Rul­ing on ECDE teach­ers ‘late but wel­come’

Gov­er­nor Jama says the case un­der­mined learn­ing, urges par­ents to enrol chil­dren

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @stephenAs­tariko

Garissa Gov­er­nor Nathif Jama has wel­comed the High Court’s rul­ing in favour of coun­ties hir­ing Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment and Ed­u­ca­tion teach­ers.

Jama said his ad­min­is­tra­tion will move with speed and em­ploy more ECDE teach­ers. He said the county had con­structed 180 ECDE class­rooms in 90 cen­tres and em­ployed 180 teach­ers in all sub­coun­ties. The rul­ing was made last week in Nairobi.

The dis­pute over who should hire ECDE teach­ers has been in court since 2014. The Kenya Na­tional Union of Teach­ers moved to court to stop what it said was “in­fringe­ment on the roles of the Teach­ers Ser­vice Com­mis­sion” by the coun­ties.

Through lawyer John Mu­tika, the union said most coun­ties ad­ver­tised to re­cruit nurs­ery school teach­ers, a role, it said, is the pre­serve of TSC. Knut said the com­mis­sion is man­dated by the Con­sti­tu­tion, cit­ing Ar­ti­cle 237 and 252 and the TSC Act 2012.

It also ac­cused coun­ties of hir­ing un­reg­is­tered teach­ers in con­tra­ven­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion. Then High Court judge Isaac Le­naola, cur­rently of the Supreme Court, sus­pended the re­cruit­ment, pend­ing con­clu­sion of the case.

Jama ad­dressed 85 ECDE teach­ers on Satur­day, when he presided over the clos­ing cer­e­mony of a three-day ca­pac­ity build­ing work­shop on im­prov­ing the qual­ity of in­te­grated ser­vices at the ECDE cen­tres. He said the rul­ing was long over­due.

Jama said the case had far-reach­ing ef­fects on chil­dren, as they could not hire teach­ers, de­spite the glar­ing need to do so. He de­scribed ex­ist­ing sta­tis­tics as “not pleas­ing at all” and urged par­ents, es­pe­cially those in re­mote ar­eas, to make good use of the ECDE fa­cil­i­ties by en­rolling their chil­dren.

“The county is geared to­wards en­sur­ing ev­ery child has ac­cess to qual­ity ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion. Par­ents need to reg­is­ter their chil­dren in these in­sti­tu­tions,” Jama said.

Unicef and Garissa are im­ple­ment­ing an in­te­grated early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion in 10 model cen­tres in three sub­coun­ties.

/STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Garissa Gov­er­nor Nathif Jama and Ed­u­ca­tion ex­ec­u­tive Mo­hamed Aden dur­ing the last day of the three-day work­shop for ECDE teach­ers at a Garissa ho­tel on Satur­day

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