Sitting on stones under a tree and others under deplorable structures that cannot shield pupils during rainy season, was the state of Kwale nursery centers before devolution.
A state that the writer has witnessed from Lunga Lunga, Matuga, Kinango and Msambweni constituencies that parents did not like it but had little to do since they depended on national government to build ECD classes.
Innocent kids as witnessed by the writer had to use their thighs as desks to write notes and when clouds formed on the sky, it was time for kids to sing,” rain, rain go away come again another day “may be to “scare” away the rain.
Many of the structures despite being a national government function then, parents were forced to cut their budgets for feeding families and ensure kids have at least stones under trees to get pre-primary education.
The constitution of Kenya provide a right to education as a fundamental human right, thanks to the county government of Kwale since 2013 that it respected it and saved over 64,282 kids at nursery schools across the region.
Kwale ECDE centers
Governor Salim Mvurya and Fatuma Achani administration inherited dilapidated ECDE centers in 2013 according to Kwale county education executive Mangale Chiforomodo.
“Before devolution there were 515 ecde centers which most of them were depilated, but the county took initiative of improving general learning activities by constructing 380 child friendly centers across Kwale County,” said Mangale.
Mangale said that the county government has so far constructed over 380 modern ECDE centers since 2013 that are benefiting about 64,555 kids after devolution which include 33,707 boys and 30,848 girls.
There are 885 ECDE centers, 380 of which are constructed and modernized by county and according to county education CEC Mangale, 60 more ECDE centers are under construction.
Already, he said they have deployed 744 teachers across the county ecde centers after inheriting 23 teachers from the defunct county council.
“There are 767 total number of ecde teachers who are paid by the county government of Kwale so far,” he added.
The centers, Mangale said that they are equipped with art and playing equipments chairs and tables for both teachers and children water harvesting system and modern energy saving Jikos for Uji preparation.
Mangale noted that all the 885 ECDE centers benefit from Kwale County feeding program initiative and provision of instructional materials.
Before devolution in 2013 there were 64,282 enrolments of pupils in nursery school which 32,896 were boys and 31,386 girls.
The number shoot to 64,555 after devolution with 33,707 being boys and 30,848 girls, with Mangale saying that the education sector has made great strides in terms of improving the education standards.
“Construction and equipping of ecde centers has seen learning improving and became fun for kids as they play eat and sleep,” he said.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya reiterated that his government is committed to do more to improve transition from ECD to primary to secondary, which was said to be low.
“We made a promise of putting up an ECDE centre here in Mtsaviani, and now we have come to fulfill the promise. It’s now official that Mtsamviani will have an ECDE centre where young ones of Kwale can access to quality education,” said Kwale deputy governor Fatuma Achani.
Kinango MCA Alfred Bavu commended the good work by the County government in making sure Kwale is transformed through education.
“When children get quality educations from the word go, they become successful in their life,” said Mercy Wamwero a resident in Lungalunga.
Previous, she said they used to take children too far away from their homes for nursery studies and mostly in makeshift facilities.
Sometimes, she said during rainy season children remained home because of the bad structure conditions.
“Nowadays our children have even porridge prepared for them in schools which is paid by the county government. This encourages children to learn,” she said.
Having playing facilities has enabled children to make use of games time and enjoy being in schools unlike before devolution when such facilities were not there.
Kwale education CEC Mangale Chiforomodo said that the county will continue with its effort to transform the education sector from the ECDE level.