497 ECDE teachers in Makueni hired on permanent and pensionable terms

A section of the ECDE teachers and learners keenly following proceedings. Photos by Lydia Ngoolo

Makueni County has hired 497 Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) teachers on permanent and pensionable terms in the first phase of the hiring programme.

The hired teachers were employed between 2014 and 2017 and were not on a specific salary until they held consultations with the county’s leadership.

Out of the number, 358 received their appointment letters including 7 who are beyond 58 years of age. 132 are yet to submit the required documents but upon submission, they will receive their confirmation letters as well.

Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr. hands over an appointment letter to one of the ECDE teachers.

Speaking at the event, Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. noted that in the second phase, the county will employ a batch of 458 teachers employed between 2018 and 2023.

“Our ECDE teachers have suffered a lot in the past. It is high time they now enjoy what other government employees enjoy and improve their lives,” he said.

Mutula observed that he could not see the reason why the national government devolved the ECDE sector, only to turn around and ask for it back.

“As the Council of Governors, we assure you that it is going to remain with county governments and have no worries about that. We will ensure that we take maximum care of the ECDE sector,” he said.

He observed that Makueni had 1,197 ECDE centres and plans were underway to modernize and equip them to ensure children are comfortable.

“If there is a class that should be smart, it’s ECDE classes. This is where the foundation of a child is laid and we don’t want to blunder anything. In the meantime, we will do away with chalkboards and introduce whiteboards,” Mutula said.

The governor also flagged off ECDE learning materials worth Ksh9.7 million to all ECDE centres in the county.

Governor Mutula Kilonzo poses with KUNOPPET National Chairperson Lawrence Otunga.

Makueni County Assembly Speaker Douglas Mbilu echoed Mutula’s sentiments encouraging the newly hired teachers to continue taking care of the children, lauding them for the job well done.

“Now, I would request that we move from chalk to utilizing ICT and multimedia channels to motivate the learners. And to you teachers, with the salary you are going to receive, try and invest in income-generating activities,” he said.

The county CEC for Education, ICT and Internship Elizabeth Muli disclosed that the county was about to launch a 5-year Strategic Plan on education.

Kenya Union of Pre-Primary Education Teachers (KUNOPPET) National Chairperson Lawrence Otunga lauded the governor for employing the teachers, saying that the exercise was an answered prayer since the teachers had suffered while being underpaid and undermined for a long time.

One of the ECDE teachers, Joyce Mutisya from Kikongoni ECDE, appreciated the gesture by the county government, saying that she had worked for 17 years and had gone through a lot of challenges in the past.

“I am very hopeful. I am a Diploma holder and I was getting Ksh10,000 and with deductions, I only remained with Ksh7,000 but now I will be receiving Ksh40,000,” Mutisya said.

By Lydia Ngoolo

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Education News - Newspaper Vol 281