Boost to Kirinyaga ECDE Centers as County Govt builds new classrooms
The County Government of Kirinyaga has constructed 18 new Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) classrooms and renovated 59 others. The classrooms that have been built through the county’s department of education are aimed at creating conducive teaching and learning environment for the county’s young learners.
Governor Anne Waiguru has said that her administration has been dedicated to empowering the ECDE centers across the county to enable them provide high quality of education and care. She added that her administration has hired a new Sub county ECDE Officer for Kirinyaga West as well as 10 additional ECDE teachers, bringing to a total of 444 the number of ECDE teachers in the county.
Currently, Kirinyaga has 198 ECDE centers with a total of 18,747 pupils comprising of 9,427 boys and 9,520 girls. The governor noted that the additional teachers were an effort to improve the teacher to pupil ratio. She noted that additional teaching and learning materials worth around Ksh. 10 million have also been procured and ready for distribution to the centers. Some of the successfully implemented ECDE centers projects include Kiumbu, Mathangauta, Nyamindi, Gikumbo, Kiorugari, Kagondo, Kithiriti and Kutus.
The new classrooms have not only boosted the morale among teachers and pupils but has reflected on the performance of the young learners with noted difference in quality of the pupils transiting to primary school. It has also seen to increase of enrollment in the centers as some parents who would previously enroll their children in private centers are now settling for the refurbished public ones.
Margaret Karanja, a teacher in Mathangauta ECDE center says that before the new classroom project, her pupils used to be housed in a classroom at the nearby Mathangauta secondary school, but they are now happy to have their own classroom. She said that project has boosted the morale among her learners and thanked the County Government for the initiative.
Before construction of classrooms in the benefiting centers, pupils were learning in makeshift iron sheet structures or sharing classrooms leading to overcrowding. Others were housed by secondary schools or even nearby churches.
Catherine Wanjiku Njathara, who is a Board of Management Member at Kiumbu Primary school thanks Governor Anne Waiguru for building for them two ECDE classrooms which have greatly contributed to the improvement of the quality of education and care that the young learners are now getting. She says that before the intervention by the county government, the ECDE learners used to be accommodated in a nearby church hall, which was not conducive for learning or secure for enough for them to leave their learning materials. With the new classrooms which are furnished with child friendly modern furniture, the enrollment has now increased from 50 to 97 pupils in the PP1 class.
“Our mission is to ensure that all our girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are well prepared to transit to primary school”, said the governor.
Early Childhood Development and Education is one of the devolved functions in the education sector. The other one is technical and vocational education and training (TVET) under which the youth polytechnics fall.