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Observation test to decide tutors’ career progress

Irene Githinji @gitshee

The just-concluded Classroom Observation Programme in schools may have adverse effects on careers of teachers who fail to meet the required standards. The Ministry of Education described the exercise, which was aimed at assessing effectiveness of teaching English and Kiswahili in Classes One and Two in public primary schools, as crucial.

Teachers could face interdiction, promotion or demotion depending on their perfomance and the conditions under which they discharge their duty. The inspection programme was conducted throughout the country in public schools, to provide teachers with constructive critical feedback aimed at improving their classroom management and instructional techniques. It entailed senior education officials and administrators sitting in an actual classroom environment to watch, and take note of the manner in which teachers handle literacy lessons.

“The countrywide classroom observations exercise will see senior Ministry of Education officials, Regional Coordinators of Education and the County Directors of Education spend two days in public primary schools,” the Ministry stated.

But some teachers reportedly resisted implementation of the programme. A statement from the Ministry indicated that the two-day exercise was being conducted under the Let’s Read Programme, code-named Tusome, and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) and the British Department for International Development at cost $53.8 million (Sh5.3 billion).

Yesterday was the last day for education officials to carry out inspection. Areas that are in scrutiny under the programme include lesson plans, schemes of work, filled and signed appraisal forms, teachers’ class attendance records and weekly summary of teachers arrival time and departure times.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was also expected to monitor progress of the ongoing performance contracting system during the exercise, which was initially resisted by the teachers.

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