Pursuant to Standing Order 44 (2) (c), I wish to request for a statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology regarding the status of Education in Turkana County, in particular the acute shortage of teachers.
Hon Speaker, the state of education in Turkana is pathetic and only displays deprivation. Challenges that have contributed to lack of access, low enrolment and high drop-out rate are shortage of teachers, lack of classrooms and inadequate food in schools.
Hon Speaker, Turkana County has 352 primary schools with a total enrolment of 130,380 pupils. The teachers are 1,431 with a shortfall of 2,298 (161%). The current national teacher-pupil ratio in Kenya is 1: 47, close to the recommended ratio of 1:45. But in Turkana the average ratio is 1:91. In extreme cases some classes in Turkana have over 150 pupils, making teaching and impossible. Loima Sub-County, which recently was the focus of the media, has 55 Primary schools with 179 teachers and a shortfall of 271 teachers. Some schools have only one teacher doubling up headship and teaching. Turkana County loses many teachers to external transfers, retirement and natural attrition without replacement. Within this term alone 13 teachers died.
Hon Speaker, Education is an inherent human right and a basic standard without which people cannot live in dignity. Kenya’s Education’s policy framework stipulates that Education and literacy are essential prerequisites for socio-economic development of this country. What is happening to children in Turkana is an injustice and a serious violation of the UN Convention on Child rights - a human rights treaty to which Kenya is a signatory. It is an abuse of the Kenyan Constitution, which clearly underscores the supremacy of child rights in Article 53 (A right to free compulsory basic education, nutrition, shelter and health among other rights).
Hon Speaker, in her statement, the chairperson should explain:
- What measures the Government is taking to address the enormous shortfall in the teaching force in Turkana?
- What mechanisms are in place to replace teachers who exit through external transfers, retirement and death?
- What plans are there to ensure that teachers work in the recruiting county for at least 5 years before they go on external transfers?
- Why teachers in Loyo school for the deaf and Katilu school for the visually handicapped, are not paid special allowances like their counterparts in the rest of the Country?