New CBC model offers fresh hope to marginalised schools, learners

ECDE teachers in Homa Bay County protest against reduction of their salaries. [James Omoro, Standard]

The education reforms task force has painted a picture of the new school under the new education system of 2-6-6-3.

If the draft proposals are adopted in the final report, nursery, primary and junior school will collectively form lower school, to be called Comprehensive School, which will be headed by a principal.

Nursery, primary and junior school sections will each be headed by a teacher to be called deputy principal. Nursery schools are currently under management of county governments.

And if the draft proposals are adopted, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) shall hire and remunerate the tutors.

However, the recruitment of the teachers shall be done by the ministry of Education in close consultation with county governments.

These are some of the draft proposals fronted by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) being fine-tuned to form part of a final report.

TSC will be required to integrate nursery school teachers into their payroll after being hired by the county government.

Insiders in the task force told the Saturday Standard that this is aimed at harmonising the teaching sector by bringing all registered teachers under the Commission.

If approved, these proposals paint a picture of how the new school set up shall look like. The new schools will, however, not be classified as National, Extra County, County and Sub-county as is the present case.

The team wants these clusters scrapped and a new one that embraces the three pathways is adopted.

The team argues that categorisation of schools into National, Extra County, County and Sub- county brings about discrimination in resource allocation, thus favouring some schools during enrollment.

Instead, the task force wants this to be scrapped and replaced with day, boarding, mixed (day/ boarding), mixed (boys/girls) and according to the three pathways (Science and Arts and Sports Science) at Senior School.

The team also recommends establishment of low-cost boarding primary schools in marginalised areas, with focus on infrastructural and resources support for Sub-county Senior Schools.

The reforms team have also proposed changes to the composition of school management boards to reduce bloated membership, which it said is unsustainable.

Sources in the task force revealed that the Boards of Management (BoMs) and the Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) in basic education institutions are too large and expensive to maintain.

Others in the task force argued that the government was not represented in the school boards, which denied institutions advisory roles on security matters. In new proposals, Senior School boards will have 10 members while the Comprehensive School board will be made of 13 members.

The team proposes that whereas the Senior School shall only have the chairman of PTA, the Comprehensive School will have two more slots for parents in the board.

Both will have three representatives of the school’s sponsor(s), one representing persons with disability as well as two professionals.

In addition, the three ex-official members will sit in the senior school’s board while four slots will be reserved for ex-officials in the comprehensive school’s board. Ward administrator or a nominee from the county will also form part of school board.

This will be in addition to a member from National Government Administration Office (NGAO), Sub–county Director of Education or Ministry employee, and the Principal.

In the new school, the team also proposes a new funding plan for the learners. Presently Free Primary Education (FPE) allocation is Sh1,420 per pupil and Free Day Secondary School (FDSE) is Sh22,244 per student.

However, under the revised capitation, each nursery school pupil will receive Sh1,170 from the government per year. Each primary school child will receive Sh2,238 per year while those in Junior Secondary Schools will be receiving Sh15,043 per year.

Each learner in Senior Secondary schools will be allocated Sh22,527 per year, while special needs learners will get additional funding at Sh604 for nursery schools and another Sh3,624 for primary school children.

Special needs learners in Junior Secondary and Senior School will get additional Sh10,000.