Proposed education system ‘too expensive’

Thursday February 2 2012

By NATION REPORTER

Kenya could be burdened with an education system that is too expensive to maintain if the government implements proposals by a taskforce, a civil society group and the teachers’ union have said.

The Elimu Yetu Coalition and the Kenya National Union of Teachers also want the report of the task force appointed by Education minister Sam Ongeri subjected to a thorough review by all stakeholders.

Knut chairman Wilson Sossion said the cost implication of the proposed system should be addressed to see whether it would be practical to adopt the report.

Report analysis

Elimu yetu Coalition national coordinator Janet Muthoni Ouko told the Nation it would be impossible to finance the proposed education system.

She said the report needed to be analysed so that mistakes made when the 8-4-4 system was set up were avoided.

Kenyans would have to foot a Sh360 billion bill in the 2012/2013 financial year for infrastructure, textbooks and the hiring of some 52,365 teachers if the proposed system is implemented.

“Is this cost sustainable by our economy? We should be convinced the change is going to add value to our country and it will be practical to implement,” said Mr Sossion.

Apart from the cost, the two organisations expressed concern that the taskforce chaired by former Moi University vice-chancellor Douglas Odhiambo had been rushed to come up with the report.

Ms Ouko suggested that the process of establishing the new system be halted until a Cabinet Secretary is appointed after the next General Election.

The 35-member taskforce was launched in February last year and had originally been given six months to complete its work.

Its mandate was extended by two more months in August last year to finalise the review.