Written by Protus Simiyu
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Education minister Mr. Mutula Kilonzo officially opening four modern classrooms, a multi-purpose hall and ablution block funded by the Iranian government at Kibichori Primary School. [PHOTO|Protus Simiyu|West Fm]
Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has challenged teacher unions in the country to embrace dialogue with the government as opposed to strikes.
Speaking in Kibichori Primary school in Bungoma West District, Kilonzo affirmed that the government through his ministry is determined to amicably address problems affecting teachers in the country.
“We are under the new constitution dispensation and government organs should not fight, you are important stakeholders, you are not my enemies, the government is not your enemy, let us engage each other and I believe this is the best way to go,” he said.
The minister said even if the government has allocated Sh. 12B to hire 20,000 teachers this financial year he disclosed that his policy as a minister for education is to hire 80,000 teachers come next year.
“300,000 teachers are not enough against the country’s population of 40 million people, as a ministry we are coming up with policies to ensure that enough teachers are hired to reduce the ratio of teachers’ students and pupils respectively.
He said as a ministry they are geared towards coming up with policies so that the government is held responsible for education of its citizens from Early Childhood and Development (ECD) level including hiring of ECD teachers, “this will ensure we have a strong foundation of the education system in the country because we believe you cannot construct a house from the top,” he said.
Kilonzo disclosed that the ministry of education is determinate to ensure all primary schools in the country are equipped with computers in order to be ICT compliant.
“Already we conducting this program in the secondary section and ECD centers will not be left out because ICT is the way to go in this country,’’ Kilonzo asserted.
Further Kilonzo challenged parents and teachers to encourage pupils and students to take seriously mathematics and science subjected saying they are very instrumental towards development in the country.
“As a country we cannot succeed if we don’t have pupils and students doing well in mathematics, physics, chemistry and even Biology because they are very essential towards industrialization and availability of qualified manpower “Kilonzo challenged.
L-R: Lands Assistant minister Mr. Bifwoli Wakoli, Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Trade Minister Moses Wetangula.
The area Mp Trade Minister Moses Wetangula raised the need for the government to employ enough teachers saying majority of public schools are faced with an acute shortage.
“How can pupils in such schools compete with those in municipalities and major towns including Nairobi when their preparation for the same examinations is inadequate,” Wetangula noted.
He said that parliament will rally behind the education minister to push the government to factor in funds to hire enough teachers and implement teachers’ salary increment including allowances.
The Sirisia Mp assured parents of Kibichori that CDF will allocate funds to put up a dormitory in Kibichori primary apart from ensuring there is electricity connection.
The Lands assistant Minister Bifwoli Wakoli challenged parents in Bungoma County to take seriously the education of their children as the best legacy.
“These multimillion buildings will only be significant if you support your children to ensure that they perform well in national exams. You should leave everything to teachers, you have a noble duty to ensure your children succeed through quality education,” he urged.
They were speaking at Kibichori primary school during the official opening of four modern classrooms, a multi-purpose hall and an ablution block funded by the Iranian government where the Iranian Higher Commissioner in Kenya Malek Hossein Givzad was present.
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