Free Primary education is a mirage -Majani
Written by John Kabaka
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Kakamega County Director of Education Tom Majan adrresing parents and teachers during the Kakamega Education Day event[PHOTO|John Kabaka|WestFm]
Kakamega County Director of Education Tom Majani stunned an Education Forum over the weekend with a claim that free learning program financed by the government was a fallacy and only existed in the abstract.
His statement immediately attracted an indirect rebuttal from the Director of Adult Education Kinaiya Nyakwari who reminded stakeholders in education that it was a fundamental right enshrined under the constitution that all children receive compulsory free quality basic education.
The duos were among a host of leaders attending a District Education Day event for Kakamega East District.
Majani who was recently posted to the area as part of the restructuring process claimed free learning was a blot that was likely to undermine the human resource development of the region.
“After ten years from now, some of these areas will not be able to provide the right manpower needed for this county. They will depend on other regions for the human resource unless we stop over reliance on free learning,” Majani declared.
However Nyakwari drawing the parallels said it was unnecessary to belabor certain issues particularly those addressed by the constitution and proceeded to quote extensively from the constitution.
In apparent response to threats by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) of a strike action in September to press for better remuneration, Nyakwari said while the constitution guarantees the right to demonstrate and picket it also warns that such action should not interfere with the enjoyment of other people’s rights.
Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito supported claims that free learning in public primary and day secondary school had lost quality.
He said in order for the constituency to compete favorable, the ground must be leveled and declared that the District would stagnate unless parents support the course of education.
“There is nothing for free and cheap is expensive. This District is headed nowhere if we continue relying on free learning funds,” He said.
He deplored reported attacks on teachers by parents over poor KCPE results early this year saying that performance is determined by all stakeholders of Education and parents are not excluded.
He said the local CDF kitty had received the Sh.9 million for bursary next year and asked the Local Administration Officials and School Heads at both primary and secondary level to help identify the needy deserving students.