Three hundred and fifty-eight Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers who were on contract, have been confirmed as permanent and pensionable by the Makueni County Government.
The teachers will start getting new salaries and allowances end of February 2024.
They will start with a house allowance of sh 3,200 and commuter allowance of sh 4,000.
Makueni Governor, Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, disclosed that the second cohort of 453 others will also be confirmed during the 2024/2025 Financial Year.
“The first cohort of ECDE teachers that have been confirmed to permanent and pensionable positions, were employed between 2014 and 2017, while the second batch of 453 who were recruited between 2017 and 2023, will be confirmed as from July,” Mutula said, while issuing letters of confirmation to the 358 teachers, outside his office in Wote town.
However, he urged 139 teachers who had not provided their documents to the Makueni Public Service Board, to do so immediately in order to be considered for permanent and pensionable terms.
Governor pledged the unwavering commitment of his government to fostering a thriving education environment, where teachers are valued as partners in the transformative journey of learners.
During the function, the Governor flagged off ECDE learning and instructional materials worth Sh9.8 million, to be distributed to 1,197 learning centres.
The confirmation of Makueni ECDE teachers came after a tiff between governors and national government over ECDE centres.
The Council of Governors (CoG) rejected proposed education reforms by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform (PWPER) to take ECDE teachers to TSC, terming them as a claw back on devolution.
CoG’s Education Committee chaired by Governor Eric Mutai (Kericho) made the announcement after a meeting with governors in Nairobi.
The committee singled out proposals by the Prof. Raphael Munavu-led team placing Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) centres under primary school heads appointed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
TSC is an independent commission under Article 237 of the Constitution.
“The establishment of a comprehensive school system where all levels of learning are headed by one head of institution without regard to delineated functions in the Constitution,” Governor Mutai remarked.
“We note that there is no accountability framework provided for the proposed Head of Institutions to the Counties regarding the management of Pre-primary schools,” he stated.
The CoG contested a proposal to have the Ministry of Education and TSC to jointly develop an intergovernmental framework for hiring of pre-primary teachers as unacceptable.
“Hiring of pre-primary teachers is a preserve of the County Governments as reiterated in the judgment in the High Court ruling in the case of KNUT vs. The Attorney General and 4 others (2016) that clarified the powers of the County Governments in hiring pre-primary teachers,” Mutai noted.
The Council insisted that devolved units exercise exclusive oversight over pre-primary education. CoG noted that counties collectively invest up to Sh8 billion annually to support ECDE centres.
Mutai said CoG would boycott Tuesday’s Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee on the implementation of education reforms to express its disapproval.
Governors further opposed a proposal to amend the Education Act to give County Commissioners, appointees of the national government, a leading role in County Education Boards.
“This is a clear reverse gear to the gains of devolution noting that ECDE is a fully devolved function,” CoG stated.
In proposals presented to President William Ruto on August 1, 2023, the working party recommended a comprehensive school system with Pre-Primary to Grade 9 levels domiciled under one institution with a single school head.
The Munavu team proposed the adoption of a 2-6-3-3-3 Education Structure with 2 years Pre-Primary School; 6 years Primary School, 3 years Junior School (JS), 3 years Senior School (SS) and a minimum of 3 years at University.
“TSC [should] provide career progression guidelines for teachers in comprehensive schools; and provide guidelines on Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training,” the report read in part.
PWPER also proposed the scrapping of the four-tier clustering of public secondary schools in favor a career-oriented categorisation dividing schools into three.
The Munavu-led team instead recommended three broad clusters namely; STEM, Social Science and Arts, and Sports Science.