed by BOM, parents and teachers and had been used to set target and strategies for improving performance in schools.

And under the school environment, physical infrastructure, water, sanitation and pupil welfare, report finds that the average score was 81.3 per cent.

This thematic area sought to find out the suitability of the learning environment and adequacy of the school physical facilities and the general welfare of pupils.

“Most schools were found child-friendly as manifested by clean drinking water, fenced compound, feeding programmes, hygienic sanitary facilities. It is important to note that under SIP allocation, this area received least funding,” report says.

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