Over 900 principals from the public secondary schools have converged in Mombasa to discuss implementation of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) among other pertinent topics related to the education sector.
The principals will share their experiences during the 45th annual conference of Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) conference at Sheikh Zayed Hall.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Re-examining our future together; a new era of education in Kenya”.
KESSHA national Chairman Alfred Kahi Indimuli said the principals were expected to air their voice on ongoing reforms in the education sector.
“The education sector is coming out in a new way. First, we are coming out after the Covid-19 pandemic. Secondly, we are getting into the transition of 844 into CBC. All these we need to put our thoughts as Kenyans together. We want to hear the voice of the principals, because they are very critical in the management of education. They are very critical in giving suggestions about what is to be done. As we gather here, we will be hearing their voices,” added Indimuli.
He said they expected Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to update them on the readiness of CBC curriculum designs for junior secondary school.
“We also came to look at the new curriculum. We are saying children are joining the secondary sector next year. We would like to hear from the KICD are the curriculum designs ready. Are they available so that we have time to look at them? We have time to criticize them, we have time to give corrections, rather than the designs coming at the time the students are in school, then we start issuing them, criticizing them and to an observer, we are not ready. We are simply saying, let us look at these designs early enough,” added Indimuli.
They are further expecting Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha and PS State Department in the Curriculum Reforms and Implementation Prof Fatuma Chege to brief them on enrolment of junior secondary school students next year.
“Issues of teachers’ preparedness will also be dealt with. Already the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has identified teachers to be trained beginning next month, a number from each school. What else is that teachers need to prepare? We will try to get these responses from the employer. Issues to do with promotions, our colleagues are having challenges, especially based on schools where they are. I believe the employer will provide solutions,” added Indimuli.
He said they would also discuss capitation in their schools with a view of considering involving parents to compliment the government allocations.
“We are addressing a number of issues. Key amongst them is funding of the education sector. Is capitation enough to manage the challenges that the schools have. Can we bring in other critical stakeholders to support in the funding of education, improvement of infrastructure and the rest. We are talking about parents. What role are they expected to play? This what we will be discussing,” he said.
Indimuli further revealed that the principals would also be discussing indiscipline cases among leaders which resulted in students’ unrests and cases of fire in schools.
“Issues of discipline in our institutions will be at the center stage. The question we are asking ourselves is discipline going down. Are principals and teachers lacking the might to manage the issues of discipline? We have gone wrong. How are children’s actions being used to manage our students because we have challenges with that? The question of the responsibility with our children,” he added.
This is the first time the heads are holding a physical meeting since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 and Indumuli hailed the efforts put in place by key national government ministries and agencies in putting measures to contain the pandemic and facilitate the re-opening of schools.
He said the principals would share their opinions of better mitigation measures that the country needs to put in place to avert future pandemic from disrupting the education and other key sectors of the economy.
“The Covid-19 exposed the underbelly of our education sector. We closed schools and started learning. What are these we have to do together to ensure that in future when we have a shock like that one. We don’t close our schools or we close our schools but we should not close learning. Investment in technology is very key. Some schools tried to continue teaching online but many students could be gotten because of connective challenges across our country. That was exposed and what are we doing as a nation to ensure there is connective across the country so that we should not face similar shock. We should not experience the same problem,” added Indimuli.
CS Magoha is expected to officially open the conference on Wednesday while Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan will address the principals on Tuesday.
Others include the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) CEO Nancy Macharia, TSC chairman Jamleck Irungu Kamau, University Education and Research PS Simon Nabukwesi and the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service CEO Agnes Mercy Wahome.
By Galgalo Bocha