Kenyans prefer teachers to tablets

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By OUMA WANZALA
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Most Kenyans want the government to recruit more teachers so as to improve quality of education as opposed to the provision of tablets and electrification of schools that it has been championing.

A survey by Ipsos that was released on Monday indicates that in both primary and secondary schools, recruitment of more teachers and better supplies and equipment is critical.

In primary schools, 43 per cent of Kenyans said they want more or better teachers while 20 per cent believe in better book supplies and equipment.

About 12 per cent want more classrooms built, while four per cent cited more water.

It is only one per cent that believed that tablets will improve learning in schools.

In terms of regions, those in Western, at 50 per cent, Rift Valley at 46 per cent, Nyanza at 46 per cent, North Eastern at 40 per cent, Nairobi at 38 per cent, Eastern at 42 per cent, Coast at 34 per cent and Central at 38 per cent believe in having more teachers in schools.

Better communication with parents, and better head teachers got four per cent, better food got three per cent, while electricity got two per cent.

For secondary schools, those asking for more teachers stood at 34 per cent, with those in need of better supplies of books and equipment being at 14 per cent, while better buildings got 12 per cent.

DEFICIT OF TEACHERS
Most residents of North Eastern, 30 per cent, want better equipped schools, yet the region has a major shortage of teachers.

The government is targeting to provide 1.2 million class one pupils with tablets this year, an exercise that has seen a total of 22,245 schools out 23,411 connected to electricity.

On teachers, the country requires about 87,489 teachers, with primary schools being in need of 39,913 teachers and secondary schools having a deficit of 47,576 teachers.

The target population for the survey was Kenyans aged 18 years and above, of whom 2,057 living in urban and rural areas spread across 41 counties were interviewed.

There were three language-options: English, Swahili and Somali.

The survey also reveals that despite major increases in enrolment in institutions at all levels, more than one-third of all adult Kenyans — 39 per cent, have not gone beyond primary school, with only slightly more than 1-in-20, six per cent, having university education.

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