Administrators get powers to monitor education standards

Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo. [File, Standard]

The National Government Administrative Officers (NGAOs) across the country will have additional mandate of ensuring education standards are promoted within their jurisdictions.

Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said the extra role by administrators will bridge educational gaps and provide equal opportunities for all children thus ensuring the country’s literacy rates soar to higher levels.

The PS noted that the government has positioned the administrators as pivotal agents of change in Kenya’s educational landscape.

“Last year, our officers were on the forefront in ensuring that 100 percent transition was achieved. About 1.2 million students reported to various junior secondary schools, and some regions actually surpassed the target,” said Dr Omollo.

NGAOs will coordinate with various stakeholders, including non governmental organisations and private donors to ensure schools are adequately equipped.

They will also oversee feeding programmes, which are vital in keeping children, especially those from impoverished backgrounds, in school.

During the 2023 national examinations, the government deployed more than 600 administrators alongside 16,056 police officers across all examination centres.

Speaking in Bungoma while inspecting the progress of the county hosting this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations, Omollo said 96.8 percent of school going children had transitioned to high school.

This paves the way for students’ journey to higher learning including vocational, technical training and university.

According to a 2022 World Bank report, Kenya’s literacy rate among people aged upto 15 years is at an impressive high of 82.88 percent.

“The role of NGAO officers in promoting education is pivotal. They are the true heroes on the ground, driving change and ensuring that no child is left behind in the quest for knowledge,” Omollo stated.

“The ministry appreciates the work done by NGAOs in tracing candidates throughout the year to ensure compliance with the government’s 100 percent school transition policy,” he added.

Beyond advocacy and enforcement of government policies, NGAO officers play a crucial role in facilitating resources.

“Through the tireless efforts of our NGAOs, we are bridging the educational divide and bringing learning opportunities to the most remote corners of Kenya,” noted the PS. He reiterated that in many remote areas, schools suffer from a lack of basic supplies—textbooks, stationery, and even desks. [Mike Kihaki]

Dr Omollo hailed the administrators for assisting young girls who are victims of early pregnancy, particularly during national examinations.

However, the PS regretted, while the government has adopted stringent measures to curb the vice, hundreds of girls still sit for their exams while pregnant each year.

Statistics released by Bungoma County Referral Hospital in June 2023 showed that 26,149 teenage girls had become pregnant over a span of 24 months.