The government will set aside Sh468 billion for the education sector in the next financial year in its bid to ensure all children have access to quality education.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang announced this on Thursday evening, noting the budget will continue to increase as the sector is key to development.
The education sector was allocated Sh442 billion and Sh442 billion in the last two financial years.
In the current budget, technical education got Sh16 billion for more instructors and curriculum development while universities got Sh91 billion.
Some Sh2 billion was allocated to the school feeding programme and Sh5 billion to the hiring of more teachers in the basic education sector.
“The type of investment we have made is fairly competitive, [considering our level as a] country,” the PS said.
He spoke at the University of Nairobi during the Nation Media Group (NMG) Leadership Forum, whose theme was "Repurposing education for growth".
Regarding the curriculum review, Dr Kipsang said the government was ready to implement the competency-based programme next year for Standard One to Three.
“Teacher capacity building isn't an event. It is a process. We have been training teachers in readiness for the rollout of the new curriculum,” he said.
On resources, he admitted that not all schools have proper infrastructure but said the government will make changes.
Julius Jwan, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Director, said teachers are ready for the new curriculum, as they have been trained, but noted that the fear of change was a major concern.
He added, "The concept of learning to learn is to prepare us for a world we do not know. We need an education system that embeds within learners the ability to adjust as the world changes.”
Dr Ann Assey, a senior lecturer at the open distance and e-learning campus at the UoN, said teachers, parents and learners need to be prepared psychologically for the curriculum change.
“We can advance more if we [make use of] technology. Everybody wants to see Kenyan children who can compete globally,” she said.
Eva Naputuni Nyoike, a special needs education director at Acorn Special Tutorials, said the special needs matter must be taken seriously in the new curriculum.
She said teachers trained in this should be recruited as learners have different disabilities.
NMG Chief Executive Officer Stephen Gitagama said education is the most powerful tool for development.
"Knowledge and communication skills are an absolute necessity," he said, and added that the media house will continue to support forums on issues affecting Kenyans.
Prof Julius Ogeng’o, the university's Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs was also present.
The debate that was moderated by NTV’s Smirti Vidyarthi started at 7.30pm and ended at 9pm.