Delocalisation of teachers good
In 1964, Education Minister Joseph James Otiende appointed the Kenya Education Commission (1964-65), under the chairmanship of Prof Simeon H. Ominde with the express mandate of restructuring the system.
Other members of the commission were Jeremiah Nyagah, A.I. Pandy, K. Ndile, Taaitta Toowett, Ruth Haber, J.B. Wambugu and J. D. Ochieng. Commonly referred to as the Ominde Commission, it published its findings and recommendations in a report released in two parts in 1964 and 1965. It contained 160 policy recommendations on various aspects of the educational system.
The Ominde Commission urged the government to reform the system towards national development. It recommended the first objective of education as one to foster nationalism, patriotism, and promote unity.
We belong to different communities, races and religions and should be able to live together as one people. Education should enable the learner to acquire a sense of nationhood and patriotism, besides promoting peace and harmonious co-existence.
Since independence, one of the greatest worries of African states has been how to maintain national cohesion amongst the multiplicity of ethnic groups. The questions which need answers are: Have our education systems lived up to this important goal of cementing our national unity? What have we done to promote the same?
The delocalisation policy was introduced by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in 2018 to make tutors work outside their home counties. Although it was controversial at the beginning, the commission said it was not meant to promote national cohesion, and for teachers and learners to embrace different cultures.
This could not be short of what Ominde recommended in 1964: Education for national unity.
Much has been done on this front to ensure education promotes national unity through use of one curriculum in all public schools, use of one medium of instruction, common national examinations, centralised training and deployment of teachers, existence of national schools, teaching of subjects like history and religion as well as participating in drama and music activities. Delocalisation is one more addition and teachers have come to embrace it to assist in preaching the gospel of national unity.
Dr Kapkiai is a lecturer at Kisii University.