By BONIFACE MULU
The Kitui County Adult and Continuing Education Officer (CACEO) Stanley Mbugua Kihara announced that currently the county has a total of 8,261 adult education learners.
They are 6,719 females and 1,542 males, according to him. “Those who are for the basic literacy are 2414 (1881 females and 533 males). And those who are for the Adult and Continuing Education-primary are 126 (30 females and 96 males). And the ACE-secondary are 179 (111 females and 68 males),” he added.
Kihara was speaking to thousands of adult education learners from Kitui County during this year’s (53rd) International Literacy Day celebrations held at the Syeikulu market in Syeikulu District of Kitui County where the area District Commissioner Anne Kerubo Mitema was the chief guest at the function.
Kihara announced that the county that comprises a total of 18 districts has a total of 222 adult education instructors. They are 40 full-time ones, 147 part-time ones and 35 self-help ones, according to him.
The officer disclosed that they have a total of eight community learning resource centres in the county that he said are one in Kitui Central District, two in Lower Yatta District, one in Mwingi East District, one in Mwingi West District, one in Kitui West District, one in Mutitu District and one in Matinyani District. In 2017, some nine candidates (5 females and 4 males) did the year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education national examination.
“And for the 2018 were eight (one female and 7 males) and 27 (eight females and 19 males) for 2019. And for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education national examination for that years were 13 (seven females and 6 males), 103 (70 females and 33 males) and sixty (30 females and 30 males), according to Kihara.
The officer announced that the full-time teachers there were initially more than 100 and that the number went down after many of them retired. He also announced that the number of the self-help teachers had increased from 17 to 35. “Kitui is a very vast county and needs many teachers to educate these learners,” the Education Ministry official said.
He asked the ministry to employ full-time instructors to replace those who are retiring in the county as a way of improving the adult and continuing education programme there. He also asked the ministry to reinstate the funding for the community learning resource centres in the county for the good of the programme.
Kihara said that the adult education stakeholders should create the awareness of the existence of the adult and continuing education programme in their communities to eliminate the stigma associated with the adult education.
The educationist asked the Education Ministry to increase the authority to incur expenses (AIEs) up to 700,000 shillings per half of the financial year in the county while in each district there is 300,000 shillings. He added that the adult education learners should be exempted from paying the KCPE and KCSE national examinations fee.
Kihara had been accompanied by the Kitui Multipurpose Development Training Institute Principal George Orwa. The Syeikulu District Commissioner Anne Kerubo Mitema addressed the occasion after reading the Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha’s speech.
Others who also addressed the function included the Mwingi Central District Commissioner Omari Nasoro Dima. The Kitui County Adult and Continuing Education Office had organised the function in partnership with the Kitui Teachers Sacco, the Trans Nation Sacco, the Solution Sacco and the Morganizedth Member of Parliament Paul Musyimi Nzengu.
Kihara highly thanked the partners for the gesture. The West Pokot County was the Kenya’s national venue for this year’s event.