Nairobi News

General

Rein in developers lowering education quality

The county government finds itself in a huge dilemma.

On one hand is the need to arrest the mushrooming academies, kindergartens and day care centres all over the county, most of them established by greedy proprietors taking advantage of the shortage of learning institutions to make a killing.

On the other is the need to address the lack of enough primary schools in the city to accommodate the thousands of learners, a void being exploited fully by the proprietors of these institutions.

Figures obtained from the county’s Department of Education show there are 1,500 such places spread across almost all city estates.

That they have 130,000 pupils attests to the fact that there is serious demand for them.

Yet the vast majority do not meet basic requirements. Most of the schools were converted from houses by greedy landlords out to make a fortune from the education crisis.

Rules require any school to sit on at least one acre to accommodate a playing field, lavatories and other essentials.

Proprietors are also required to provide design plans and, once they are approved, the county must supervise the building work to ensure it meets all the requirements.

Expert witness

Ministry of Education guidelines also require all teachers to be registered with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

The situation on the ground is totally different.

Most of the schools lack space for children to play, an essential part of holistic learning.

In most cases, the owners hire high school leavers without any formal training in teaching because they are cheap. In other cases, the owners double as teachers, even though they too have no formal training.

The fact that Nairobi suffers from inadequate schools should not give the county an excuse not to rein in such places.

The county must ensure the quality of education is not compromised by greedy owners keen to make a killing.

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