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Kenya Education: FUM General Board Report 2014

Introduction

For the past one year, I have been working on my mandate in such a way that the effect is felt in the most core areas of our schools. To some extent, I can, with some justifiable pride, say that I and other stakeholders are succeeding. To further take this forward, I propose the following:

1. School improvement.

The focus will be on schools that are hitherto not doing well in terms of teaching and learning as seen in their exam results. This, needless to say, is my core responsibility and here the emphasis will be on professional teacher learning that is context specific and on specific school change agents. I have identified mentors who will help me in this onerous task.

2. Yearly meetings ownership of schools.

The purpose is to move away from sentimental attachment to real ownership. Some yearly meetings like Central, Elgon East, Kaimosi, Lugulu and North are moving toward this direction.

3. Exchange programs.

I am working on connecting primary schools in Kenya with some children in Indiana and Iowa. Some secondary schools have already made connections with a secondary school in Oregon. A teacher from that school is visiting some of these schools this year. Creating connections is the one thing that I have found common on the lips of many a principal/head teacher in my field visits. Connections are, of course, in furtherance of FUM’s global partnerships.

4. School and church partnerships.

North and Malava Yearly Meetings have started partnerships with churches and schools with an emphasis is on the monthly meeting being the locus of partnerships to takie care of schools in their neighborhoods. Doing so is part of the journey of the church to own their schools right from the grassroots.
5. Collaboration and networking.

Real and meaningful relationships and networking between FUM, FCK and FCPT enabled us to host a very successful International Day of Peace at one of our schools in Trans nzoia county. This was appreciated and even acknowledged in FCK’s executive meeting in December last year. There are huge dividends to be harvested, such as FCK availing an office in Kakamega for the education secretary and participation in non-formal peace initiatives in Nandi County. From my end, I will leverage these and others in the coming months.

6. Primary education.

I have already laid the foundation for working with the primary schools by identifying head teachers with whom I can work. This level of education should have a high focus in our ministry as it is the foundation of the other levels. I am happy to note that the thinking and the focus we have envisioned in education is very much shared by many stakeholders.

7. Peace education.

Moving forward both primary and secondary education peace curricula is top on my agenda. Trials have been done in a few primary schools in Migori, Trans mara, Kisii and Bungoma counties. Perhaps monitoring will be done at a later stage in the course of the year as the high schools need more training. This is an area that will require a lot of collaboration and networking because it has the potential of making us as a church much more visible and influential in Kenya and the region.

Conclusion.

In 2013, I took the view that schools at the two levels of education- primary and secondary, in Trans nzioa, Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga counties are not doing well in terms of teaching and learning. If it is the case that we have the majority of schools in these counties, then it means that we must do something. Low education standards are a real concern for many people in these counties and even in some like Kakamega. A taskforce on education has been formed to underscore the seriousness of the problem. In my visits and interactions this year, I will adopt this slogan: NO BLAME, NO SHAME, NO EXCUSES: ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL: WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. In other words, education is a partnership.

Zadock Malesi
National Education Coordinator/Secretary
Kenya

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