This is not what we want; Angry Taxpayers tell government in new report

Children Working on a school day Image: Courtesy

National Taxpayers Association, a non-partisan organization focused on supporting good governance in Kenya has lashed out to the Ministry of Education through  a new report that assessed learning in 100 public schools from three counties.

Dubbed the 2016 School Report Card, see below the 7 key highlights of the report findings as recorded.

Kenya findings and recommendations in School Report Card 2015-2016 Report

1.Insufficient textbooks despite more than 10 years of Free Primary Education relief

Though certain improvements were noted, sharing remains the mantra!! Students are still sharing textbooks with at least three  other pupils on average from class 1 to 8 despite more than 10 years of FPE existence.

2.Homework assignment and marking sporadic

Parents of over 1500 pupils argued that their children were not fully engaged; further asserting that homework was irregular and if anything only issued 60 per cent of the school calendar (or 3 days a week on average). Parents recommended that pupils should be given homework assignments 5 days a week at least and issued similarly to all classes.

3.Teachers quality passable but not universally

86.2 percent of teachers assessed had P1 certificates with only 7.9 per cent having gone upto Upto degree level, however, 6 per cent  of teachers were untrained (6%) especially in Marsabit and Tana River counties.

4.Health leading indicator for student absenteeism BUT other preventable factors are largely hindering regular school attendance

Sickness which is majorly inevitable accounts for over 50 percent of all pupil absenteeism as recollected by school head teachers.

On the other hand, a good number of our children are skipping school for no good reason; Truancy ,Child labor,boda-boda riding, and watching movies/ football or playing video games at video dens are amongst the top reasons.

5.Student repetition common

This report reveals that a good number of perceived under performing students are forced to repeat classes (following supposed request from guardian) despite government directive banning student repetition.

65 per cent of schools acknowledged having cases of pupil repetition.

However, head teachers further pointed out that student repetition almost always occurs following Parents / Pupil request.

6.Disproportionate enrollment in Kenya’s Public Schools

The average Pupils Teacher Ratio across schools assessed was 38 which meets MOEST requirement that recommends for a maximum of 45.

However, one-fifth of schools had PTR 21 while 30 per cent had more than 40 pupils.

7.Income Generating Activities as a means for supplementary sustainable funding for primary schools lowly practiced

Nearly all school administrators were discontented about the FPE grants arguing 1420 per child was insufficient. However, only 14 per cent of schools were engaging in income generating activities as a means of sustainable funding for their schools.