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Education & Technical training

Education & Technical training

H.E Governor Dr. Irungu Kang’ata today hosted the steering committee of the Indigenous Knowledge Documentation and Digitization Project.

This is part of the government’s effort through the National Museums of Kenya to digitize indigenous knowledge from communities across the country to ensure that the information is available for future generations.

The program will also help boost tourism in the county. The pilot program targets 13 counties and will establish a community, county and a national digital register of indigenous knowledge and associated assets.

Intervention Programmes Initiated by the Education and Technical Training Department for the Improvement of Academic performance from the year 2013 to the year 2022.

The advent of devolution saw a section of the education functions namely Early Childhood Education and Vocational Training devolved from the national government to the county government. In this light, the Murang’a County Government held consultative meetings with different stakeholders in the education sector.  The aim was to be identifying what was ailing academic performance in Murang`a County and at the same time find solutions to the prevailing problems in the sector. These stakeholders included:

Heads of Primary School and Secondary School Institutions

  • Primary Schools teachers
  • County Education Board members
  • Education officers at sub county and County level both Ministry & TSC
  • Alumni of the Primary Schools
  • Sponsors of different institutions

At around this time Murang`a County was ranked position 40 out of 47 countrywide in the K.C.P.E. examinations. After all these engagements, various programmes were arrived at with an aim of improving performance as well as the self-esteem of learners.

These Programmes included.

  • County Based examinations
  • County Public Primary Boarding Schools
  • Mentorship Programmes
  • County Education Days
  • Bursary Programmes
  • County Education Advisory Board

It was realized that most of the Primary schools engaged the learners in commercial examinations that were not up to standard as they were not moderated to ensure they followed the syllabus and most parents especially in the rural areas were unable to raise the fees charged for the same. As a result, most learners were in and out of school throughout the year.

A team of qualified subject teachers with exemplary performance in K.C.P.E was constituted under the guidance of the County Qaso and some teacher’s Advisory officers the then TAC tutors and currently the CSO (Curriculum Support Officers).

They were mandated to collectively sit at the County level and set standard examinations. To start with, the County Government organized examinations for classes 6-8 and later cascaded down to all other classes. This improved the performance from a mean of 230 marks in 2013 to a mean 251 marks in 2017.

The County Government tasked with facilitation, setting, proof reading, moderation, printing and marking of class 8 Insha & Composition & analyzing of the examinations.

  • The County Government in the effort to boost the same also gave revision books to all Primary Schools.
  • Pressure lamps were also issued to the schools where there was no electricity to assist leaners especially in the examination class to attend their evening preps.
  • Schools were also given some motivational materials to boost in motivating the learners who performed well.

The education department conducted a benchmarking exercise with neighboring counties that were performing well in K.C.P.E examinations such as Kirinyaga County and Nyeri County. As a result of the exercise the department identified that the many Public Primary boarding Schools in these counties was a major contributing factor to their above average academic performance. The department therefore sought to establish at least two public primary boarding Schools per Sub County.

The following considerations were to be put in place.

  • Availability of vacant classrooms
  • Availability of Water
  • Availability of electricity
  • Good will from the community

The schools were also to serve as homes for the needy orphans in the community. Consideration was to be given to students in class 6-8 and to later cascade to the other levels depending on needs.

Kiangunyi Primary School
Gakarati Primary School
Makuyu Primary School
Githunguri Primary School
Gakarara Primary School
Gatanga Primary School
Maragi Primary School
Kiarutara Primary School
Mwarano Primary School
Kahatia Primary School
Kihumbuini Primary School
St Mary Primary School
Kiboi Primary School

Out of these Schools the following were able to embrace the project

Gakarati Primary School
Kiangunyi Primary School
Gatanga Primary School
Kihumbuini Primary School
Maragi Primary School

The performance of these Schools has greatly improved as a result of this intervention.

The County Government was mandated with the following tasks:

  • To renovate and convert the classrooms into dormitories
  • To provide beds, mattresses and energy saving Jikos
  • To offer needy and orphaned pupils financial assistance through the busary/scholarship program.

To boost the performance, and self-esteem of the learners, the County Government came up with a Mentorship Programme branded “Murang`a Child Can”. This was an initiative that encouraged the alumni of all Murang’a County primary schools who had excelled in various fields and were willing to give back to the society by adopting their formers schools to offer motivation through.

  • Role Modelling
  • Awarding good performance
  • Offering motivation talks
  • Mobilizing resources for Programmes aimed at uplifting standards of the schools.

Githaiti Primary School Alumni stood out as one of the best examples of the work done by the Alumni through the “Murang’a Child Can” Mentorship Programme.

Many other schools in the county adopted this approach and County continued to enjoy improved performance. Later, in majority of the schools this became unsustainable as many of those who came in for the programme had other expectations that our primary schools could not manage. An example is where mentors expected to be remunerated for their motivational efforts whereas this was a voluntary programme.

In the continued effort to recognize and motivate well-performing students and teachers, the education department established an annual County Education Day to be held immediately after the release of K.C.S.E examination results. The County Government worked in collaboration with the County Education Board. The role of the County Government would be:

  • Initially provide all the trophies for all categories of award
  • Facilitate for some accessories required in reporting for Form 1 eg. Metal trunk boxes
  • Provide meals for students and Guests

 

While the County Education Board was to:

  • Facilitate transport for the students attending
  • Facilitate all awards cash or otherwise
  • Facilitate the guest speaker
  • Provide the certificates

This progressed on well until during Covid-19 outbreak in the year 2020 when all gatherings were suspended as part of the Covid-19 intervention protocol.

The education department also established a Bursary/Scholarship Programme. This programme mainly assisted the many bright and needy students that could not join the institutions they had been invited to due to lack of Schools fees.   The programme targeted learners at the ward level. The programme run for a few years but later it was realized that the main objective was not met as the beneficiaries were receiving amounts as little as  Ksh 1,000.  This was unsustainable and therefore the department needed to review the program. The department realized that more needed to be done to ensure only bright and needy students benefitted from the program and that they received sufficient funds to meet their learning needs.

As a result, a Scholarship Programme was initiated through which beneficiaries were selected as they joined Form One and would be assisted all the way through to Form Four. The programme is currently known as Nyota Zetu Scholarship Programme” which began with 25 students per ward and is currently at 30 students per ward.

These students are identified and vetted at the school level and must meet the following conditions.

  • Attained a minimum Mark of 300
  • Be from a vulnerable family
  • Be from a Public Primary School
  • Be bright and needy.

The filled forms are further vetted at the County level before award

Currently the County Government is sponsoring close to 5,000 students who include.

  • Selected students per ward in secondary school.
  • Students from the Public Children’s Homes
  • Orphans in the County Boarding schools
  • Vulnerable PWDs
  • Students from our Programmes in University and tertiary Institutions

The County government established the County Education Advisory Board. Its mandate includes   a monitoring and evaluation function, and servers as advisor to the Governor on all matters related to education.

It is comprised of the following members:

  • Representative from the main sponsors
  • Representatives from KESHA
  • Representatives from KEPSHA
  • Representative from CDE/TSC
  • Officers in County Government Education Department.

The board has been instrumental in ensuring the development and successful implementation of the intervention measures which have greatly contributed to the continued improved academic performance.

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