SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE FLAGGING-OFF OF NATIONAL DELIVERY OF CORE COURSE BOOKS FOR SCHOOLS AT CEMASTEA, KAREN, 5TH JANUARY, 2018

On August 15, 2018 In Statements and Speeches

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

I am pleased to join you this morning to flag-off trucks ferrying core course books for primary and secondary education countrywide.  This is one of the important components of the comprehensive reform programme we are implementing in the education sector.  We are reforming education because we are convinced it is a great equalizer in any nation.

 

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My Administration has focused on initiatives that ensure every Kenyan child has access to quality education, so they can acquire appropriate skills and knowledge that make our country globally competitive.

 

Over the last five years, we have implemented significant reforms: the waiver of examination fees for all learners in primary and secondary schools; enhanced capitation for secondary and primary learners in public schools; and integration of ICT in teaching and learning like the Digital Literacy Programme and Computers for secondary schools.

 

This term, we continue that path of radical improvement.

 

A hundred percent transition from primary to secondary for all learners is now a reality with the start of our free secondary education for day schools. The provision of medical care for all children in secondary schools through the National Hospital Insurance Fund, will bring relief to many families and is in line with my Big Four agenda.

 

Today, we flag-off the provision of core course books.  This is the start of an exercise that will ensure a 1: 1 text book ratio.  This initiative while costing the Government ksh 7.5 billion has realized a saving of 13.82 billion shillings.

I am reliably informed that the cost of textbooks has significantly reduced, hence benefitting parents and guardians alike.  

 

This cost-effective and efficient measure has also assured that every student in the target group will have the required core textbooks.  I am happy to note that with the one core course book policy, private schools and even those run by faith based organizations, will access the same course books at the concessionary prices enjoyed by the Government.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

In the Financial Year 2016/2017, my Administration dedicated Ksh 6.6 billion to school infrastructure expansion and improvement, resulting in the enhanced capacity of secondary schools to admit more learners this year.

 

The investment by the Government in the education sector is immense and will continue to grow considering the place of education and our children in the realization of national aspirations. 

 

Our continuous reforms and push for good governance in the education sector will ensure full benefit from these investments.

 

This sector has shown remarkable progress in implementing reforms that have a positive and direct impact on the lives of citizens.  It is critical that all reform programmes are efficiently supervised to realize their objectives and sustain their impact.

 

 

In this respect, I direct the Ministry of Education to review its quality assurance systems and put in place suitable measures that will ensure the continuous promotion of learning outcomes in our schools. 

 

The place of a National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) in providing accurate data for decision making and planning, is a key determinant on how efficiently national resources can be applied for greater impact in improving learning outcomes.

 

I, therefore, further direct the Ministry of Education to fast-track the full roll out of National Education Management Information System to ensure that we have a single source of truth for all Kenyan learners that will provide quality data that is reliable, relevant, and easily accessible.

 

Our values and practice in public service dictate that resources dedicated to education must be optimally utilized and accounted for.  Accounting for public resources is not negotiable. It is an explicit requirement in our constitution and other national laws. 

 

 

Teachers must also rededicate themselves to their work so that their role in bringing up youth bears fruit.  School learning environments must be leaner and friendly, bearing in the goal of high retention in schools.  At least 63% of secondary school learners are in sub-County schools, it is my expectation that the Ministry will carry out its plan of prioritizing this category of schools in resource allocation, staffing, as well as in supply of science equipment and computers for teaching and learning.

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

am happy that the curriculum reform is on track and that the process is as consultative as it should be.  It is also notable that when the Sessional Paper on Education and Training is enacted alongside the relevant legal framework, we will progress to the next phase of curriculum reforms.  

 

To enhance further stakeholder input, I direct the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to ensure that Regional Commissioners liaise with Regional Coordinators of Education to convene stakeholder forums in all the regions so as to educate the public on the new curriculum.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In spite of tremendous success by the Ministry in restoring credibility to national examinations, the feedback mechanism needs to be improved to ensure there is a full engagement cycle between the examiners and the teachers.  In this regard, I have asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education to develop suitable national examination feedback mechanisms to ensure that the chief examiner reports are shared with teachers and other stakeholders so that they act on the areas identified for improvement in the learning processes.

 

In all these reform endeavors the seamless transition from one education level to another must be clearly outlined and facilitated.  I have also asked the Ministry of Education to fast-track the full implementation of the Kenya National Qualifications Framework to ensure that all learners are availed and guided on the education pathways in Kenya.

 

In concluding, may I take this early opportunity to once again remind our children countrywide that they are the reason for our everyday investment in education. 

My Administration will at all times prioritize them in its     plans because they are the future of this nation.

 

Thank you and I wish you a fruitful and blessed, 2018.

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