KENYANS COULD SOON BE ENJOYING FREE SECONDARY EDUCATION

Kenyan students to enjoy free secondary education

Kenyan students to enjoy free secondary education

Kenyans could soon be enjoying free secondary school education from next year, if a report presented to the president is implemented.

The report, which was presented by a task-force on education chaired by former education Assistant Minister Kilemi Mwiria who has since been appointed presidential adviser on education, recommends among other things;

• The introduction of free secondary education from January 2015;

• Stop registration of new public schools and proper regulation and expansion of those in existence;

• Automatic progression from primary to post-primary education.

• The report proposes two ways in which the government can achieve free secondary school education:

FREE SECONDARY EDUCATION

Scenario 1: The Government to meet the costs of teaching and learning materials, operational costs and meals.

In this scenario the Government is meant to provide a capitation grant of Kshs 23,975 to these costs in all public schools.

The capitation grant for day schools should be free while boarding and special needs schools should be Kshs 33,108 and Kshs 16,704 respectively.

The team recommends that the Government should raise the capitation grant by Kshs 11,105 per student.

With the existing enrolment of 2,144,069 students, the government will require to raise a total of Kshs 51.5 billion annually allowing for projected growth of 8%.

Scenario 2: The Government to meet teaching and learning materials and related operational costs, excluding meals.

The taskforce proposes student fees for day schools to be Kshs 5,861 and Kshs 38,969 per student per year for those who opt for boarding schools and Kshs 22,565 for special needs schools.

This will translate to Kshs 36.8 billion for Free Secondary School Education in 2015. In this scenario the government will be required to raise an additional Kshs 10.8 billion over and above the current allocation.

While receiving the report, President Uhuru Kenyatta publicly announced his support of the recommendations in the report but maintained that stakeholders will be fully consulted before the implementations.

“I fully support the recommendations and I agree with the fact that we can manage our education much better. I totally agree with the issue of not continually opening new schools without first streamlining and utilizing those already in existence,”

The Task Force was appointed by Uhuru in February and was mandated to review secondary school fees with a view to making quality education accessible and affordable to all Kenyan children.

FREE EDUCATION SHOULD COME WITH QUALITY EDUCATION

Kenyans are already enjoying Free Primary Education (FPE), which was introduced during the administration of former President, Mwai Kibaki. Despite the myriad of challenges that came with the introduction of FPE, including congestion and compromises in the quality of education, the system provided an opportunity to access basic education to scores of children who had earlier been locked out of school due to lack of school fees.

There was increased enrolments from 5.8 million children in December 2002 to 7.2 million in May 2003, a GER of 104%.

The private sector, which provides about 20% (MOE Statistical Unit) of education in the country is always seen as the ideal environment for learners as far as the quality of education is concerned but unfortunately majority of Kenyans cannot afford them because of high costs.

Introducing free secondary education is certainly a step in the right direction, especially coming at a time when Kenyans are grappling with high costs of inflation but the government should ensure that the quality of education in the public sector is not compromised otherwise access to ‘quality’ education will remain a preserve of the rich.

 

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KENYANS EVACUATED FROM LIBERIA FREE OF EBOLA

Ebola has killed approximately 4,000 people in three African Nations

Ebola has killed approximately 4,000 people in three African Nations

Nine Kenyans who were evacuated from Liberia on Tuesday night have tested negative for Ebola and for the Marburg virus.

The Kenyans, who had been stranded in the West African nation for two months after the national carrier, Kenya Airways, suspended flights to West Africa following the Ebola outbreak, were quarantined upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for a screening that lasted for five hours.

The group has been freed and allowed to re-unite with their families and friends after they were declared free of Ebola but the Ministry Of Health has through a press statement said that they will be monitored for the next 21 days for any signs of the disease.

“The families have also been given information on symptoms and signs of Ebola and have been requested to report immediately should they start to feel unwell,” read part of the statement.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry had announced last week that plans were underway to have the Kenyans evacuated this week.

The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 5,000 people this year, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia with the latter being the worst hit nation so far.

Kenya has suffered several Ebola scares but no incident has been reported yet in the country even though The World Health Organisation has identified the country as a high-risk zone for Ebola.

The government has been putting up measures to ensure that the country is prepared to handle any cases that might emerge and last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta assured tourists that Kenya is free of Ebola and is capable of controlling the disease in the unfortunate event of a breakout.

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KENYAN BROADCASTERS COMPELLED TO AIR 40 PER CENT LOCAL CONTENT NEXT YEAR

Kenyan broadcasters to air 40% local content

Kenyan broadcasters to air 40% local content

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has called on all broadcasters to start applying for new licenses which will among other things require them to air 40 percent local content by June 2015.

According to the CA, media houses have been slow in increasing the broadcasting of local content due to lack of specific regulations which will now feature in the new license. Currently, only two television stations are providing above 40 percent local content with the majority at 30 percent and some only broadcasting up to eight per cent.

The authority will soon be announcing the deadline for the license but has maintained that there is no broadcaster with a license to broadcast at the moment, due to the lengthy court cases in the last two years which slowed down the execution of the new regulations.

“You know we have been in court with some of the broadcasters and that constrained us from going ahead to implement the required laws and regulations. Now that everything has been clarified we want broadcasters to come and take the licenses,” Wangusi said, adding that failure to meet the set targets may force CA to impose harsh penalties.

“Part of the license conditions is to compel broadcasters to reach the local content quarter because it’s a policy statement of the government that we should grow local content up to 60 percent by 2018,” said Mr Wangusi during a breakfast meeting with stakeholders, on local content development in Kenya.

In the enactment of the 40% local content regulation, broadcasters should ensure that; a production deals with issues unique and relevant to Kenyan audiences, 20 percent of production companies to be owned by Kenyans, filming to be done in Kenya, 50 percent of authors must be Kenyan or production to be under Kenyan creative and technical control.

In boosting local content, the government through CA targets to promote national and collective identity, promote development and skill of local talent, create a source of income for artistes, producers, broadcasters and protect the public against offensive content.

 

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CHINA TO SURPASS US AS THE LEADING AIR PASSENGER MARKET

airline-pageA new global aviation report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has projected that China will become the world’s largest passenger market (defined by traffic to, from and within) by 2030, overtaking US which is currently on the lead.  The report however maintains that the United States will remain the largest air passenger market until around 2030.

According to the 20-year passenger growth forecast, which is the first of its kind from the new IATA Passenger Forecasting Service, in 2034 flights to, from and within China will account for some 1.3 billion passengers, 856 million more than 2014 with an average annual growth rate of 5.5%. Traffic to, from and within the US is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 3.2% that will see 1.2 billion passengers by 2034 (559 million more than 2014).

The report projects that passenger numbers are expected to reach 7.3 billion by 2034, which represents a 4.1% average annual growth in demand for air connectivity that will result in more than a doubling of the 3.3 billion passengers expected to travel this year.

AFRICAN MARKETS EMERGING

In the next 20 years, Africa will consist majority of the fastest-growing markets in percentage terms with eight of the ten countries listed being from the continent. Routes to, from Africa will grow by 4.7% and by 2034, the region will have an additional 177 million passengers a year for a total market of 294 million passengers.

Central African Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania, Burundi and Kuwait are projected to be the five fastest-growing markets.

MORE JOB OPPORTUNITIES

According to Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, “In 20 years’ time we can expect aviation to be supporting around 105 million jobs and $6 trillion in GDP,” from the current 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in economic activity.

Tyler however called on all the aviation stakeholders and especially governments to play their role, if these projections are to be actualized.

“Meeting the potential demand will require government policies that support the economic benefits that growing connectivity makes possible. Airlines can only fly where there is infrastructure to accommodate them.

People can only fly as long as ticket taxes don’t price them out of their seats. And air connectivity can only thrive when nations open their skies and their markets. It’s a virtuous circle. Growing connectivity stimulates economies. And healthy economies demand greater connectivity. The message of this forecast is that there is great potential if all aviation stakeholders—including governments—play their role,” said Tyler.

http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2014-10-16-01.aspx

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CORD: “GOVERNMENT PERPETRATING EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS TO WEAKEN THE OPPOSITION”

gunmen kill businessman

Gunmen killed businessman Jarred Ochok

The opposition has come out strongly to condemn the jubilee government on allegations that the state has a hand in the recent extrajudicial killings targeting prominent individuals allied to CORD, in a move to weaken the coalition.

CORD leader Raila Odinga has cited the ruthless killings of businessman Jarred Ochok and that of 26 Muslim Imams and four Christian priests in the Coastal region, saying that the government has not done much to bring the perpetrators to book.

Raila, who was speaking at Ochok’s funeral in Kendu Bay, said that the businessman was killed by a hit-squad that sprayed him with more than 32 bullets.

“I have been in the National Security Council and am aware that the government has a hit squad that may have been used to kill Mr Ochok,” he said.

The former Prime Minister also warned that if the trend continues, Kenyans could resort to taking the law into their own hands and urged president Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto to ensure that their government protects the sanctity of life saying that it’s sad for Kenyans to be killed by the very people who are supposed to be offering them security.

KILLED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT

Jarred Ochok, A well-known businessman who operated in Nairobi’s Eastlands was assassinated two weeks ago by heavily armed gunmen, who sprayed his car with bullets on Manyanja Road Nairobi.

A mechanic who was travelling with him died while two others were rushed to hospital with bullet injuries.

According to an eye witness, the gunmen were travelling in two cars which they used to block the road before opening fire to the victims’ car.  They then stepped out and walked to the car, broke the rear window and directed their guns to an already injured Mr Ochok and shot him severally.

Police who arrived at the scene of crime later on collected 35 spent cartridges.

According to Ochok’s family, he had expressed fears over his life, following death threats by unknown people.

The killings sparked protests from residents who demanded for the culprits to be arrested.

Security has been top on the list of the challenges facing the Jubilee government and the state should tighten its belt to ensure that the safety of citizens is guaranteed.

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Johnstone Muthama’s wife and journalists locked up at his home (Raw Footage)

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