The menu on this website uses a JavaScript for enhanced function in older browsers.

Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

School Governance and Student Performance Improve After SUNY/CID Trains 54,720 Local School Board Members

Quality Assurance and Standards Officer of Vihiga County Jonah Mukoro (Left) and Luanda Sub-County Education Officer John Khanyiri (right).

Quality Assurance and Standards Officer of Vihiga County Jonah Mukoro (Left) and Luanda Sub-County Education Officer John Khanyiri (right) inspecting a construction site in Kima primary school in Vihiga County. The school boasts an improved mean score in national exams. Photo Credit - Teddy Chenya

In 2014, USAID awarded SUNY/CID a five year contract for $49 million referred to as AHADI (Agile and Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions). The purpose of AHADI is to support Kenya’s vision and agenda for achieving the promise of devolution by promoting governance systems that are transparent, accountable, and effective in service delivery and responsive to empowered citizens.

Education Board members in Wanzauni village of Makueni County in Kenya’s eastern region had little understanding of how important their roles could be in preventing governance malpractice in primary schools. They had not made the connection between their active participation in the Boards of Management (BOMs) and the performance of their children in the Wanzauni Primary School.

The situation has changed following intensive training delivered by the Ministry of Education with the support of SUNY/CID. Board meetings have become vibrant, with members engaging the school management in practical discussions about children’s absenteeism and their uptake of learning, and on matters such as expenditure and procurement, which have a bearing on the extent to which facilities in school create an enabling environment for learning.

"Our working relationship with the school head has improved since we attended the training on our roles and mandate at Emale Secondary School. The parents' views on the management of the school are well represented," says Janet Mutuku, the Chair of the Parents Association and member of Wanzauni Primary School BOM.

Meshack Nzwili, a parent at the Wanzauni Primary School, poses with a pupil, Lucia Muthoki, displaying a badge established to help improve completion and performance.

Meshack Nzwili, a parent at the Wanzauni Primary School, poses with a pupil, Lucia Muthoki, displaying a badge established to help improve completion and performance. Photo Credit - Teddy Chenya

Janet is one of the 54,720 BOM members – 34 percent of whom are women – from 11,523 public primary schools that underwent a two-day training on the roles and responsibilities of BOMs in the management of basic education institutions.

In Vihiga County, Epanga Primary School attributes an increase in their mean score from 267 in 2017 to 293 in 2018 to better school management and a higher sense of ownership by parents, teachers, and the community after they attended a BOM training in April 2018.

Ruth Ambasa, the School's Headteacher, notes that financial management in the school has greatly improved since the training. Budget making is now an inclusive and consultative process. "Previously, I would create a budget list and the chair would approve for funds withdrawals to be made. Now, the budget lines are clearer, and the approval process is better." Ruth notes that the school has allocated funds for the purchase of essential equipment such as a printer, which has simplified communication. Because of consultative budget making the school is now completing construction of a borehole for a well which stalled for 'lack of resources.'

"Our BOM Chair helped us understand our role in promoting the best interests of the institution and fostering development," says Meshack Nzwili, a parent at the Wanzauni Primary School.

See more of SUNY/CID's work in Kenya

Posted June 24, 2019