Prof. Ayiro’s Blogging Conversations with Dr. Lydia Radoli
Prof. Laban Ayiro is a Professor of Research Methods and Statistics, he has been involved in various consultancies including leading the National Evaluation on the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). The evaluation was done in 450 primary schools in 47 counties.
Speaking about the importance of a stable basic education, Prof. Ayiro believes that a country’s education system has to have a formidable foundation to raise the overall standards of education. He explains that in the CBC evaluation, 95% of Kenyans supported a change in the basic education and CBC.
He argues that the only handicap for CBC was lack of a strong financial backing. “The system requires a budget of Ksh 360 billion to ensure equity in all primary schools. The system has been criticized for being ambitious because it is not easy to achieve equity across the country”. He points out.
Prof. Ayiro believes that it is not possible to achieve equitable education without clear planning and implementation strategies. “When I was in primary school, we had the same facilities. So you did not need to go to Lenana High School to get the best education. Upper Hill, Jamhuri, Highway, Aldina Visram High Schools had standard facilities. A child would still go to these schools and make it in life. I can say the same for primary schools. Prof. Ayiro offers.
He argues for the need for infrastructure development in all schools to allow for equitable access to quality education. In addition, resources for these projects should not be sustained by the World Bank but through Kenya growing its economy.
He recognizes that need to work on a strong economic base to generate wealth that will be utilized in putting up these infrastructure. According to Prof. Ayiro, if financial bases countries are not improved, then a more affordable education system can be adapted and quickly developed. While the country enhances a viable economy to support a more sophisticated system like CBC.
Prof. Ayiro is cognizant of the close link between politics and education. He argues that it is very difficult to separate politics from the education system and policies in the country. He sees an informed electoral process as one way to reduce the influence of politics in education.
“The only way to separate politics from education is voters wake up and elect the right people that will determine who becomes the president, which determines who becomes the Minister for finance, education then things can be turned around”. Prof. Ayiro adds.
For instance, the President of Malawi was a good custodian of the resources of his country through taking specific actions to improve standards of that country. Prof. Ayiro decries corruption and ethnicity in the electoral process and names them as ills that have contributed to the voting of leaders that do not measure to the required levels of political leadership that would drive development in the country.
Getting everyone to have primary education is very useful. “I get excited when I attend funerals at home, and you find a mama you did not expect 10 or 5 years ago to speak English and Kiswahili. Yet, they are very conversant, that is very constructive, there is hope though it may take a long time.
The quality of education in the country revolves around the levels of socio- economic development. Therefore, free primary education or paid for basic education, all depends on the socio and economic and political facets. He believes in a liberalized market, where there is free enterprise, but also a socialistic cushioning the poor.
“ For example, if you go Kiambu they have more private schools than public schools, what it means is the crowding that would be in public schools is reduced, so with private caution a child in primary school is getting quality education in Kiambu in a primary public school than a child in Kakamega.
This is because a lot of parents want to pay, for quality education and in the process, they ease the congestion in public schools. This means text books that would be used by the children will go to public schools therefore capitation is balanced.
The Writer is a Journalist and Lecturer in the School of Communication at Daystar University