Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr Amina Mohammed, has directed schools to establish strong guidance and mentorship departments. The departments to be headed by teachers registered with the Teachers Service Commission, TSC, must be in place by March 31st, 2019. Details of the appointed departmental heads must be communicated to the Sub- County Directors of Education, County Directors of Education, Regional Coordinators of Education and the Ministry of Education’s head quarter.
The guidance and counselling teams will be assigned duties within the counties to help mount guidance and counselling sessions. “These sessions should particularly be stepped up in second term to help in preempting indiscipline cases that usually erupt in schools between May and July,” says Dr Amina.
The CS gave the directions today when she launched the Mentorship Policy for Early Learning and Basic Education at Upper Hill School; in Nairobi.
Here is the full speech by Dr Amina Mohammed, delivered during the program’s launch, today;
“It gives me great pleasure to preside over this launch of the Mentorship Policy for Early Learning and Basic Education whose development has been made possible through collaboration between the Ministry of Education and various partners and agencies.
I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have supported this important process.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Guided by the mission of the policy; “To Nurture Learners’ Potential through Comprehensive Mentorship by Harnessing Social Competencies and Talents in the Society”, the Mentorship Policy provides a framework to guide young people on issues such as career choices, values, purpose, peer relations, responsible living, positive and informed choice, self- confidence and affirmation among others.
The goal of the policy is to provide direction and a coordination framework for effective and efficient delivery of mentorship services to all learners in institutions of basic education. Over the years, mentorship services have been offered in an uncoordinated and haphazard manner exposing learners to unchecked influence due to unclear content vetting mechanisms and untracked personal growth.
Education is a holistic experience that accords an individual the chance to pursue structured intellectual knowledge and organic personal development through lifetime learning. Therefore, it is a fundamental component of the school structure which ought to be developed, nurtured and facilitated to deliver optimal learning outcomes. Mentorship complements teaching by awakening curiosity, creativity and critical thinking (the triple C effect) in learners. In the words of educator David O. McKay; “true education does not consist merely in the acquiring of a few facts of science, history, literature, or art, but in the development of character.”
The National Education Sector Plan (2013-2018) provides for molding, mentoring and nurturing of national values in tandem with the dictates of the Constitution. It further champions a value based education system and the need to transmit life skills, principles and values for personal, social and economic development to the individual at the earliest point of learning The vision of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) is to enable every Kenyan to become an engaged, empowered and ethical citizen. Its mission is to nurture every learner’s potential to acquire core competencies.
The implementation of the mentorship policy will enhance the acquisition of relevant positive values and life skills by learners in line with the CBC.
This will go a long way in promoting the realization of Kenya’s national education.
The policy document outlines the Ministry’s commitment to the
realization of effective mentorship programmes in all learning institutions for the following outcomes:
1 Acquisition of positive values and life skills by learners
2 Promotion of discipline
3 Modeling of good behavior
4 Internalisation of values such as hard work, integrity, tolerance, patriotism and equality, among others.
5 Increased motivation to stay in school
6 Increased uptake of leadership roles by learners. For instance, more girls have improved in academic performance of science-related subjects due to mentorship mainstreaming through the STEM ecosystem program in secondary schools.
7 Improved learner participation in classroom with learners demonstrating high levels of self-esteem.
8 Increased awareness of diverse career paths.
9 Improved learner-teacher interaction leading to better teaching and learning.
Going forward, and to ensure that all mentorship programmes are coordinated; I wish to direct the following:
- All primary and secondary schools must establish strong guidance and mentorship departments by March 31, 2019.
These departments must be headed by qualified Teachers Service Commission staff whose details must be communicated to relevant Ministry of Education field officers and with the Ministry of Education
Headquarters through the office of the Director General.
- All individuals and organisations that conduct guidance and mentorship programmes in public and private schools must be vetted by the Ministry of Education’s Quality Assurance and Standards Directorate. All those wishing to conduct these programmes in schools must ensure that they are vetted and registered immediately Individuals and organisations that will not have been vetted by April 30, 2019 will not be allowed access to schools during the Second Term. Complete lists of approved organisations and individuals should be filed with the Principal Secretary, Early Learning and Basic Education. Mentorship groups include those that offer motivational talks, alumni events, sponsorships, life skills, school guidance, religious mentorship and counseling, among others.
- Based on approved lists of individuals and organisations, the Ministry of Education should map out the country and assign – based on need and access specific teams to various schools to help mount guidance and counselling sessions. These sessions should particularly be stepped up in the Second Term to help in preempting indiscipline cases that usually erupt in schools between May and July. These processes should be closely supervised by the Ministry of Education to ensure they remain effective.
- School managers must utilise their guidance and mentorship staff to effectively enforce the school re- entry policy for special learners, especially those who leave school because of poverty, teenage pregnancies and lack of school fees.
- Mentorship programmes must be used to guide children on possible career choices and options, especially after the Ministry of Education publishes Career Booklets later this year.
- All learners living with special conditions, including, but
not limited to HIV/AIDS must not be discriminated demeaned or dehumanised. I direct all school principals, matrons, nurses and medical personnel to ensure that the medical needs of these learners are met and relevant guidance and mentorship services offered on a need by need basis. The Ministry of Education has been made aware of cases of rampant abuse and exclusion of learners living with special conditions. The Ministry’s Quality Assurance and Standards teams are investigating
- this issue and affected personnel/schools will be brought to book. Every learner has the right to live and learn in dignity and the contrary shall not be tolerated.
Having said that, I would like to acknowledge all individuals, corporate organisations and government agencies that have developed and offered various mentorship programmes to our learners. This has gone a long way in sharpening their skills, enlightening them on career choices and improving discipline.
It is important to reiterate that effective mentorship is a requisite service to developing an engaged, empowered and ethical citizen as envisaged in the Competency Based Curriculum. It is important to note that some of the competencies acquired include collaboration and communication, citizenship and self- efficacy.
The Ministry is also in the process of developing school Re- entry Guidelines and a Positive Discipline Facilitators Manual, which will go a long way in addressing emerging issues of discipline.
Through the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (SEQIP) funded by the World Bank – the Ministry will support mentorship programmes for 37,500 vulnerable and marginalised learners, who are at risk of falling out of school. The targeted learners for mentorship are those in Class 7 and 8 in 110 sub- counties in 30 targeted counties.
The mentorship programmes will be undertaken through various initiatives. A scholarship and mentorship programme will also be provided to 18,000 beneficiaries in secondary schools from Form One to Four.
With those remarks, it is now my pleasure to launch the Mentorship Policy and Guide for Early Learning and Basic Education