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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

SUNY/CID Provides Training for Local Education Officials in Kenya

In an effort to improve educational access, equity and equality, SUNY/CID trained 644 education administrators through their USAID-funded Agile and Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) project. The training was implemented in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the USAID-Tusome education initiative.

"If you do not understand your administrative roles, then you have no moral authority to lead."

That is a motto for Professor Stephen Odebero, a county education manager in western Kenya. Ensuring that a generation of young people in Kenya gets quality education at minimal cost has been Odebero’s passion since he joined the teaching profession 20 years ago.

Photo of Professor Stephen Odebero addressing students, parents and staff in Busia County

Professor Stephen Odebero addressing students, parents and staff in Busia County.

Odebero is one of Kenya’s new county education managers whose mandate is to oversee education service delivery at the county level. The County Education Boards (CEBs) were formed for the first time in 2013 and comprise new officials representing various stakeholders in the society. The need to sensitize the new officials on the laws and policies governing the education sector and key reform programs including the Tusome, a USAID supported basic education initiative to improve the reading skills of Kenyan children – is a priority of the Kenyan government.

In response to this need, AHADI, working with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) and the ‘Tusome’ early education program team, launched a large-scale training effort for county education board officials. Odebero and 643 other managers were trained on the laws and policies governing the education sector. The goal was to build participants’ skills so they could better work to improve education access, equity, quality and relevance. In particular, the training focused on addressing low literacy rates with interventions in early grades.

The workshops provided an invaluable forum for stakeholders to discuss issues that affect the delivery of education programs at the county level. The education managers drafted a memorandum to the Ministry highlighting the urgent need to recruit more teachers, fully finance CEBs activities and develop guidelines on the appointment of school management boards. The memorandum also called on the Ministry to conduct a national needs assessment on curriculum development.

"We want systems to be efficient so that every child can go to school at minimal cost," Odebero said. "I will work to ensure that our resources achieve so much."

AHADI is implemented by the State University of New York, Center for International Development (SUNY/CID). The overall purpose of the project is to help Kenya achieve the promise of devolution through a governance system that is more transparent, accountable, effective in service delivery, and responsive to empowered citizens.

See more of SUNY/CID's work in Kenya

Posted February 18, 2016