The Education ministry will get more money to address the transition crisis from primary to secondary schools and also review the 32-year-old school curriculum.
On Thursday, during his State of the Nation address, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he is determined to ensure pupils transition from primary to secondary school by 2017.
“I will engage with the National Assembly to ensure that by 2017, we build 3,000 new classes in secondary schools, which are required to achieve a 100 per cent transition,” said President Kenyatta.
He added: “We will also undertake to provide capitation for all students. To attain the full promise of our nationalist covenant, which requires that no child be left uneducated. I will implore Parliament to support this endeavour.”
In 2015, over 925,000 sat for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination it is only 759,000 who secured places in public and private secondary schools.
A total 167,000 candidates are still at home as there is no space for them in schools and education experts believes the review of the curriculum will help address the high drop out and nature individual talents.
Out of 1.3 million students, who join class one annually, over 900,000 drop out at age 12 to 15 years before acquiring any skills.
Currently, the ministry of education gets more than Sh300 million annually to support its activities.
The government will also be required to retrain more than 300,000 teachers to be able to deliver on the competence-based curriculum that it is proposing.
“We expect to announce the result of this engagement and to present to the country a new direction in the education of our youth that will produce all-rounded students with the skills and the values for the Kenya we are building,” said President Kenyatta.
However, teachers unions and education experts want the government to tread carefully as it move to address the problem of transition and review of curriculum.
Uwezo Kenya country coordinator John Mugo expressed concerns over funding of the curriculum review noting that even the just released Needs Assessment report had been co-funded by non-government partners.
“Is there commitment from national treasury to fund the reform? Are we likely to repeat the 1985 mistake, of biting something big when we are not ready to fund it? Unless we are ready to fund it, and do everything well, we should not even touch it,” said Dr Mugo.
Kenya National Union of Teachers General Wilson Sossion warned of the change of the structure insisting it will create unnecessary costs in re-organising the structures.