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KNUT Clash With Governors Over ECDE Centers Takeover

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KNUT Clash With Governors Over ECDE Centers Takeover

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has voiced its disapproval of governors resisting the national government’s takeover of Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) centers.

IKNUT Secretary-General Collins Oyuu criticized the Council of Governors (CoG) for lacking skilled personnel in counties, particularly in quality assurance for ECDEs.

Oyuu emphasized the importance of prioritizing children’s interests and urged the governors to allow ECDEs to be managed by the national government, aligning with the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER).

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ALSO READ: Governors Calls On Gov’t To Retain ECDE Centres Under Counties

According to the PWPER report, basic education should span from pre-primary to senior school, empowering primary school heads to oversee ECDEs, primary, and junior schools collectively termed comprehensive schools.

The report proposed repealing the Early Childhood Education Act to integrate early childhood education under the Basic Education Act. Previously under county governments, ECDE centers have been a topic of contention.

Oyuu, in an interview with the Nation, criticized the decision to devolve ECDE, calling it a mistake and emphasizing its role as the foundation of basic education. The CoG, chaired by Anne Waiguru, maintains that these institutions belong to the devolved units.

Governors Abdulswamad Nassir (Mombasa) and Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi) acknowledged efforts to enhance ECDEs in their respective administrations but stressed the need to clarify the management of primary and pre-primary schools. They proposed a meeting with PWPER to review clauses related to ECDEs’ management.

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ALSO READ: Governors Reject National Government Takeover of ECDE Centers

Erick Mutai, CoC Education Committee chairman and Kericho Governor, pointed out that the ECDE function was devolved but lacked proper costing, leading to a lack of funds for counties. Mutai advocated for an annual allocation of Sh5 billion to counties for ECDE center operations. He highlighted the achievements made under devolution and cautioned against rolling back progress.

The governors, including Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Bomet counterpart Hillary Barchok, and Siaya’s James Orengo, expressed their dissatisfaction and willingness to engage with PWPER to address contentious issues.

Governors emphasized the significant investments made in ECDE infrastructure and teacher employment at the county level, vowing to resist any attempts to transfer critical sectors such as education, water, and health back to the national government.

ALSO READ: Governors Oppose Machogu’s Plan to Transfer ECDE Centers to Primary School Head Teachers

KNUT Clash With Governors Over ECDE Centers Takeover

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