Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga is calling for the scrapping of school fees charged for Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) learning in the county.
Speaking after flagging off learning materials for ECDE learners at his office, Kahiga said that his administration was working to ensure that ECDE learning in the county is fully funded for the over 22,000 learners in the county.
“I would like to caution our institution heads who may think that there is a need to charge fees. Please do not charge our parents any money except for maybe snacks which I strongly advise that if possible, should be brought from home but that is the only charges that we should be talking about,” said Kahiga.
The learning materials included branded exercise and text books, charts, chalks, manila paper, pencils, pens among other stationery. The consignment will be distributed to the 436 ECDE centres across the county with the county boss noting that the materials were enough to facilitate learning for the young pupils.
“Our faith is that now, ECDE education should be fully free. Whatever we have provided is adequate to propagate ECDE education as every pupil will get exercise books, pencils, erasers and manila papers and pens among other teaching materials for the teachers,” he added.
In July, the county promoted more than 800 ECDE teachers who were previously working on Contract to permanent and pensionable terms. During the flagging off ceremony, the governor also asked the newly promoted ECDE teachers to double their efforts in ensuring they provide the best foundation for their pupils before they join lower primary school.
“We have given you permanent jobs and we have put you on a pension scheme, kindly double what you were doing for these children so that you lay a proper foundation for them. At that age that our ECDE children are at, is key to the development of a human being and we really pray that you will focus on them and do a very good job,” said Kahiga.
Kahiga also said that plans are in motion to set up a support program to revive the milk for schools program. In his speech during his inauguration ceremony at the Asian Quarters ground on Thursday last week, Kahiga pledged to come up with a program for vulnerable families where the county would provide them with food and non-food donations while ECDE learners get milk twice a week.
“We trust that with our new administration and availability of funds, we will keep providing milk for the school going children,” he said.
By Wangari Mwangi