Sh8.8bn boost for poor schools

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By OUMA WANZALA
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The Ministry of Education has started training teachers in more than 4,000 primary schools across the country which have recorded poor results in national examinations over the years.

The Sh8.8 billion Global Partnership-funded programme, supervised by the World Bank, is  meant to boost headteachers’ management and accountability systems and boost the quality of learning and teaching in the pilot schools.

Schools selected for the programme are those whose Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) scores in 2012 and 2013 were below 243 marks. The maximum score is 500 marks.

The programme seeks to improve governance systems as the basis for excellent performance in examinations and other critical areas of education. 

The funds are meant to support development of primary education. 

The director of projects coordination and delivery, Mr Elyas Abdi, said the schools have been put on an aggressive plan that provides them with an integrated set of interventions to improve performance.

Mr Abdi said the focus is on strengthening school management and accountability for results in delivery of primary education.

“KCPE analysis and feedback has been given to each of the participating schools to help them identify their weaknesses and select appropriate measures to improve their curriculum delivery,” said Mr Abdi.

The schools will also be helped to implement a tool that tracks the performance of teachers so they can know how and where to lay emphasis.

Already, the Teachers’ Service Commission has started providing useful feedback for school improvement planning and for professional development of teachers.

The identified institutions will also get resources to develop a School Improvement Plan to address their key student learning challenges and carry out priority actions under this plan.

“The  project seeks to enable the 4,000 selected schools to be audited annually during the project implementation period by the Education Ministry’s Directorate of School Audit, whose capacity will be strengthened to carry out improved financial and system audits as well as risk based assessments,” he said.

Under the project, the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) will be supported to produce detailed, school level analysis of KCPE results to be provided to each of the 4,000 participating schools in the form of school specific reports.

Already, the KCPE school specific analysis reports for the 4,000 pilot institutions were prepared and posted on the Knec website (www.knec.ac.ke) from November 2016.

“The schools have been receiving hard copies of the KCPE analysis at county level,” the document says.

The project aims to provide specific interventions to help the country address areas not fully covered by other initiatives.

According to the document, the project will strive to improve the competencies of learners in lower classes in primary schools by focusing on increasing the Early Grade Mathematics.

There will also be a pilot project to improve school performance through strengthened management and accountability in delivery of education.

Other objectives include strengthening capacity for research-based education sector policy development at national level and policy coordination, supervision, communication, monitoring and evaluation of results.

Already, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said that learners countrywide will get unique personal identification numbers by the end of this month as part of the GPE and World Bank programme.

This is part of the National Education Management Information System whose launch is expected this month.

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