Teachers' union officials. Photo courtesy of www.standardmedia.co.ke

Teachers’ unions officials. Photo courtesy of www.standardmedia.co.ke

By Laura Maina

Education plays a vital role in the growth of every individual.  Education entails but not limited to; learning, reasoning, adapting, evolving, innovating and the applicable use of the information to maneuver life.  Education in Kenya has evolved with time from an informal setting to a formal function that is examinable. The relevance of high literacy to the economy worldwide is somewhat equally measured by the grades one acquires from the current education system.

International, regional, country laws, policies and progressing mechanisms have brought great paradigm shifts to education. Education is viewed as a functional subordination to the economic disparities and development of a region. In Kenya for instance, Article 53 (b) of the Constitution of Kenya provides that

“Every child has the right to free and compulsory basic education”

an ideal decision with the current world interaction.

The country has continuously faced challenges with the educational institution ranging from; the on and off strikes by teachers due to salary conflicts, climatic changes that cause epidemics such as floods, increased projected intakes from lower to higher institutions causing a strain in physical and human resource, security flaws that result to deaths of students and teachers mostly in the Northern parts of Kenya and high student-teachers ratio.

Ideal Conducive environment for education are;

  • Equal resource distribution to compete with all regions in a fair educational ground, for instance; the undisputed element that some schools teach scientific subjects with no apparatus to direct the theory to practical application is unfair.
  • Relevant curriculum that echo the societal lifestyle, needs and cultures. Education offered should be applicable in the society that we live in and relevant to students on how to deal with the current issues facing the country.
  • Adequate and efficient facilities to ease learning for the students and teaching for the teachers.
  • Adequate infrastructural systems; classrooms, teaching aids, desks, toilets.
  • Affordable educational costs to the overall citizen in the country.

But all is not lost. A number of mechanisms can be put in place to ensure quality education for all in Kenya is realized. Recommendations to the education sector include:

Teachers being the core bearers of the responsibility for the value of educational outcomes of should be the fundamental principle in ensuring that the wages of the teachers is in line with the living standards of the economy.

There should be a mechanism to absorb students that do not qualify for entry into higher institution due to the grading system.  The education system should encompass all strengths and capabilities of the students and not level the achievement on grading.

Budgetary allocations should consider the physical and human resources available in each economic year to deal with the high entries of students from one institution to another.

A comprehensive policy framework to govern the integration and implementation of the Free Primary Education program this is to curb corruption in the ministry causing delays in the disbursement of funds that run the management of the system.

In conclusion, students equate the value given to teachers concurrently with the quality, importance and applicability of education. The recurrent disruption of academic years or terms will result to a negative outlook of the whole education system. Teachers have to be valued by the government and the general society and this reflects on students’ behavior and attitude towards learning. Not forgetting that teachers are the gateways to all other professional or vocational careers of the young in the society.  Not forgetting that many African leaders were teachers. #IStandWithTeachers.

Ted Wragg aptly explains it by saying

 “There is no higher calling. Without teachers, society would slide back into primitive squalor”.