Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Mt. Elgon branch executive secretary Stephen Chemonges has raised concern over challenges affecting education in the region.
Speaking to KNA in his office Monday, Chemonges said the transition rate of students from class eight to form one has increased tremendously in the recent years, overstretching existing facilities in schools.
“The facilities now feeling the pinch include classes, dormitories and latrines due to increased number of students joining high schools,” he said.
The unionist called upon the government to move with speed and fund education activities to enable principals and head teachers run the schools with ease.
He said the implementation of the new curriculum is also facing its own challenges, amid reports that most of the teachers were yet to be fully conversant with its roll out.
Chemonges urged the government to consider taking teachers for refresher courses for a period of three weeks every term until they were well acquainted with the curriculum.
“The curriculum has also been affected since most schools have not received important materials especially text books for grade four and five pupils, yet this is the most critical stage and it may affect their studies,” he said.
“It has come to our notice that book suppliers have centralized the distribution of the books thus making so many schools to struggle to get them. Books are brought to the education office and then head teachers are asked to pick them from there, despite the very difficult terrain in Mt. Elgon,” he noted.
Subsequently, the union official accused the suppliers of breaching their contract with the government by only delivering books to the education office and not to the schools as per the initial agreement.
He called upon head teachers and principals to account for every penny received to avoid instances of corruption and unnecessary audit queries.
At the same time he applauded the Mt. Elgon security team for having brought peace in the region and asked them to continue with same spirit.
He said teachers were willing and ready to provide vital information to the security team, pointing out that the area had experienced several security challenges in the past.
By Maria Bwami