Wednesday, 30 October 2019 11:26

CONSULTATIVE FORUM ON THE COMPETENCY BASED CURRICULUM AND THE VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES CONDITIONAL GRANTS GUIDELINES.

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The Council of Governors, with support from the Ministry of Education and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), has been providing technical support to the County Governments towards the rollout and implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum at the Early Childhood Development and Education level. Further, since the 2017/18 financial year, County Governments have been beneficiaries of the KShs 2 billion annual Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant from the National Treasury to enhance access and quality of vocational training in the country.
On 24th and 25th October, the Education Committee convened a sectoral forum with the Chief Officers in charge of Education at Radisson Blu Nairobi to address emerging issues regarding the rollout of the Competency Based Curriculum and the ongoing review of the Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant Guidelines. The multi-stakeholder forum included representation from the Ministry of Education, the TVET Authority and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.
The Chief Officers underwent capacity building to understand the need for enhanced resource mobilization and allocation towards effective ECDE programming in the implementation of the new Curriculum. This is in line with the Basic Education Act, 2013 and its subsidiary legislation & policies including the National Curriculum Policy, 2019 and the National Pre-Primary Education Policy, 2018. The integration of pre-primary education into the basic education system is one of the key reforms in the education sector hence the need to enhance support to the County Governments in the effective implementation of early childhood education. Through this forum, the Orange Book Addendum was disseminated, which lists all the approved learning resources to guide purchasing and acquisition of the resources by the County Governments.
On the other hand, the National Treasury in consultation with CoG and the Ministry of Education established the Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant in the 2017/18 financial year to support the County Governments in the rehabilitation and equipping of the Centres to enhance enrollment and uptake of vocational training. The Grant was accompanied by its utilization Guidelines to elaborate on the roles of each concerned National and County office in the National and County Governments to ensure the smooth utilization of the Grant. However, the 2017/18 financial year financial reports did not adhere to the Guidelines. Given the role of the Chief Officers as accounting officers for the Education Department and for the Grant, their input towards the review of the Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant Guidelines was captured to ensure that the COs fully understand the need for timely financial and narrative reporting on the utilization of the Grant to the National Treasury through CoG.
The following were the resolutions from the meeting;
1.The Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant Guidelines to clearly delineate the various voteheads in line with the actual costs. This is particularly important in the Examinations Fee and Local Travel & Transport voteheads which need to be higher to cater for the various national examination charges and the geographical vastness & inaccessibility of Centres in the Counties.
2.There is need for clear demarcation of the differences between Public Technical and Vocational Colleges (National Government) and Public Vocational Training Centres (County Government) by the Ministry of Education to enable the County Governments effectively mobilize youth to enroll into the Vocational Training Centres and not to suffer poached trainees from the VTCs.
3.The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, through CoG, is to fast-track technical support to the County Governments to capacity build the ECDE teachers during the November-December holidays. A compiled training schedule with data from all the Counties will be developed and shared with KICD to hold the user-demand driven workshops.
4.Escalate education issues to the full Council to seek political goodwill towards prioritization of sector issues for effective service delivery, including staffing. This includes the implementation of the ECDE teachers’ Scheme of Service and the review of the Vocational Training Instructors Scheme of Service. Further, this includes the absorption of the County ECDE Field Officers devolved from the Teachers’ Service Commission
5.CoG is to lead the harmonization of ECDE School Feeding Programme Guidelines to rationalize existing feeding programmes. This is to provide a standard costing plan for the implementation of School Feeding Programmes and to enhance investment into child health.
6.Fast implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum; need for teacher training and capacity building on the Curriculum, political goodwill, instructional material, learning materials to implement the Curriculum; costing and financing the Curriculum’s implementation (financing capacity building for curriculum implementers and the entire CBC)
7.A capitation grant, similar to that for the Vocational Training Centres, was proposed to supplement the County Governments’ current resource allocation and investment in ECDE programmes. This is to mark up on current ECDE teachers’ remuneration and infrastructure development in the ECDE sector.
8.Sensitization of the Excellency Governors on scaling down of County bursary allocations as this reduces allocations for ECDE and Vocational Training. The prioritization of bursary allocations is counterintuitive towards the implementation of the two devolved functions in the Education sector.
9.The County ECDE Resource Centres should be revived and strengthened to make them centres for capacity building of the County Officers and ECDE teachers on the Competency Based Curriculum. This will enhance all County Governments’ capacity to address emerging issues in ECDE and effectively cascade continuous training on matters in the sector.

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