Over 10 million learners benefit from PRIEDE project

Counties Editor's Pick Education Makueni

The Sh8.84 billion Kenya Primary Education Development (PRIEDE) project being funded by the Global Partnership Education (GPE) has been lauded for positively impacting learners and teachers in all the 23,000 primary schools countrywide.

The project, initiated in 2015 has transformed 10 million learners and over 100,000 teachers, thus posting an improved foundational numeracy for early grades learners (1, 2, 3,) in mathematics and strengthened Boards of management in accountability systems at the school and national level.

Through the project, the government has also been able to distribute books to the learners, as well as spend Sh2 billion to provide instructional materials and improved infrastructure in schools, over the implementation period that ends in December 2021.

“We have been able to provide books to learners and trained over 100,000 teachers during holidays for three days consecutively. We have also seen improvement in instructional materials and infrastructure during the implementation period of the project,” said Deputy Director of Project Coordination at the Directorate of Projects Coordination, Peter Gachathi.

Gachathi was speaking at Unoa Primary School in Wote town, during a visit to assess the impact on some of the schools that benefited following an extension of the project from 2018 to 2021.

The Deputy Director who was accompanied by a team of officers further disclosed that through the programme, the Ministry of Education developed policy guidelines from the lessons learned that were scaled down to all the primary schools in the country.

For instance, he said the government was able to come up with the National Education Management Information System that captures data of all learners, teachers and support staff in schools.

“Initially we had targeted 4,000 primary schools, but because of the success of the project, we were able to upscale it and developed a policy guideline and distributed it to all 23,000 public primary schools in the country,” he said.

Other stakeholders who were trained during the period included head teachers and Board of Management members totaling to over 46,000.

Among the learning institutions that benefited from the project included special schools that received Braille books besides other equipment to improve learning among the deaf and blind.

The Deputy Director revealed that the project was a success, because there was close monitoring besides supervision from the education officers, who were well aware of the programme.

At the same time, School Based Teacher Support (SBTS) that enhanced methodology for teachers to impart mathematical concepts including lesson observation, lesson study, action research and virtual learning to learners came to be.

Speaking at the forum, World Bank Specialist on Education Ruth Charo, while calling for equal opportunities for all in education, said many children living with disabilities if accorded an opportunity will perform well and eventually contribute to the economic development of the country.

Others present during the occasion included World Bank Education Specialist Sergio Venegas, Joseph Wasiklo from Elimu Yetu Coalition, and the CEO National Council for Nomadic Education in Kenya (NACONEK) Harun Mohammed.

On his part, Makueni County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed thanked GPE for funding the project that has seen improved performance across schools in the county.

Mohammed spoke in his Wote office when Gachathi led his team for a courtesy call.

The county commissioner underscored the need for a multi-agency approach in enhancing delivery of government services to wananchi.

“Through the multi-agency approach, we have been able to deliver desks and provide facemasks as well as sanitizers to our schools,” he said.

Mohammed further challenged school principals and head teachers to take advantage of the ongoing rains and plant trees for posterity.

By Patrick Nyakundi

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