10 May 2004

Kenya: Education System Set for Reforms

Nairobi — Kenya is studying the education systems of Japan, Korea and Malaysia to see how it can reform its own system to spur industrialisation.

This was disclosed by the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, Mr Daniel Karaba, as his committee left for Japan yesterday.

Karaba said during the two-week visit his 6-man committee would critically study the education systems of the three countries and Thailand if time allows.

He said the trip has been necessitated by the envisaged reforms in he Kenyan education system to make it more responsive to the needs of the country.

Karaba is accompanied by committee members who are, MPs Godfrey Masanya (North Mugirango), Joel Onyancha (Bomachoge), Raphael Muriungi(Igembe), Moffat Maitha(Kangundo) and Francis Kagwima(Tharaka)

He said their findings will be included in the reforms Kenya wants to make on the 8:4:4 system.

Karaba a career educationist and who is the MP for the Kerugoya/Kutus constituency said it was important for Kenya to borrow a leaf from the industrialised nations.

He observed that education is key to development of the nation saying at one time the economies of Korea and Malaysia were at par with that of Kenya.

The committee want's to find out how the Kenyan system can be reformed to help the country produced skilled manpower and to spur rapid industrialisation.

Karaba at the same time said the trip will also be used to drum up support for the Government's Free Primary Education programme and to solicit fund for it.

At the same time Karaba said the Government has released Sh 7.8 million to Kirinyaga district as bursaries for bright and needy secondary school students.

He said the money has already been sent to all the four constituencies of Ndia which received Sh 1.2 million, Mwea which received Sh 1.2 million.

Gichugu constituency which is represented in Parliament by Water Minister Martha Karua was allocated Sh 2.8 million while Karaba's Kerugoya/Kutus constituency received Sh 2.5 million.

He said the money should be disbursed to deserving students by end of this week to ensure that they are not kicked out of school due to lack of fees.

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