It is no secret that Kenya will have a president in less than twenty four hours. IEBC is obligated by the constitution to announce the president elect by Tuesday tomorrow.
However all indicators show that the IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati, may announce the winner of the presidential race even today.
If Raila Odinga is declared president, there are a number of promises he made to teachers and the education industry in general.
Lets look at these promises in depth which he and his running mate, Martha Karua, made to teachers incase they win this election.
1. Raila promised employment of all unemployed teachers
The Azimio One Kenya Presidential canidadate, Raila Odinga, said he will employ all the unemployed qualified teachers once he becomes the fifth president in August this year.
Odinga promised to employ all unemployed teachers to help in curriculum implementation in schools.
Speaking at Nyayo Stadium where he unveiled his manifesto, Odinga said no child shall be left behind when he takes power.
There are at least 350,000 unemployed teachers. Some with more than ten years in the cold. This promise brings hope to such teachers.
“No child shall be left behind. We commit to employ all qualified teachers who are currently unemployed,” says Raila in his manifesto.
“This programme will be an aggressive scheme to ensure that all, not some of our children, get rightful access to quality education. We will deploy motivated teachers to deliver quality education to our children, so that there is no child left behind. We shall employ all the qualified teachers who are currently unemployed,” states the manifesto.
2. Raila promised free education from nursery all through to university
Mr Odinga promised that his government will offer ‘free’ education from pre-primary, primary, secondary to university level.
In addition, he promises to increase investment in technical and vocational education and training (Tvet) “to support manufacturing”.
Odinga said he will ensure every child has access to education through his ambitions free ‘Waste No Child’ programme.
It will cover students in college, university and vocational training institutions.
“We will provide free education from ECD, primary and secondary to university including tertiary colleges,” Raila said.
Currently, the government is implementing free universal primary education and subsidized secondary learning.
3. Raila promised to check and address issues raised on CBC
Raila gave examples of Tanzania, Rwanda and South Africa which have adopted the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).
He however promised to address issues raised by parents and stakeholders on CBC to make it better.
3. Raila promised one free nutritious meal for ECD and lower primary classes
The Azimio leader said, children attending Early Childhood Development classes and lower primary will be entitled to one nutritious free meal. However the manifesto did not state the frequency.
There are about seven million children in pre-primary and lower primary section.
4. Raila promised to revamp education in North Eastern region
Captured in agenda number 8 in his ten point agenda manifesto, Odinga promised to revamp education in North Eastern region parts of Kenya.
“Education is non-negotiable. The AZIMIO programme will be an aggressive scheme to ensure that all, not some of our children, get rightful access to quality education,” reads Azimio’s agenda 8 dubbed ‘Waste not a Single Child’.
In addition Raila also pledged to lower entry grades for teacher trainees in the northern counties to address a huge shortage of tutors in the region.
“Because of the lack of teachers due to insecurity, we will ensure the youth here can go to teacher training schools even with Grade E,” he said.
An earlier push to lower entry grades for teachers from marginalised counties was rejected by the government. There has been an exodus of non-local teachers from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa due to insecurity.
Mr Odinga said training of more local tutors would help bridge the gap.
“From September, all trained teachers and who are yet to be employed shall all be hired. Insecurity has cost this region but affirmative action shall help correct all that,” he said.
5. Martha Karua promised they will work closely with teachers to address their issues
Martha Karua speaking in Kiambu while meeting with Teachers’ Union officials from the 47 counties said the Azimio government will work closely with teachers.
Karua claimed that if she hadn’t been a lawyer, she would have become a teacher.
Karua stated that her parents introduced her to teaching earlier in her life before she became interested in law.
Karua attributed her interest in teaching to her upbringing, stating that both of her parents were teachers.
“Apart from being educated by teachers in the schools and in university I also have that background of being a product of teachers as a family and of having myself taught in various stages,” said Karua.
“In fact if I had not become a lawyer the next thing I would have become is a teacher. My father would have really wanted that at that time.”
Reminiscing on her untrained teaching experiences, Karua revealed that she began teaching after completing her Form Four studies and later after her A-levels.
“I am a teacher through an untrained one. I’m not only the daughter of teachers because both my parents taught. I joined them after Form four for three months and after A-levels for four months,” said Karua.
“Before joining university then I went for clerical work at the court. I think in preparation of the lawyering duties.”
She emphasized the critical role teachers play in society, urging them to be vocal about the issues they want the Azimio-One Kenya coalition to address if they win power in August.
“Your voice in the community is very strong. When people cannot quite understand something they refer back to teachers. Therefore we should not be taking down but we should be engaging and hearing your views so that we may be able to serve you,” Karua said.
“When it comes to education you are the experts and it is your ideas and advice that we as a country should be relying on.”