Written by Wanyonyi wa Wasike
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Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo (C) greets a pupil at Kibichori Primary School as Lands Assistant minister Wakoli Bifwoli (L) and Trade Minister Moses Wetangula look on. [PHOTO|Protus Simiyu|West Fm]
THE Government has set aside KSh. 6 billion for the employment of 20,000 new teachers, Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has announced.
Mutula said that KSh. 3 million will be used to hire 10,000 new teachers during this 2012-2013 financial year while the remaining KSh. 3 billion will be used to employ another 10,000 teachers during the 2013-2014 financial year.
Speaking when he opened a multi-million educational complex funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran at Kibichori Primary School in Bungoma County, the minister conceded that the country has a big shortage of teachers in both primary and secondary sections.
“I want to differ with our respective teachers’ unions over the figure about the real shortage of teachers in the country because while they put the figure at only 40,000, our survey has established that the country actually requires an additional 80,000 new teachers,” announced Mutula.
Accompanied by his host, Trade Minister and Sirisia Mp Moses Wetang’ula and Bumula legislator Bifwoli Wakoli, the minister stressed that the government is committed to the provision of quality education by employing more teachers to match the teacher-student ratio in teaching institutions.
He said the ratio must be reduced from the current one of 1-60 in order to come down to a manageable ratio of one teacher against forty students.
Mutula also announced that the government will take over the early childhood education program and propose better salaries for ECD teachers to motivate them to give the country quality education at an early stage.
He said that the program that is currently handled by county and municipal councils will be taken up by the central government in order to be strengthened due to its importance in the country’s education system.
“Our ECD teachers have not been treated well in terms of salaries and remuneration in the past and that has contributed to low morale among the teachers.
I want to assure them once the government takes over their employment, they will be a very happy lot indeed,” announced Mutula.
Wetangula thanked the Iranian Ambassador to Kenya Malek Hossein Givzad who was present for initiating the project that he said will now act as a centre of excellence in the entire county of Bungoma.
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