According to the latest report by the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, more than 263 million children and youth around the world are out of school, while more than 250 million children who are in classrooms cannot read and write, unequipped with necessary skills to succeed in school and in life. This situation is likely to grow grimier as the teachers who are supposed to curb it are avoiding going to class.
In the commission’s report titled The Learning Generation: Investing in Education for a Changing World, it says that only quality education for all children can generate the needed skills, prevent worsening inequality and provide a prosperous future for all.
This prosperous future for all is a mirage to thousands of primary school going pupils in Kenya as they are likely to be attending school but being taught nothing. This is because the teachers who are supposed to be teaching them are either not coming to school and if they come they do not show up in class to teach.
The report puts it at 16% teachers who completely do not show up to school. Lion share of education sector budget goes to paying salaries for teachers. In Kenya, the government has allocated Shs.194B to the Ministry of Education.
The contact hours between teachers and pupils has been decreasing with time as teachers are engaged in other activities away from their teaching responsibilities.
There have been many cases of decry among the parents as most teachers are now engaged in the booming business of Bodaboda transport even during school time. Others are engaged in personal businesses and farming. The sorry category is of those who are perennial drunkards which renders them ineffective even when they attend to their teaching duties.
The report says that increasing the number of hours of actual instruction is the most effective way to improve learning.
“”But teachers are too often not in school or not teaching because they are expected to perform non-teaching tasks (such as fund raising or administration), they need to travel for their pay or to attend courses that could have been delivered locally, or because they are subject to poor or non-existent management and supervision,” the report says.