to ask the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- Could the Minister explain why police prevented Mr. Moses ole Sakuda from presenting trophies at a football match in Ngong' Town over the Easter weekend?
Is Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o not there? His Question is dropped.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture the following Question by Private Notice. Given that the planting season has already commenced, when will the National Accelerated Agricultural Input Access Programme (NAAIAP) be implemented to assist farmers?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The proposed NAAIAP is in its very initial stage, and the earliest the project could start is the 2007/08 Financial Year.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very important programme, which is intended to identify the very vulnerable and the poorest of the poor, so that they can be assisted with inputs to grow enough food for themselves. The Minister says that it is at its initial stage. When does he, specifically, want to implement this programme, so that instead of spending the billions he spends on relief food supplies, our farmers can be assisted to access inputs such as fertiliser and seeds to grow sufficient food for themselves?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was clear; I said NAAIAP could start in the next financial year.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government spends a lot of money when there is no food in the nation. There are those farmers who are willing to grow maize and other agricultural crops. Could the Minister consider assisting those farmers to buy agricultural inputs tax free? For instance, there are very few farmers who can now afford fertiliser. 684
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will do slightly better than that. Our intention is to ensure that the poorest of the poor will be able to have fertiliser for free.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister is aware that the price of fertiliser is now going at Kshs2,000
a bag. We are talking about the poorest of the poor. If the Minister talks about next financial year, what happens to the money for the previous financial year, which would have been used in this planting season?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was no money in the Budget. We are proposing to have it in the next Budget.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am grateful to the Minister because he intends to assist the very vulnerable in the society. How does he intend to go about identifying the beneficiaries of this programme? Could he assure this House that those from Khwisero will benefit?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the first part of the question, the programme has just started and we have statistics from the Ministry of Planning and National Development on those who are poor. As far as Khwisero is concerned, we will only capture the poorest of the poor, and if they happen to be in Khwisero, we will be able to capture them.
Hon. Members, the Permanent Secretary informed me this morning that the Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development is out of the country and, therefore, he is unable to answer this Question. The request was that the Question be deferred to next week. What do you have to say, Mr. Khamisi?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is right here. Can she not be asked to reply?
Oh, she is here! What do you have to say, Ms. Mwau?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could I ask the indulgence of this House to answer this Question tomorrow. I was not aware of it.
Very well. The Question is deferred until tomorrow afternoon.
Hon. Members, similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, called this morning to request that the Question be deferred until tomorrow afternoon. What do you have to say, Mr. Maore? April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 685
I have no objection.
Very well, Question deferred until tomorrow afternoon.
asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- (a) in view of the acrimony witnessed from the creation of new districts, what measures the Minister is taking to end disagreements and diffuse tension in the affected areas; and, (b) what criteria was used in the creation of the new districts.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware of any acrimony witnessed, and we have not completed the process of creating new districts. We are still in the process and will include in it even those which were proposed in 1992. (b) The Government has established wide criteria for assessing the probable needs for sub- division of districts as follows. We consider population density, geographical and physical features, including land size, internal harmony of the population, security demands, infrastructure and socio- cultural affinities.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is aware that there is a lot of acrimony as a result of the creation of the new districts. There was acrimony in Trans Mara and Nyandarua districts. The people were fighting over the location of the headquarters. There was acrimony even in Rongo Constituency. But he says that he is not aware of that. He is also aware that the substantive Minister took the former Government to court for having done what they are doing now! Is it in order for him to mislead the House that he is not aware of any acrimony that is going on? Even if we were to follow the criteria he is talking about, Ndhiwa Constituency would have been a priority because of infrastructure and population! Is he aware that he is giving us problems?
Order, Mr. Ojode! You have so many "is he aware?" Mr. Kingi, handle, at least, one or two questions!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that there could be a few problems here and there. But we are talking about creating 40 new districts, including the 25 that we want to legalise. That totals to 65 districts. The hon. Member is giving us examples of only two places, where we have problems. We will endeavour to sort out those problems. The creation of new districts is an answer to the wishes of the people and where there are problems, we will endeavour to solve them. That way, we will bring services closer to the people. That is their wish!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister gave the criteria that the Government uses when it is creating new districts. But I did not hear him say whether the Government takes into account the financial implications. That is because, once a new district is created, the entire portfolio of the Ministries is reflected in terms of manpower, at the district level. There will be a district agricultural officer, district livestock officer and so on. How much does that cost? Is that a criteria that the Government takes into account? 686 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I gave as the criterion may not be very comprehensive. But the creation of new districts has a cost implication. However, since it is the intention of the Government to bring services closer to the people, there is no way we can do that without cost implications.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that kind of answer is not fair to this House!
Just ask your supplementary question!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there were 25 districts that were created in one rungu drop. Just by a drop of a rungu, you create 25 districts without caring whether you will need a minimum of---
What does that mean?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I mean by political expedience and he is running away from it! There were no Kenyans who were yearning or were desperate for the creation of new districts. Kenyans want schools, hospitals and other important facilities. Now that the Government wants to create new districts, what is the total sum of money that the Government has set aside for the 37 new districts that it has created?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are still in the process of creating new districts. When we finalise, the cost implications will be reflected in the Budget.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that he is not aware of any acrimony that has arisen as a result of the creation of new districts. When they were considering the creation of a new district in Nyandarua District, they did not consider a perennial problem that has been existing there since Independence? Nyahururu Town, where the DC Nyandarua District is purportedly stationed, is in Laikipia District in Rift Valley Province. After the new district was created, we have not agreed where the headquarters would be located. Even now, the new Nyandarua North District is still being governed from Rift Valley Province and yet, it is in Central Province. But the Assistant Minister is saying that there is no acrimony. What measures is he taking to address that problem and make sure that the district headquarters for Nyandarua North District is in that district and not in Rift Valley Province?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we published our intention to create new districts, we wrote to the Provincial Administration officers in the affected districts. We asked them to convene a leaders meetings in order to decide on the boundaries, headquarters and even the names of the new districts. So, we are sure the DC in charge of that district convened such a meeting. Therefore, that problem should have been resolved. If it has not been resolved, we will revisit that problem and sort it out.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Cheboi, what is it?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, is it in order for the Assistant Minister to mislead this House that leaders in various parts of the country were consulted when, in fact, in Molo District, in a leaders meeting that was held in Kuresoi Constituency, we gave our views? We also went and gave our views in Nakuru. But the Government went ahead to create the new district in total disregard of the views that the leaders gave!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we rarely do that. But I will revisit the issue of Kuresoi and Molo and sort it out. But, normally, we go by the wishes of the leaders. They April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 687 send us their resolutions after the leaders meetings.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the new districts that have been created, the only thing that the Government has done is to send DCs. It has not sent the other functional officers like district agricultural officer, Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) and so on. Could the Assistant Minister tell us when all the other functional officers will be sent to the new districts?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that the process of creating those new districts is still ongoing. But I want to assure the hon. Member that, come the next financial year, we will be through with the creation of those districts.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Yes, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko! What is your point of order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have heard the Assistant Minister repeatedly say that the process is ongoing. Is it in order for him to talk about an ongoing process? Are those districts legal or illegal? This House needs to know the legality of the process or the illegality involved.
So, what is your point of order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my point of order is: Is the Assistant Minster in order to talk about something whose legality is in doubt?
Order, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko! There is nothing wrong he is talking about! Last question, Mr. Ojode!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the best thing the Assistant Minister should have done is to constitute a committee to go round and hear the views---
Mr. Ojode, are you giving him advice or are you asking---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am informing him of what he should have done. As we speak, he knows that all those districts are illegal!
Order, Mr. Ojode! Can you ask a question?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell us when he will bring the proposals of those new districts to this House so that we can approve and legalise them?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to assure this House that most of the administrative work has already been done. We are waiting for a few areas that have not completed their work. We will bring that work to Parliament for legalisation.
Next Question by Mr. Korir!
asked the Minister for Lands what action he is taking to ensure that plot owners in the country receive their land rent demand notes in time to avoid punitive penalties.
Is the Minister for Lands here? It seems he is not around. Where is the Leader of Government Business, his Deputy or any Member from 688 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 the Government side to respond to this Question?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I undertake to communicate to the Ministry.
Mr. Kirwa, I am not quite satisfied with what you have said. It does not give me a time frame or any action to take because the Question has already been asked and it is supposed to be answered.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, give us up to Tuesday, next week. I will communicate to the Ministry.
Mr. Kirwa, there is need to answer this Question. I am not talking about you communicating. I can do so, if I want to. Who and when will this Question be answered? Secondly, what is the Ministry doing about this Question? Are you asking for it to be deferred for some reason? I think those are some of the specifics I want to know. The Question has already been asked. Therefore, I need to say something to the hon. Member who has asked it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg the indulgence of the House, so that we answer this Question on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. Korir, is that okay?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that is okay.
So, the Question is deferred.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Suppose the Minister appears now with the answer, would the Chair be in order to defer the Question?
We will go by what the Government asked for at that point; which is to defer the Question.
Next Question by Mr. Osundwa!
Mr. Osundwa is not here; therefore, the Question is dropped.
Next Question by Mr. Bahari!
Mr. Bahari also not here? The Question April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 689 is dropped.
Hon. Members, Mr. Mukiri had asked for the indulgence of the House to defer this Question since he has a matter in court. He had agreed with the Minister for Education to defer this Question until next week. So, the Question is deferred.
That is the end of Question Time. Next Order!
Who was on the Floor? It seems nobody was on the Floor. So, proceed Prof. Maathai!
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. I too want to join other hon. Members in commending hon. Amina Abdalla for bringing this Motion to legalise or bring into play a legal mechanism that would help us to manage drug and substance abuse. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for me, the important aspect of this Motion is the need for us to support the work that NACADA has been doing for many years without making much difference, although I must commend very strongly Mr. Kaguthi, the former Executive Director of 690 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 NACADA. However, it became very clear that it is extremely difficult to deal with this issue and yet we must deal with it. I think that the most important responsibility that we, as leaders, parents and the Government have is to protect our children. We must make sure that the next generation is able to take up its responsibility and carry on with the duty of nurturing the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in many ways we have failed to protect our children despite the fact that we say we are concerned about them. We have failed because there is absolutely no reason why we should have so many street children in this country.
Order, hon. Members! Those of you who are consulting are doing so, very loudly. We are not able to follow clearly what the hon. Member is saying. So, please, comply. Proceed, Prof. Maathai!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was saying that the most important responsibility we, as leaders, parents and the Government, have is to protect children. We have many laws that protect children. However, it is one thing to have a law and another to be truly committed to ensure that it is put into effect. The responsibility of protecting children is so serious and important that if we do not do so, I cannot imagine what else is important in life. It is not important just to protect our own biological children, but to feel the responsibility of protecting all Kenyan children. We should give them education. At the moment, the NARC Government is providing free primary education. However, in so many of our secondary schools, drugs are being abused. Teachers, police, parents and the Provincial Administration, know it.
Again, there are loud consultations at that corner. For now, I do not want to name names. Please, consult in low tones. Proceed, Prof. Maathai!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not possible for the children to protect themselves. It is their dads who must protect them. It is not the children who bring these drugs into the country. It is not the children who go to the mountains, for example, and plant
or bhang; it is the adults. I really do not believe that we cannot prevent this. But the fact that we allow drugs to be brought into this country, we have allowed our country to be used as a conduit for drugs. So, occasionally, we encounter large amounts of drugs that are being transferred through this country. Recently, I think the Nation Television, literally showed us drugs being sold in the streets by a physically handicapped person. The police officers were literally passing through the same street, but they apparently could not see what was going on. This either demonstrates that we do not fully appreciate the tragedy that is taking place in our country, or we are so insensitive about the fact that our children are in danger. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this country, for years, children have been inhaling glue. There is not one adult person who has not seen the sight of those children inhaling glue. That glue is not produced by children. Also, that glue is not produced without somebody in authority knowing who produces it. How does it get to the children? If we need the glue, it should be possible to remove the chemical that causes the damage to the brain of these children from it. If it is the legal mechanism that we have lacked, then this Motion was needed yesterday. We need to expedite, so that we have a legal mechanism that we can use to protect our children. But when we cry over rape and molestation of women and children, we know that some of the April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 691 activities that are carried out against them by others cannot be done by a sane person. It is done by people often under the influence of drugs and substances. Therefore, when we cry over the damage done to the infants and children, we really should be concerned about the root causes of many of the problems that affect them. Right now, we see the damage that some of the children who went through these tragedies are causing to this country, in form of robbery, and we prefer to shoot them. It is very sad when an older generation finds a solution to its problems in killing the next generation. There is something very serious about that. I think we need to really ask ourselves what we have done to our children, so that they have become such a menace to us, that the solution we have is to kill them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion very strongly, because I do believe that the cause of many of the problems that we are seeing is not only due to, what I would call, unequal distribution of wealth, so that we have a large proportion of poor people who are trying to level it out by stealing, but also by the children who went through experiences of drug abuse or rape. I commend the National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA). I also agree with those hon. Members who have recommended that what we probably need to do, is to embrace the NACADA and the various mechanisms that are available at the moment. We should come up with legal mechanisms that, for once, will protect our children. I have been to many countries, especially in South-East Asia, where leaders just do not tolerate anybody who gives his or her children drugs. We all know that if you are caught with drugs in that part of the world, the punishment is death. What those people are doing is protecting their children. So, there are some people in some countries who are going to great lengths, to ensure that their children grow up drug- free. Only if you have a strong and healthy nation, can you truly have a nation that is able to work, think and promote development. But if you have a nation of drug addicts, alcoholics and people who have lost parts of their brains because of misusing drugs and substances, then no matter how much you work, you will never---
Order, hon. Members! I want to encourage the culture of listening to one another. I think the other consultations that are going on are actually getting louder and louder. Even from here, I have to strain to listen! Proceed!
What I am saying is extremely important. Sometimes, children and people who cannot protect themselves are taken for granted. But I want to repeat that it is our responsibility, as leaders, and the Government, to do everything possible to protect our children. That is what this Motion is trying to address. With those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I support this Motion which is very important, particularly, at this time, because the problem of drug abuse is a very serious problem not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to speak about this problem as it relates to the Coast Province. Along the Kenyan coast, this problem is very prevalent. We have young people who have been turned into zombies, because they can no longer think properly and function as human beings, because of the use of hard drugs. If you go to Mombasa City and along the coastal towns, you will be surprised to see the number of children who are hooked to drugs. I am not talking just about bhang, but hard drugs, including brown sugar which is a form of cocaine, which is very addictive and destructive. 692 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 These young people - some of them as young as 13 years old - are victims of a society that has ignored this problem. We know, in some of these areas, of individuals who are actually trafficking in drugs. We also know that certain elements in the law enforcement agencies are turning a blind eye to this problem, and allowing people to bring in drugs either by sea, or the normal transportation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a lot of landing sites along the Kenyan coast and they are not policed. We, therefore, have many foreigners who are bringing these drugs by sea into our landing sites and villages. This is a very serious problem. I would like to urge the Government to deploy law enforcement officials at every landing point so that each boat that lands at those sites is inspected and confirmed that it is not carrying or supplying drugs to our people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, drugs have permeated into our schools as well. There was a time when the Government ordered the closure of kiosks around our schools. I want to tell you that most of these kiosks are actually back, and they are not just selling mandazi and sweets. They are selling mandazi and sweets that are actually laced with drugs. We would like the Government to move very quickly to ensure that those kiosks are actually cleared from around the compounds of our schools. The Government should also ensure that whoever deals with drugs is arrested and prosecuted. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are talking about drugs and alcohol as forms of drugs. We have a lot of bars around our schools selling alcohol, and they are actually attracting young people. We have a lot of cases of absenteeism from schools because kids are lured by bars, which play loud music and, in the process, sell drugs. I think it would be prudent, if we are really interested in curbing this problem, to move quickly and make sure that we clear those bars and arrest whoever is responsible for supplying drugs to our children. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA), but I do not think it is well funded to be able to provide efficient service of curbing drug and substance abuse. We had a very active director of that agency. But, unfortunately, at the moment, this organization appears to have gone into oblivion. It has ignored what was actually being done successfully by that director and it has now gone to sleep. We have rehabilitation centres. Most of them are actually private rehabilitation centres. They are not well-funded; they are not well-provided with facilities and they are not able to cope with the large numbers of drug abusers. I think time has come for this Government to---
Order! The consultations are taking place right in front of the hon. Member speaking, so your voices are actually picked up by the microphone! If you would like to consult, you can move aside and do so quietly. Proceed, Mr. Khamisi!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think time has come for the Government to start a project of building rehabilitation centres all over this country to deal with the increasing number of drug abusers. We also need trained personnel and counsellors who can do this work of trying to rehabilitate our young people so that they do not fall back into drug abuse. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are also reports of our prisons being centres of drug trafficking. These reports even point a finger at the officers within these institutions, who assist in bringing drugs into our prisons and circulating them to prisoners. This is unfortunate! We need to send people to prison for rehabilitation, but we are sending people there to continue with their drug abuse problem within the prison institutions. This is unfortunate and it should not be allowed. I am calling upon the Commissioner of Prisons to see to it that this practice actually stops. April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 693 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about drug abuse, we concentrate on hard drugs and alcohol, but I think we need to have a fresh look at miraa . I know that this is a very controversial subject. I know that it touches on some hon. Members of this Parliament and the societies in certain parts of this country, but I think that we need to have a second look at this issue: Is miraa useful to our people? What we have seen at the coast is that, miraa, mixed with drugs is, actually, very devastating to the mind and body of our individuals. So, I think it is important that, while we promote agriculture and miraa, we also need to look at the negative effects that it may cause to our people so that we can have proper legislation to ensure that this particular substance is used properly and within the allowed parameters. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this legislation is very important because, as it says, it intends to formulate a policy to monitor what goes on in this country and also to deal with drug abusers and traffickers. I am not convinced that the present sentences that are given in courts to people who are caught with massive drug hauls at the airport are adequate. I think we need to look at it again and see whether we could tighten it. We need to see how we can also stop foreigners from using Nairobi or this country as a transit point for drug trafficking. It is very sad that Kenyans have been caught in this situation, not only here, but also in foreign countries. It is unfortunate because as we talk, we have Kenyans who are actually facing death sentences. I think there is a Kenyan who has actually been hanged in the Middle East. We need to find a way of persuading our youngsters to find better means of survival than dealing with drugs. If we do that, we will be doing a good service to this country. With those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Hon. Members, according to the timing of this Motion, I should call upon the Government Responder straightaway, to make his statement.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, since I have about 15 minutes, I would like to donate two minutes---
Order! He is not the one who is replying!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to say a few things about the proposal made by hon. Abdalla. We are all in agreement that drug-trafficking and abuse has become an issue of great concern in our country, translating into a major cause of insecurity and rapid spread of HIV/AIDS. This causes a major threat to public health and quality of productive life, with direct implications on our political, economic and social wellbeing. The effects include escalation in violent crime, increase in the drug-dependent population and mounting financial burden on law enforcement, health care and social service delivery. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for many years, we have watched this industry grow into an organised business, with huge capital manpower, transportation and influence, without putting in place any meaningful measures to check it. Therefore, for us to realise any meaningful gains in this fight across the country, we must work together in the spirit of collaboration to save our people. We must put in place a strong co-ordinating authority to help us to do this. The Government identified the need to establish the said authority early last year in order to strengthen the campaign against drug abuse in the country. The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) Advisory Board was established as a general board on 19th May, 2006, via a Gazette Notice. The President further appointed a Chairman of the NACADA Advisory Board via Gazette Notice No.3750 of 19th May, 2006, under Cap.446. Since then, the office of the Permanent Secretary, National Security and Provincial Administration has been making efforts to operationalise the Board and to harmonise the two by creating a Drug Abuse Control Authority as a body corporate. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Board is ready to implement its mandate April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 695 immediately the Government puts in place the necessary facilitation. The functions of the Board are given, some of them being to develop legal and institutional framework for the control of drug abuse; to co-ordinate and regulate public education campaign against drug abuse; to mobilise resources for drug abuse control and prevention and to develop mechanisms of curbing drug abuse in schools and other institutions of learning. There are many more functions which are given to this Board. A comprehensive review of a national strategy for drug abuse control in Kenya which summarises policies, defines priorities and apportions responsibilities for drug control efforts in Kenya for the next five years has been drawn by NACADA in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders from both private and public sectors. This policy document was presented to all the Permanent Secretaries on 10th April, 2007, and NACADA is currently receiving very useful comments from them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a number of Parliamentary Committees, through their chairmen and the Clerk of the National Assembly, have also received the policy document and have been requested to propose a date when NACADA can make an official presentation of the same to them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) in Kenya continues to focus on the protection of our youth as a priority issue. To this end, there are specific initiatives that have been lined up to help curb drug abuse by young people in Kenya, and I am glad that progress is being made. The Board has been in office for less than one year, and has embarked on putting in place a sustainable structure and targeted programmes based on scientific evidence. To this end, a fact-finding national survey on treatment and rehabilitation facilities has just been completed to identify the key players and the kind of services provided with an aim of setting standards in this very critical area. The results will soon be made public. As we sit here, there is a one-week training for a team of researchers going on at the Stanley Hotel in preparation for a national survey on the prevalence, patterns and attitudes in the area of drugs and substance abuse in the different regions of this country. NACADA will open four regional offices next month to facilitate demand reduction efforts in the provinces, and also monitor, with the help of the Provincial Administration and the police drug trafficking and peddling activities. Special focus has been on sensitizing leaders at both institutional and community levels, universities and schools on drug abuse. These are areas that may not attract a lot of media attention and, therefore, lack of visibility even as a lot of work is being done. However, the Board has planned a huge media campaign when finances are availed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it may interest you, and the rest of the Members of Parliament, to know that the Board has no budget yet, and that NACADA, as Government Department, was allocated only Kshs52 million in the current financial year. The problem of drugs and substance abuse has reached alarming levels in this country. The protection and safeguarding of our youth and the general citizenry from the debilitating effects of drug-trafficking and abuse is a priority that cannot be ignored any further. We have some statistics which show the seriousness of this problem. For example, 27.7 per cent of students and 77.1 per cent of non-students are reported to be on long-term abuse of alcohol, while 8.3 per cent of students and 65.7 per cent of non-students are on tobacco, 2.8 per cent of students are on bhang, 9.1 per cent are on miraa and 3.4 per cent are on inhalants. The proportion of non-students on bhang, miraa and inhalants is 34.9 per cent, 55.1 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the complexities posed by drugs and substance abuse call for innovative and costly intervention. Careful planning is required to ensure co-ordinated intervention that will address all aspects of the problem. Specific actions may address law 696 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 enforcement, health education and economic development in general. NACADA realises the need to develop long-term strategies to deal with drug abuse and trafficking in all its complexities in order to lend overall coherence to the activities undertaken to fight drug abuse in this country. We want to consider the control of illicit supply, suppression of illicit trafficking, prevention and reduction of demand, treatment and rehabilitation. The protection and safeguarding of our youth and the general citizenry from the debilitating effects of drug-trafficking and abuse is a priority concern, and a noble task that must be performed with diligence. So, in view of the above, I wish to strongly support the proposed Bill. It will not only strengthen the body that is co- ordinating the fight against drug abuse in this country but will also facilitate the harmonisation of the current laws governing drug abuse. The Executive Order that has now been forwarded to the Head of State for necessary action is only but a stop-gap measure to facilitate NACADA to be able to deliver quick and quality services to the Government. The proposed Bill is timely, will provide an already proposed legal framework that will accompany the proposed Sessional Paper to be presented to the Cabinet very soon. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we, therefore, support the proposed Bill, because it seeks to do what we have not done for many years - to protect our citizens from the effects of drugs and substance abuse. Thank you.
Hon. Members, there is time for one more person to speak, and this will be Ms. Mwau.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to congratulate Ms. Abdalla for bringing this Motion. I also want to congratulate the Government for agreeing with the Mover that the proposed Bill is overdue. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is an issue which is very close to my heart. As I stand here, I am picturing villagers drowning themselves in alcohol, young men and women dying of alcohol and drug abuse, and an eight-year-old child who is already alcoholic at a rehabilitation centre. So, this is an issue we have, for a long time, ignored. There is a lot of denial of alcoholism amongst teachers, civil servants and leaders of our calibre. It is an issue we need to address seriously and very quickly. This is an issue with acute consequences, which is more serious than HIV/AIDS. Alcoholism is a personal, family and societal disease. It is a disease which a lot of us deny, and that affects the whole family. One major cause of poverty in Kenya is drug abuse and alcoholism. As I said, as we sit here to deliberate on this Motion, villages are collapsing because men wake up very early in the morning and proceed to drink the whole day. They go back home to ask for food. This is the planting season, but they do not help their families to plant or come up with businesses. So, it is an issue that we need to deal with seriously. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know several teachers who have been interdicted. A lot of them have died of liver-related ailments and mental cases because of alcoholism. The local people have very little information on the dangers of drug abuse. Rehabilitation centres are very expensive. In order to take your relative to a rehabilitation centre, you need to pay millions of shillings. The people who are affected by this problem are very poor. They cannot afford the fees charged by rehabilitation centres. This is a health issue and it should not be handled by the Office of the President, but rather by the Ministry of Health, which should establish rehabilitation centres at every provincial and district hospital, so that our people can be helped to quit the bad habits that are finishing them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, facilities that have been established cannot adequately support the people affected by that disease. Those are poor people who do not even April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 697 understand that alcoholism and drug abuse is a disease. I have seen many families that have been affected by that disease. Such families spend million and millions of shillings to rehabilitate their children. It is only such families that can afford to rehabilitate their children. This is a disease that the National Agency for Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) needs to go out and create awareness that it is a family disease. It is a disease like HIV/AIDS. It is a disease like tuberculosis and needs to be understood.
Ms. Mwau, you have kept on saying that we are dealing with a disease over and over again and yet, that is not really what we are dealing with.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in conclusion, I would like to see more personnel trained to recognise that disease and treat it. This issue is very close to my heart because I come from a family that has been affected by that disease. I know what it means. That is why I am saying that we must recognise and treat alcoholism. NACADA needs to do more and inform our people about that disease. Thank you.
Mr. Karaba, you will only have five minutes before I call upon the Mover to reply.
That is okay. Five minutes is more than enough. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for giving me this chance to support this Motion. It has come at the right time when we need our children who are in schools to grow to adulthood and become productive agents of our economy. In the 1950s, consumption of alcohol was the preserve of elders. But, as the industrial revolution continued in our country, children and other young people started taking what the elders used to take. To me, that is an abuse. That is why we really need to address this issue and condemn our youths, particularly those who are under the age of 18, and who abuse drugs. In South East Asia and even Arab countries, beer is restricted to people of a certain age. We should also do that in Kenya. We should even revise the time when bars should be opened and closed. We should even think of how peer pressure is affecting our children in schools. That way, we can come up with peer counselling in every school. We should, therefore, train counsellors and post them to our secondary schools and universities. That way, children who attain the puberty age of 14 years will not experiment with drugs. They will be guided to understand the harmful effects of drug abuse. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the HIV/AIDS scourge has been attributed to drug abuse. If we allow those things to continue, we will have a grim future. We will have nobody to work in future. We need to have a healthy population growth. If we allow our children to consume drugs and alcohol at will, we will not achieve any industrial development. I, therefore, recommend that, instead of going round the point, this problem should be handled by the relevant Ministry. I think either the Ministry of Health or that in charge of the youth should be given that mandate. The Office of the President may not have the knowledge and mechanism to enforce this Bill. We need to increase the number of rehabilitation centres to offer guiding and counselling to young drug addicts. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
It seems there is more time. Let me give three minutes to Capt. Nakitare, who has stood up in his place. 698 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, this Bill - it is not a campaign - has to be relevant to what is happening. Dealing with drug barons calls for punitive punishment. Punitive punishment in other countries is a death sentence. Spare the rod and spoil the children! Having a soft law in this country will invite drug barons. We are talking about rich people who peddle those drugs. We cannot talk about our youth. We have to talk about the sources of those drugs. Why should Kenya be a transit country for drugs? What is that drug movement all about? The late President Kenyatta banned the hippies from coming into this country after he discovered that they were having intravenous cocaine treatments in hotels. He said that he did not want any hippies . The symptoms of drug abuse are similar to those of the Parkinson's disease. The hands of a child of 14 years shake so much that he or she cannot hold a glass. This is not an area where we can prescribe cosmetic changes. Why do other countries have such punitive punishments as cutting of hands of people who are habitual drug criminals? So, we must strengthen this Bill that seeks to introduce a Drug and Substance Abuse Control Authority. Those punitive measures will deter drug barons from using Kenya as a platform and conduit of drugs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we cannot talk about rehabilitation centres. I have lived in California where there are homeless people who sleep in verandas because they cannot handle themselves. They cannot even handle employment. So, when we talk about the establishment of rehabilitation centres, that is just a cosmetic measure. Let us go back to the age limits. A child under 18 years must not be allowed to drink and smoke. Those are areas where we can say: "Yes, this is a preventive measure". We cannot build a hospital to rehabilitate a person who is addicted and suffering from Parkinson's disease. With those few remarks, I very greatly support this Bill by Ms. Abdalla.
Capt. Nakitare, is there a relationship between this Bill and Parkinson's disease?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. People who are addicted have dead nerves. They cannot handle themselves. They stagger like drunkards. That is not Parkinson's disease, but when a drunkard cannot handle his or her posture; his or her hands shake, what do you call this? That is why I call for punitive measures for drug barons!
Order, Order! Because of the time, I will now call upon the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to donate two minutes to Mr. Kembi-Gitura who has something to share with us.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to thank Ms. Abdalla for donating to me these two minutes. This is a very important Motion and all of us should support it. I congratulate our colleague for having brought it at an opportune moment in the history of our country. In 2004, I brought a Motion for the banning of alcohol sold in sachets which was passed and gazetted. I believe that it has gone a long way in saving young lives who were otherwise going to waste because of the indulgence in alcoholic drinks. However, the biggest problem I see is the societal decadence. The kind of television shows we are having in our homes and the kind of work that the Kenya Film Censorship Board (KFCB) does not seem to be doing but ought to be doing, means that a lot of work needs to be done to stop our children from being corrupted by foreign influences that are going to destroy our society forever. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is corruption and we cannot deny that it is not there even today. It is my humble opinion that the legal system needs to be changed. If a person today is arrested peddling or selling bhang to school children and is taken to court, the fine does not exceed Kshs3,000. The person pays the fine because this is a lucrative business, goes back to sell April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 699 the same thing; he is arrested again and continues to do the same thing. So, I take it that we need to also change our legal system. We need to completely overhaul it. I hope and pray that the Bill that Ms. Abdalla is bringing to Parliament has the legal regime that is going to curb and make it very difficult to sell bhang and other illicit drugs. It should make it very difficult and expensive for anybody to deal with these kinds of substances because it is what is destroying our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my opinion, if this Motion is properly supported like I am sure it has been supported by those who have spoken on it, it will change the outlook of our youth. It could change what we are trying to achieve in the various Motions that we have brought. It is also going to be of a lot of benefit to our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to reply. First, I would like to thank all my colleagues who have stood here in support of the Motion, including the Government responder who has shown that the Government has identified and accepted that the issues of drug abuse have reached such a level that serious action needs to be taken. The problem of drug use and abuse in this country cuts across all social classes, religions and races. It ranges from the glue-sniffing street child to the cocaine-injecting high class person wherever they are. This is an issue that cuts across all the social classes. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the youngest person under rehabilitation is said to be an eight year old person. So, the problem of drugs is actually affecting the core of our society and destroying the future of our country. It is in this light that I would like to urge all hon. Members to vote for this Motion and to take this opportunity to respond to some of the issues that were raised by some of the speakers. Mr. Khamasi mentioned that the legislations are in existence but it is the reinforcement that is not taking place. True, that is the case but because of the growth of the drug industry and abuse situation in our country, the laws are inadequate. We do not have a one-stop shop for any person purely responsible for looking at the laws and reviewing them in order to strengthen them to be in line with the strength at which the drug situation is at the moment. Mr. Kembi-Gitura has given a good example where Kshs3,000 used to be a lot of money in the 1960s to be given as a fine. It no longer is today. There is more money in the drug business than the money being imposed as fines. So, the need for a statutory body that will be able to co-ordinate and ensure effective and efficient enforcement of laws is long overdue. It would, for example, be able to facilitate the review of laws so that drug peddlers and traffickers could have more stiffer penalties such as death which would then deter people. We see our media giving attention to Kenyans who have been arrested in South East Asia. However, we hear nothing in our neighbouring countries where some of their nationals are arrested in Kenya because the penalties are not that punitive. So, this body would be able to facilitate the review of these laws that would then make it more punitive for somebody to engage in this business. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it costs Kshs250,000 for a six-week programme in a rehabilitation centre that is said to be not a high class rehabilitation centre. An amount of Kshs250,000 is the annual school fees for over six children undergoing university education in Kenya. That is well above the reach of most Kenyans. To add insult to injury, nobody regulates the programmes that are being carried out in those rehabilitation centres. The quality is not of any known standard and the qualifications of those running those programmes are not monitored by anyone. So, this statutory body would be able to facilitate the licensing, effective monitoring and quality assurance of the rehabilitation centres that we are calling for. Many of the hon. Members who have spoken have praised the work that has so far been done by the National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA). In fact, Eng. 700 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 Toro suggested that we build from the known so that we do not look like we are starting afresh. I would like to assure hon. Members that the statutory body that we are proposing will have one of the activities being the campaign against drug abuse which is what NACADA has been mandated for. We will have the activities of the NACADA included within this statutory body. I hope that, that will allay any fears that people have that the good work that NACADA has been doing on increasing awareness on the issues of drug abuse will be ignored. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this statutory body will have one aspect that NACADA does not have, which is the legal backing; that is, it is within our laws and we have to adhere to them. Secondly, because the proposed law will be calling for the recruitment through a vetting process of a Kenyan of high integrity, we will not be having situations where the programmes and the public face of the drug fighting agency is based on an individual. It would be based on the legal framework which will also be calling for the reporting, by that agency, to this House so that we get to know how far the fight against drug abuse has gone. Mr. ole Metito had mentioned that there is no sufficient data on the use of drugs. I wish to assure the House that the data is available. What is not available is the co-ordinating mechanism through which that data could be effectively used for policy formulation and further action. We have the data! Our universities are full of researchers handling different aspects of this problem. The only problem is that we did not have a centralised co-ordinating mechanism to do the same. Finally is the issue of international liaison. Whereas in the past we were dealing with drugs that did not require much work outside our country, now it is very essential in that we are not only a drug trafficking route but we are also a hard drug destination. So, there is need to liaise with international bodies working on this matter and other nationals who have information on matters pertaining to drugs that are destined to reach our country. This body will become a one-stop shop where if there is information from either our neighbouring countries or from other continents, that body will be informed and it will be able to liaise directly and have action taken very fast. The other issue is that for now, there is no responsible agency within our country to deal with the ratification of international conventions dealing with drug abuse and use. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to inform my colleagues, who did not get an opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion, that they will do so when The Drug and Substance Abuse Control Authority Bill will be brought before the House. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, owing to the fact that over the last several years the Government has not been recruiting teachers for both secondary and primary schools; bearing in mind that several teachers have exited the payroll through dismissals, resignations and natural attrition without replacement; taking into account the fact that free primary education initiated by the Government in 2003 phenomenally increased enrolment in primary schools; and cognizant of the fact that such acute shortage of teachers tends to affect marginal areas much more seriously resulting in poor national examination performance; this House urges the Government to instantly institute aggressive recruitment of teachers for both secondary and primary schools in order April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 701 to achieve equity in the staffing of schools all over the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is common knowledge that this is a case which we need to correct. Following the freeze in the employment of civil servants coupled with the introduction of free primary education in public schools, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) decided to adopt a demand-driven policy in recruitment. What does this mean? It means that they only recruit teachers when there is a shortage caused by natural attrition and when there is retirement and resignation The rapid increase of children in public schools has posed a big challenge to us. The use of
or stop-gap measures to address this matter, that is, recruiting teachers after others die or retire, will not help alleviate the shortage of teachers in our public schools. I would like to urge the TSC to recruit more teachers on a permanent basis because of the increase in the number of schools being built and the expansion of the already existing schools. For example, statistics show that enrolment in all primary schools stand at 7.8 million per year against 5.9 million in 1984 when the 8-4-4 System of Education was introduced. It is widely known that education is one of the most effective instruments a nation has at its disposal for promoting socio-economic development for her people. Even secondary school enrolment is projected to increase by nearly 200 per cent because of the introduction of free primary education. Currently, we have a total of 235,000 teachers on the payroll. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when decentralisation in recruitment was done, yes, it was helpful, especially to schools in the marginal areas. However, schools in rural areas are the most affected by the shortage of teachers. In rural areas, you will find one primary school---I want to give an example of a primary school in Bondo called Sina Panga Primary School. Why do I take the example of a primary school in Bondo District? It is because that is where---
What is the name of the school?
It is called Sina Panga Primary School in Bondo District.
Order, Mr. Ojode! What is coming to the House? Why are you responding to an hon. Member who is not on the Floor of the House?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was giving an example of a school in Bondo District called---
Order, Mr. Ojode! The question is not about the example you are giving, but how you are conducting yourself on the Floor of the House. You ought to address the Chair and not an hon. Member seated on the other side of the House.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will not address any other person except the Chair and, please, protect me from that person.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a school called Sina Panga Primary School in Bondo District has a total of 514 pupils with only six teachers. A school in my own constituency called Nyamongo Primary School has a total of 815 pupils, but with only seven teachers. Another school in my constituency called Kobodo Primary School has a total of 650 pupils with only six teachers. The other one is Bondo Primary School, which is situated where the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the second Vice-President of this country and the father of opposition politics comes from---
What are you saying? You are not using the microphone effectively.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us be serious with this issue because this matter is weighty.
(Mr. Poghisio) Order, Mr. Ojode! What were you 702 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 saying about Bondo Primary School?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Bondo Primary School is situated where the former Vice-President, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga came from. That school has 690 pupils with only eight teachers. This is a very serious thing. The reasons for understaffing include: One, expected increase in transition rates from primary schools to secondary schools from 51 per cent in 2000 to 70 per cent currently. Two, the significant teacher absenteeism and high attrition rate as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; and the increasing demand for opening of new schools and expanding those existing. There are many other reasons, but I will mention one more which is the demand for teachers in the ever increasing non-formal schools. We have 350 students within the non-formal schools. These schools are mainly found in urban slum areas. They require 8,750 teachers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are shortages of teachers in several districts in Kenya. I will not talk about all the districts with shortages. I have selected a few which I want to share with my colleagues. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kilifi District had a shortage of 1,117 before the recruitment of teachers in July last year. After the recruitment, they now have a shortage of 977 teachers. In other words, as I speak, Kilifi District requires 977 teachers. I will move to Kwale District which is just next to Kilifi District. It has a shortage of 1,035 teachers. Kitui District, where Mrs. Ngilu comes from, has a shortage of 1,281 teachers---
Order, Mr. Ojode! You will proceed! I just want to get Mr. Weya to know that he cannot pass in front of an hon. Member who is contributing! Mr. Weya, you have other routes of going around the House! Do not pass directly in front of the hon. Member! Mr. Ojode, please, proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Excuse Mr. Weya because he is still new in the House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kitui District has a shortage of 1,281 teachers. This is followed by Machakos District with a shortage of 1,455 teachers. Why is it that in Ukambani we have a lot of teacher shortages? If you go to Makueni District, which is within the Eastern Province, there is a shortage of 1,313 teachers! How do you expect pupils from that province to pass examinations with that kind of teachers shortage?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you move to Nyambene District, there is a shortage of 1,252 teachers. Gucha and Kisii districts are worse. Homa Bay District, where Mr. Ojode comes from, is even worse. It has a shortage of 958 teachers. How do you expect our pupils to pass the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Migori District, where Mr. Owino comes from, has a shortage of 1,122 teachers. How do we expect pupils from Migori District to pass their examinations when there are no teachers to teach them? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Nakuru District, where Mrs. Mugo comes from, has a shortage of 1,443 teachers yet she is an Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Education.
Order, Mr. Ojode! Does she come from April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 703 there?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Narok District has a shortage of 1,086 teachers. Trans Nzoia District has a shortage of 1,302 teachers. Bungoma District, where Mr. Kombo comes from is the worst, yet he is a party leader of FORD (K). The district has a shortage of 1,896 teachers! This is shameful.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member fighting, quarrelling, shouting or moving a Motion?
What is your point of order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the hon. Member in order to shout?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a very frivolous point of order. This is a very serious issue. In fact, as the hon. Member speaks, the district he comes from is worse!
Could I continue, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker Sir?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. After Bungoma District, I will go to Kakamega District which has a shortage of 1,190 teachers.
Mr. Ojode, at that rate, when will you reach Turkana Central District?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am just reading the list then I will table the document for my colleagues to see how they are doing poorly. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Butere District has a shortage of 1,111 teachers. The list is long. However, the shortages of teachers I have mentioned above are just for primary schools. I have not even spoken about the teacher shortages in secondary schools. I have the data here with me. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not have to table this document officially. However, I would want my colleagues to have copies, so that when contributing, they can know what they are talking about. The list is here. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, schools in other areas have the same problem of under-staffing. I appeal to the Government to release funds to hire and employ those who have already been trained and are waiting to be absorbed in the job market. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will give an example; parents of pupils in majority of primary schools in rural areas have decided to hire teachers and pay them from their pockets. I would want to appeal to the Assistant Minister for Education, who is here, to give certain grants to schools with under-staffing. Parents should not be paying teachers from their pockets. That is a burden to the parents! As you are aware, the economy, which is supposedly said to be improving, has not trickled down to wananchi . People do not have money and thus, cannot afford to hire teachers on their own. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also equally important to restructure the secondary school teacher training institutions to take care of special education. We have a shortage of 56,755 teachers. As at June last year, primary schools alone had a shortage 45,317 teachers. The Government employed 5,641 in July. Therefore, there is a balance of 39,677 teachers to be employed in primary schools. 704 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker Sir, we also have non-formal schools. We need about 8,750 teachers in these schools. In secondary schools, as at June last year, there was a shortage of 10,000 teachers. The Government employed 1,671. That left a balance of 8,329 teachers. In total, the Government needs to employ 56,755 teachers. I hope the Assistant Minister is taking notes of what I am saying. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know the Assistant Minister will stand here and say that they do not have enough money. They have even tabulated what they require from the Treasury in the event that they employ all these teachers that are required. They require Mr. Kimunya to approve a paltry Kshs10,797,000,000. This is nothing to a Government whose economy has improved. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we need to train more teachers, we need to expand the existing teacher training colleges. We need to expand colleges offering diplomas such as Kagumo Teachers Training College and Kenya Science Teachers Training College. That is the only way forward. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me that if we need to train more teachers, that means that we have to request about three or four teacher training colleges to offer diploma courses. Only two diploma colleges will not be enough to train teachers for secondary schools. With the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), it will require us, as a Government to have more teaching institutions. The other issue that I would like to address is the day-schools. The Government should come up with a policy to transform boarding schools into day-schools because boarding schools are expensive. The parents do not have enough money to take their children to boarding schools. Some of them ask for as much as Kshs38,000.
Order! Your time is up.
Can you give me two more minutes?
With those few remarks, I beg to move. Mr. Karaba will second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for giving me this chance again to second a very important Motion tabled by none other than Mr. Ojode, the former Assistant Minister for Education. I believe he has all the details as he has articulated them very ably in the House this morning. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to tell the House that there is need to recruit more teachers. There is need to plan for our education system in this country. There is need to think ahead and imagine that one day, Kenya will be a giant like the tigers of the South East Asia. There is need to think about our policy and the mood that we have in our country. We, therefore, need to address our own education system and come up with a formula of how to address the future of this country. If we think about the children that we have, we should think about how they will translate this country into an industrial country. But the problem is our education system. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, our education system is faulty. It is true that we produce mass children to sit for examination in class eight and they drop out. Many do not proceed to secondary schools. Out of those who join secondary schools, only 10,000 qualify to join our public universities. We must, therefore, think about what is wrong with our system. Our system, therefore, is mainly pegged on what happens in our schools. As the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology, we have been able to traverse this country a lot. We found some shocking situations where children were seated on the ground and some were on their toes. In some instances, we found over 120 children in one class. We were taken to Mumias where were found that there are 250 children seating in Class One with one teacher. Therefore, what Mr. Ojode has articulated in this House is true. The only question is, for April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 705 how long are we going to continue talking about the shortage of teachers, the number of students increasing and yet nothing is happening? If that is what we are going to keep talking about 45 years after Independence, I think we are hiding the truth about our country. Let us be serious and focus particularly on the quality of the system of education.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that following the introduction of free primary education - it is even contained in the President's Speech, he attested to the increase of primary school enrolment from 60 per cent to 83 per cent since the introduction of free primary education - we have had enormous increase of pupils in primary schools from 6.1 million to 7.6 million which is an increase of about 1.5 million. So, anybody translating that into what we call Curriculum Based Establishment (CBE) where a teacher is supposed to teach 40 pupils in a class, you will see that we need 37,500 teachers who should have been recruited by that time, following the increase. So, there is something wrong with the planning. If it is true that 37,500 teachers need to be recruited and it has not happened, then it means that there is a lot that we are missing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me look at secondary schools. The President himself attested to the fact that there has been an increase of 778,000 students to 928,000 students, which is an increase of over 150,000 students. Going by the CBE, where a teacher is supposed to teach 40 students, we need an increase of 3,750 teachers in secondary schools. That is as a result of the introduction of free primary education since 2003. If that is going to be the total sum, it will come to 41,250 teachers who should have been recruited before the introduction of free primary education. That means that we lack forward planning and that is leading us to a lot of problems. That is even translating to very many "bogus" students coming from our institutions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are focusing that this year, 2007, the Government is going to have 100 per cent enrolment for primary schools. So, what will be the increase of the teacher recruitment? That is where we go wrong. Therefore, I am asking the Government to consider that issue a crisis. The shortage of teachers should be seen as a crisis. It is a very serious phenomenon. We should be able to tackle it and come out of it. If we are going to think about the industrialisation of our country by 2020, we should think beyond ICT. That is all we say, but do we have enough teachers for ICT? We do not have them! Do we have enough teachers who will teach sciences? We do not have! If you go to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), you will realise that the shortage of teachers, particularly for sciences, is serious. If there was a shortage of science teachers even before the introduction of free primary education, what is the situation right now? What is happening now is, we produce half-baked students who move en mass to secondary schools. That will not help us at all. So, if we care about the future of this country, we should continue thinking about the proportionate recruitment of teachers as the number of students increases both in primary and in secondary schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, also contained in the President's Speech is that the best thing we can do to expand accessibility to education is to introduce day-schools. That is true. With the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), very many hon. Members have put up quite a number of secondary schools. After putting up secondary schools using the CDF money, are we getting teachers to manage those schools? What we are doing is to pass the buck to the parents. The same problem will recur every other year. In future, the burden will even increase to a point where 706 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 the parent will say enough is enough and the problem will burst. Therefore, we are sitting on a time-bomb. Let us think about the teacher recruitment issue. We should also think about the way we reward them. Teachers have really been very patient for a long time. With the introduction of free primary education, they take care of very big classrooms and they are not worried. They have not even had their salary increment and absenteeism may lead to suspensions and interdictions and a lot of harassment. Let us treat teachers as people who can really get us across to the other side of the border. Our teachers should be able to teach our students well and enable them continue with further studies in the universities. As a result of the shortage of educational facilities in Kenya, we now have many students moving out of this country to join institutions out there. It is not because they really want to go to Uganda or Tanzania to learn, but it is simply because of the shortage of educational facilities in our country. Why can we not increase our budget so that the Ministry of Education has more money which will be used to cater for students who finish primary and secondary schools? That way, we shall have our own bank of learned people, whom we could even export, as a labour force, to other countries in Africa. That is possible. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, why are we allowing private investors to exploit our students to the maximum? Why do we think that it is only private academies that can provide quality education to our children? That has created problems in the education system in our country. In fact, it is going to increase the gap between the rich and the poor. The rich will continue becoming richer and the poor, who cannot afford quality education, will continue becoming poorer. I can assure you that if you visit any of the academies today, you will find that most students you get there are from rich families. Those are the people who can afford to pay fees in the private academies. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to support that the Government needs to recruit more teachers.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion by hon. Ojode, which is quite crucial for urging the Government to urgently recruit more teachers for both primary and secondary schools. When the Government declared that there would be no payment of fees by primary school children, many children who had not been going to school began going to school. In many primary schools now, the ratio of pupils to a teacher is between 60 and 80 students. In fact, you will find one teacher teaching Standard I to Standard V, each class having 60 to 80 pupils. This is mostly the case in the lower primary. It is actually waste of time and resources. This is because the teacher in a class full of pupils cannot have time for the little children, who have not developed enough intelligence to know that they should listen, or pay attention to him or her. So, they will just be playing and the teacher will not be able to control them. In many places, parents cannot even afford to buy desks. Children, therefore, sit on the floor and do not have proper space to be able to write properly. So, it is very important that the Government employs enough primary school teachers to cover the existing shortage. The ratio which is effective is a maximum of 40 pupils per teacher. At one point, the teacher has to mark the pupils' books. If, for example, the teacher is handling four classes in a day, it means that if he gives exercises to 80 children in each of the four classes, he will have to mark 320 exercise books. That is not humanely possible. I think we are stressing this matter because it is very important. We may not be paying for the education, but it might not be useful, even if it is for free. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this has led to a situation whereby academies or April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 707 private schools, and even some public schools, charge extra money. These cases are becoming too many because every parent feels that if they take their children to public schools, they will not learn much. So, if a parent has money, he or she will prefer to send their child to an academy. This is because the academy will employ extra teachers from the money it gets from the parents. Therefore, children from poor families, who cannot afford the academies, will not make it in their lives. I, however, support the academies. In fact, the top primary school in the Republic during last year's KCPE is in my constituency, that is St. Matthews, Kiplome. Well, for those who can afford to pay school fees there, let it be. However, the Government must support everybody. Therefore, the Government has to employ more primary school teachers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is an issue that has arisen. People are now accusing teachers in primary schools of not taking their work seriously, because they send their children to academies. Whether that accusation is true or not, the Government ought to solve the problem by employing more primary school teachers, so that we can have that ratio of 30 to 40 pupils per teacher. When it comes to employing teachers, the Government has to be cautious. The TSC has not been fair. We attend interviews in our respective District Education Boards(DEBs). We send the lists that have been recommended by the DEBs, but the TSC, somehow, manipulates the lists. I dare say that some undue influence is exerted. I would like to ask the Government to investigate this matter. For example, in the last recruitment of teachers in my district, we, more or less, agreed with what the District Education Board (DEB) had done. We, thereafter, sent the names of those who we had proposed to be employed to Nairobi. However, when that list reached Nairobi, the names of all the nominees from Mosop Constituency were knocked out. I keep on asking myself why that happened. That was not the first time! I think there is somebody at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) who is against the recruitment of teachers in some constituencies. Therefore, if this Government has the goodwill of Kenyans at heart, it should allow teachers to be recruited at the constituency level. The DEB should interview teachers at every constituency. In some constituencies, teachers who completed college in 1995 and 1996 are yet to be employed. In fact, most of them are aging. But in some other constituencies - I do not want to give names - those who completed college in 2004 have been employed. We have to employ teachers at the constituencies level. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the same should apply to secondary school teachers. They should be interviewed by the DEB and Board of Governors (BOGs). Once the DEB and the BOGs recommend teachers, TSC should not change anything. Why were the DEBs and the BOGs given that mandate only for the Government to change it here? It is very suspicious. I request the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology to summon the Chief Executive Officer of TSC and his team to come and tell the Committee why TSC does not respect what DEBs and BOGs recommend. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support what other hon. Members have said; that we need more teachers in secondary schools. We should have a policy where children in secondary schools are day-scholars and not boarders, except in Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs). We should have day schools in high potential areas. That way, we will afford to give our children free education and, if not, charge lower fees. We should reduce boarding fees. In boarding schools, for example, parents have to pay between Kshs25,000 and Kshs30,000 per child. If a parent has four children in secondary schools and pays Kshs30,000 per each child, that translates to Kshs120,000. Day schools only charge about 9,000 and Kshs1,000 for lunch. That amounts to Kshs10,000 per child. If you have four children, the total will be Kshs40,000. That is three times less than what it would cost a parent to pay for four children in boarding schools. What is the need for boarding in secondary schools? In fact, I have read reports that state that Kenya is one of the few countries in 708 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 the world that still insists on having boarding schools. I insist that boarding schools should be restricted to ASALs. But, in high potential areas - like my area - where the catchments area for each secondary schools is four primary schools--- The maximum distance from a primary school to a secondary school is about five to six kilometres. So, why do we need boarding schools? The money that we are wasting in boarding schools should be used to employ more teachers to teach secondary schools effectively. That way, many students will pass their examinations. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, after secondary school education, let us support the children who cannot make it to university. We should support them to go through technical institutes. They should enrol in youth and technical polytechnics for artisan and diploma courses. All over the world, nations have been built not by the degree holders--- Yes, the degree holders will invent, but the people who will implement are the tailors, carpenters, mechanics, welders and so on. Those are the graduates of youth polytechnics. I request this Government to employ instructors to equip youth polytechnics because it is the artisans and technicians who build this nation. When we were in school, we were told that Great Britain, one of the first nations to be industrialised, was a nation of artisans and small traders. So, let us support our children to get courses in youth and technical polytechnics. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, the Ministry should know that there are people who interfere with Government land when we want to build youth polytechnics. The Government should look at that issue in Nandi District. We want to build a youth polytechnic using the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money and some people are interfering. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I will, straightaway, declare that I support this Motion. I support Mr. Ojode for moving such an important Motion. He is doing so when many Ministries are finalising their budgets. If there is any shortage or requirement, it will be factored in. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want this House to be fair and sober. When I look at the schedule detailing the shortage of teachers, it looks like the Government has been trying to reduce that shortage. It means the shortage was even higher. According to this schedule, the shortage of teachers was very high in June, 2006. If we get the latest figures, I am sure we will appreciate the work that the Government is doing. This schedule shows that the Government is trying to correct the mistakes that it inherited from the previous regime. We have inherited so many problems that we are trying to sort out. Let me give you an example. When we say there is unemployment, that problem was not caused by this Government. It was caused by the previous regimes. Therefore, this Government must be complimented, congratulated and supported for all the efforts and good things that it is doing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to prepare our nation to be competitive. We must have enough teachers to come up with a curriculum and implement it. There is one thing that I would like to suggest to the Minister for Education. We must undertake an immediate overall inspection of all the schools. We must inspect all primary and secondary schools. We must know the needs of every school in each region of this country. Today, there are students from certain areas who join universities to study science-based courses. In my area, for example, we do not have good science teachers. As a result of that, most students from my area join universities to study non-science courses. Eventually, things will be lopsided. In most areas, we have people with equal talents. Therefore, we must conduct inspections in schools so that we determine the needs of each school. That way, when the recruitment of teachers starts, it will be conducted as required. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support that the recruitment of teachers should be localised as much as possible. The decisions of DEBs and local committees should be implemented April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 709 by TSC without any amendments. The shortages that have already been cited have been taken into account. We talk to the TSC about that every month. I am aware that many problems have come up as a result of the budgeting element. But it is essential to train our own people. It is important to forecast and determine, for example, the number of engineers, teachers, doctors and other professionals that we need. We must categorize and align our education system to what we want to achieve. It is very crucial because this is how the country will develop. I urge this House, therefore, to be sober and fully support this Motion. I want to give enough chances to everybody to speak on this Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I still have got five minutes. Should I donate them to these hon. Members?
Order! Hon. Members, you should not stand up before the hon. Member on the Floor finishes his speech. Proceed, Mr. Munyao!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that I had indicated that it was my wish, because of the importance of the Motion, to give more time to hon. Members of this House to be heard. That did not mean that they ought to have stood before I sat down because I have five more minutes. I can stand here and say nothing until they elapse. So, I want you, hon. Members to be patient.
Order, Mr. Munyao! You cannot say that!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few words, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to support very strongly this Motion and thank hon. Ojode for bringing it, particularly at this time when we are preparing the Budget. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have in the past congratulated the Government for the introduction of free primary education. However, I have on the Floor of this House lamented that this free primary education, particularly in some areas, is meaningless. This is because the quality is so low that one would wonder whether it is worth anything. While contributing to the Presidential Address, I said that in Mwingi District a lot of classes in lower primary have more than 100 students per teacher. It is not uncommon to find a school with eight classes to have only five teachers. This is the reality. It is so demonstrated by this document which I believe is sourced from the Ministry of Education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have so many unemployed teachers. In Mwingi District, for example, teachers who finished their training in 2002 are still at home and unemployed. Yet, we have a shortage of 660 teachers. I am sure it is the same thing all over the Republic. I want to make a special appeal to the Ministry of Education that as we approach the new recruitment of teachers, it should address the issue of those areas which have a higher shortage of teachers first. In the past, what has been happening is that whenever recruitment occurs, even those districts with fewer shortages get the same number of teachers employed with those who have a large number of shortages. If this goes on, when will we eliminate these shortages? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to decry the apparent marginalisation of some districts. The President is on record as saying that his Government is committed to equitable distribution of national resources. If that is the case, why is it that Kitui District has a shortage of 710 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 1,281; Machakos District, 1,455, teachers; Makueni District, 1,313; and Mwingi District, 660 teachers leading to a combined shortage of 3,709 teachers? Imagine that and yet this is a very small region! I was very surprised that hon. Munyao whose district, Makueni, has a shortage of 1,313 teachers can stand up here and tell us that the Government is doing its best. Certainly, that is not its best. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have primary school teachers being exported outside the country to Rwanda, Seychelles and Sudan, while our own children have no teachers. I think this is one of the biggest scandals we have in this country. Now, the Ministry of Education is currently registering potential students for training for P1 courses. I am sorry to say that even the Assistant Minister for Education, Dr. Mwiria's district of Meru North has a shortage of 1,252 teachers as opposed to other neighbouring districts of Meru Central which has 53 teachers; Meru South, 154 teachers, and Meru North, 1,252 teachers. Why? This is marginalisation. So, when he allocates positions for training, we want to see these districts with the highest numbers of shortage of teachers being given the lions share of teachers to train.
Mr. Musila, when the Assistant Minister will be responding he will respond to that.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, but I was just appalled that they are even marginalising an Assistant Minister's own district. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am emphasising that when the Ministry allocates teacher training vacancies, let us see these districts with more teachers getting the lions share of allocations in teacher training. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, then there is the issue of examinations. Whenever examinations are done, the Government publishes the best schools and best performing students. It is no wonder that we never see any schools in Mwingi District featuring anywhere in those lists because we have no teachers right from the primary school level to secondary level. I have a list here showing that Mwingi District lacks 97 secondary school teachers and it goes on. It is very sad. It makes nonsense of the publication of this competitive results. So, if we want our schools to compete on equal footing with others, we must address the issue of teachers squarely without favouring some districts. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will recall that two years ago in this House, the Ministry of Education brought for debate a Sessional Paper on Education. It was a very well thought out paper and this House passed it unanimously. Among the things recommended by that paper was the passing on of the responsibility of payment of pre-primary teachers to the Government. To date, the Ministry has done nothing to ensure that pre-primary teachers are paid by the Ministry, so that we ensure that the quality of primary, secondary and university education is guaranteed. Let me also appeal to the Ministry to hasten and promise this House and the country that from 1st July, all pre-primary teachers countrywide will be the responsibility of the Ministry. In that way, we will ensure that quality of primary education is guaranteed. I am sure that when the Assistant Minister responds, he will give Kenyans good news regarding this matter. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will not conclude my contribution on any Motion on education without talking about withheld certificates. This is a very serious matter. I am sure that in Kajiado North Constituency, we have students who left school many years ago and yet, their certificates are still being withheld by schools on account of non-payment of school fees balances. It is not because they want it that way, but because their parents are poor. Perhaps, some of them are orphans, but the Ministry of Education continues to ignore this matter, as if it does not exist, April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 711 yet, it is a national problem and a disaster. Every time we talk about it, the Ministry says that it has no money, yet, we know that this Government has money enough to bail out public companies when they are going under, while it forgets its own orphaned children who are languishing at home. They cannot access employment and hence, they are condemned permanently to poverty. I do not know what kind of language this Government will understand. This House passed a Motion urging the Ministry of Education to release these certificates three years ago. At that time - the end of 2003 - over 600,000 former students were without certificates. Today, that number has tripled. It is estimated that over 1.5 million students have left school and they are languishing at home without their certificates and hence, they cannot access employment. If we have decided to invest in education, we must see the results of our investment. The results must be these students who can access employment and contribute to nation building, as opposed to the present situation. I will continue to appeal and ask hon. Members to join me in urging the Government to listen to this important issue. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to support this Motion very strongly. The free primary education can only make sense if there are enough teachers to teach students and pupils in schools, and if the teacher-pupil ratio is effective. Apart from the fact that there is a tremendous shortage of teachers in our schools, the teacher-pupil ratio is alarming. There is a primary school in my constituency with about 600 pupils and only about 12 or 13 teachers, who work very hard. I am quite sure that if there were more teachers, that primary school would perform much better in national examinations. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to propose to the Ministry a very radical approach to teachers training. First, it was a big mistake to turn some of our best teachers training institutions into universities, like the Siriba Teachers Training College in my constituency, which became part of Maseno University. Whereas we welcome Maseno University, it should not have been established at the expense of training teachers. This is because those students at Maseno University must come from primary and secondary schools. If we do not have primary schools to produce secondary schools, the university will not have students to admit. So, paying attention to keeping the teachers training colleges that we had, and building more, should be part and parcel of increasing the number of teachers that we have in our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when my late father was a student at Maseno School in the 1930s, apart from being taught as high school students, they were also trained as teachers. They became some of the best teachers in this Republic, for example, Mr. J.D. Otiende and so many others. They never really went to a teachers training college, but the teachers training college they attended was high school. Sometime ago, we did away with higher school certificates. My proposal would be that the facilities that we used for higher school certificates in a place like Alliance High School, for example, should be used for training a certain category of teachers to teach in primary schools. That option should be there, because it worked very well in colonial times. I do not, therefore, understand why it cannot work now. There also used to be a category of teachers called untrained teachers or UTs. I was taught by UTs in primary school. Some of them were very good teachers, because they were people who were preparing themselves to go to teachers training colleges. Therefore, they had to demonstrate to the headmasters that they could be recommended for teachers training. The subjects they took, they strove to excel in teaching, so that they could succeed to go to teachers training colleges. Therefore, the category of untrained teachers has to be revived as an emergency measure, to deal with this shortage of teachers in our schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the supervision of teachers in primary schools is also 712 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 lacking. One of the reasons why the teachers we have, albeit they are few, are also performing poorly, is because the supervision is no longer there. In my constituency, I discovered that there are certain schools which did not even have access roads to them. So, the teachers who travel on bicycles to supervise fail to access these schools, because there are no roads. Therefore, apart from the fact that we have a scarcity of teachers, the infrastructure for making it possible for the few teachers to do an effective job, is also lacking in many places. So, we should not just be proud that we have free primary school education; if there is no effective infrastructure and supervision, we shall end up having very low quality pupils and outcome of students in our schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also another thing that the Ministry should pay attention to, that is, the retirement age of teachers. If we have a very high attrition of teachers - let us be frank; a lot of teachers are passing away because of the HIV/AIDS pandemic - why do we have to retire them at the age of 55 years? I am over 60 years old, but I can still go to a primary school and teach very effectively. Why should I be prevented from teaching just because of age? I think what is important is to realise that once somebody becomes a teacher, he will always be a teacher. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever on the face of this earth, to use a mandatory age of 55 years to retire people in a profession where we need more people. I can understand the retirement in the Civil Service, because we are scaling down the number of people who work in it. We want a lean and keen Civil Service, as we used to say when I was in Government. But the point is that in the teaching profession, we need more people, and because we have them and they are trained and they are doing well, please, keep them until they are 70 years old, if they are still physically strong. Our Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs is over 70 years old and, yet he is doing pretty well. I am quite sure that if he retired and went to Funyula Constituency, he would be a very effective primary school teacher. So, I have a feeling that we should enhance the age of retirement in the teaching profession or make it open-ended. For example, recently Prof. Ogot laid a foundation stone in my constituency, for the building of a primary school. He is about 74 years old, yet, when we went to the headmaster's office, he could remember all the books in that office. He also talked to the headmaster and gave him instructions and so on. If he offers to be the headmaster of a high school, why should we prevent him from doing so just because of his age and, yet, we have a shortage of teachers? So, there should be a complete revolution in the Ministry of Education, with regard to the recruitment of teachers and having more of them teaching in schools. If we jut focus ourselves on teachers training colleges alone, that is not even enough. I have just looked at the list of the shortage of teachers in the whole Republic and it is enormous. In my own constituency we have a shortage of about 600 teachers, because Kisumu West District has one constituency. Now, if in that one constituency we have a shortage of 600 teachers, where will they come from? How long will it take to train them? Please, Mr. Minister, let the teachers teach until they are 70 years old. Also, get some untrained teachers to teach and diversify the source of training to high schools, like Alliance High School which has facilities. Finally, when students in Universities are on holiday, they should be recruited as teacher. I was taught by Mr. James Obaso who is a very outstanding teacher in my constituency. He was a student at Maseno School. After completing his Form Four he had about six months to use before joining Makerere University. He, therefore, came to Oriro Primary School and taught me. He was one of the best arithmetic and geometry teachers I ever saw, and yet, he was just somebody from high school. A lot of people, including the late Dr. Wameyo, taught me in Ndiu Intermediate School when I was in Standard 2. He used to come to Standard 2 and teach us Luhya folk songs, and we enjoyed them! Asante mak luma luma tuma khuenga !
April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 713
What is that, Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o?
It is a Luhya folk song. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think we should make use of all our human resources in the teaching profession. I am quite sure that if we opened our doors even to pastors--- A lot of people who were teachers, like my father, went on to become pastors and clergymen. We have a lot of clergymen in this country who are very good speakers on Sunday. Why do you prevent them from teaching in schools during weekdays? Let them go and teach Christian Religious Education (CRE) in schools! Why do you have to train people in Bondo Teachers College to go and teach CRE when you have a whole range of pastors in Bondo who have been trained in CRE from various denominations: The Nomiya Luo Church, Anglican and Catholic Churches? They can go to those schools and give various versions of the Christian knowledge, not just one version from a teacher who was trained in one training college. So, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like the Ministry to open up their minds to the human resources availability in this country and use it to augment the number of teachers in our schools. If you go to places like the USA, the number of teachers who teach in primary schools are not just the people who are fully employed there. They have people who teach part-time. I once taught part-time in a college in the USA and I was not a regular lecturer there. But I was hired part- time to teach a specific course. If we can have part-time lecturers and professors teaching these private universities, like Catholic University and the United States International University--- They depend a lot on part-time lecturers and professors. The core staff in those institutions is very small, but they hire all kinds of people, even from other universities to go and teach there. Why can we not use that concept in our primary schools? We should get a retired teacher living nearby, who used to teach mathematics in a certain school and give him the responsibility of teaching mathematics. Just pay him for that, do not pay him all overheads, like what and what-not because he has already retired. They will augment the number of teachers we have in schools and the shortage of teachers will be reduced drastically. With these few remarks, I beg to support!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to also contribute on this Motion. Before I start, I would like to congratulate my friend, hon. Ojode, for coming up with a Motion that, to me, should be unanimously adopted and accepted by all hon. Members of this august House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will start off by saying that, probably, the greatest disaster that ever befell this country was this whole concept of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) because during that time, a lot of unpleasant things happened in this country. One of them was the freezing of employment of not only teachers, but other vital workers in other sectors of this country, especially in the health sector. As a country, I think we have not recovered from that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the things that makes me proud of being part of this Government is that, now, after a very long time, we are funding our Budget solely from revenue that is collected in this country. Therefore, we are being independent and, because of this, I would like the Ministry of Education to move with speed and make sure that we not only have quantity education, like what we have now, but also quality education at all levels, both in primary and secondary levels. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, of course, one of the very prized reforms that the NARC Government put in place is the reform of free primary education. Because of this, we have 714 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 an enrolment that rose from 6.1 million pupils in our primary schools to 7.6 million. But we did not have a concomitant increase of teachers in our primary schools. Therefore, we have ended up substituting quality with quantity. As many hon. Members have said, and I would like to reiterate, is that in many of our primary schools now, you will find between 80 and 90 pupils being taught by one teacher. Therefore, the kind of education that the pupils are getting will not, by any stretch of imagination, be education that we can say is quality education. The Mover of this Motion has rightly put it that the shortage of teachers that we have in the country is 56,000. I think, severally, the Minister for Education has said that they are going to employ 40,000 teachers. I would like to urge them to add the extra 16,000 teachers so that we get the optimum number that we require.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to disagree a little with Prof. Anyang'- Nyong'o, who said that we need to get retired teachers, priests and what-not, coming to teach our pupils. I think that we have enough trained manpower who are unemployed as we speak now. So, we do not need to go out and get retired people. In any case, one of the things that we are saying and it is being said out there is that, this Government is in the habit of employing people who should be retired. So, I would like to disagree vehemently that we need to reach out to teachers who have retired. Those people who have retired have moved from one stage to another in their life and they need to do other things. Let us get our youth, the majority of whom are not employed, let us train them so that they can come and train our other youth, who are younger than them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about free primary education, we need to move further and say: "It is time that we make a good programme or policy even better". I was glad when His Excellency, the President, opened Parliament and said that we are going to put forth affordable secondary education. When we talk about affordable secondary education, coupled with the fact that over 60 per cent of our people live below the poverty line, this is the time when we need to come forth and put forward pro-poor programmes. When you talk about affordable secondary education, we mean that the Government needs to move in and assist the poor access quality secondary education in this country. I know that many hon. Members have talked about day secondary schools and I support that idea. We need to go further and say that, if we are going to put forth that idea and say that a majority of our students will go to day secondary schools, we will have to put forth a preposition that day secondary education should be made free. Looking at the figures, and we have said that it costs about Kshs10,000 to educate our students in day secondary school, if we have 1,000,000 students in our secondary schools like we have now, we are talking about an extra Kshs10 billion. This Government can afford to do this to make sure that the very poor in our society can also enjoy the so-called "improved economy" that we keep talking about. We need to go that way! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, I would like to talk about equity in our education system. Rich people are the ones who can afford to take their children to quality schools, be they academies or high cost secondary schools like Alliance High School, which costs about Kshs50,000 to Kshs60,000 per student per year. The poor tend to be left out. This problem perpetuates itself. Children who are taken to good primary schools end up in good secondary schools and they eventually end up in universities. Poor people, who cannot afford to take their children to good primary schools, will not manage to take their children to good secondary schools. These are the parents whose children end up in day secondary schools and, therefore, their children do not go to universities. This issue must be addressed. When the Minister for Education comes to give his April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 715 contribution on this Motion, I would like to ask him to touch on this issue. He should try to see how best we can narrow the gap between the children of the poor and the children of the rich. They should all be able to access quality education. Otherwise, we will end up with a class-system in this country, where the rich will continue being rich and the poor will continue being poor. We need to look at this issue and address it very drastically. With those few remarks, I would like to support the Motion.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to add my voice in supporting this Motion, which is so timely and very crucial. I would like to throw the first challenge to the Minister for Education. Is this Motion really necessary? Is this something which we should be telling the Minister? It is like legislating that a mother should feed her children or the father should pay school fees. Do we need to legislate these kind of things?
Order, hon. Poghisio! I would like to caution you that at 12.00 p.m., I will be calling upon the Government responder to reply.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we bring Motions here just because we know and think that the Government is sleeping. There is no reason, absolutely, why we should tell the Government to hire teachers. This is something that should be done naturally. The Government should be coming to this House to tell us that it intends to hire teachers aggressively. We do not require to have a Motion that says these kind of things. However, now that this is the way this Government responds to its natural duties, I would like to support the Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to begin by telling the Minister that we are in a competitive world of technology where we expect our students to be accepted in the best universities in the world. They should train to catch up with current technological advancements. That begins with---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, please, protect me from the Front Bench on the other side. That being the case, it is only good that we begin to ask the Government to start now. We are lagging behind everybody else. A young country like Rwanda, which has gone through turmoil and other things, is ahead of us in Information Technology (IT). We are moving slowly. We cannot afford to go at the rate where we are begging the Government to recruit teachers to provide a basic service like primary school education. We are very big on free primary education as a name. The whole world is looking at us for that. What the world does not know is the rot; the difficulties of having to bring up the pupils in our public schools. I want to touch on something else. Our primary school teachers are now having to deal with so much funds as a result of free primary education, which are directed straight to the head teachers. Most of these teachers are very young people, who have no training on how to handle these funds. They are supposed to keep accounts, but they do not know how to keep those accounts. There is a lot of wastage. Money is being thrown to some of these young people. There used to be induction courses for teachers, so that they could actually handle money, but they do not get these courses any more. There is a lot of wastage in schools because head teachers are not trained on how to handle money. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, while the intention is to collect fees, the primary purpose of schools is to teach young people. Many times, teachers send away children to collect fees at the time of examinations, so that they can miss the examinations. It is like a punitive measure; if you do not have school fees, you do not do examinations. It is a very interesting way of fulfilling your duty as a teacher. 716 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 However, where students come from very poor areas like in the ASAL areas, I would like to challenge the Minister to start being creative in terms of working out how some of these students can belong to a category that can be given work for fees. We should have work study programmes, so that the students do not have to go home. A lot of work can be created around the schools, so that these children can work for their school fees. Another way is through the feeding programme, so that the Government gives food to those schools and that food is quantified into fees. That reduces the amount of fees charged in those particular areas to help the poor children, so that they can continue to study. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I look forward to a time when our education system will be in sync with educational systems in countries around us, so that we can have teachers coming from different countries to help us in cases where we have a shortage of teachers or our teachers going to those countries in case they have a shortage. In this case, there is no shortage of teachers in this country. This Motion is simply asking the Minister to ask for money from this House through the Budget, to employ enough teachers in the country to teach our children. I would like to thank hon. Ojode for reminding this Government of its basic duty. On teachers' transfers, some of the problems we are complaining about are basically organisational problems. The District Educational Officers (DEOs) sit in their offices every day, the whole year, yet you can find that just next door, one school has three teachers and the school next has about eight teachers. This is a matter of balancing the teachers. A district can agree that schools with Standard Eight classes should never have less than six teachers, for example. That should be distributed equally. The problems are occurring because the DEOs office is not doing its job. It is sleeping on the job. For example, in West Pokot District, the former district which I belonged to before the Pokot North District was created, you will find that in Kapenguria area, near the DEO's office, schools are over-staffed and just in the zone next door, schools are under-staffed. This is just a duty of re-distribution. I hope the Minister can impress on his DEO's to redistribute teachers without fear or favour. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I would like to say, at the very outset, that obviously, we all support this Motion. I would like to explain some of the circumstances that have led to our current situation, beginning with the fact that the current ceiling of 250,000 teachers that we employ was set up in 1997. It was not anything to do with the structural adjustment programmes, like I also used to think, but it has more to do with the enrolments at the time in terms of how many children were enroled in primary and secondary schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that number was okay then up to 1997, but there have been major changes, especially since 2003. We have more than 25 per cent increase in primary and secondary schools. We have already been told about how the number increased by 1.5 million in primary schools alone; because of the many reforms that we are undertaking, including expanding secondary school opportunities, by introducing day schools and day streams as well as expansion of the private sector in education, support for informal schools and so on. The secondary school system itself has expanded to the point where now, instead of a transition rate of only 47 per cent, we have up to 60 per cent transition from primary to secondary school, thereby, again, increasing the demand for teachers. So, it is true that the increase in student numbers in both primary and secondary schools has called for proportionate increases in the number of teachers that we recruit. However, in addition to those conditions, there have been other factors that have intensified the problem, including that of teachers being employed by other Ministries due to the new opportunities that keep on coming up. April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 717 There are also those teachers taking up teaching jobs in other countries. Again, it is difficult for us to say that we will prevent them from going to other countries if we cannot employ all of them. If you get a job, say in Sudan or Rwanda, it is not fair for us to ask you to just stay here, or for us to blame the Government for allowing that exodus when we are not able to accommodate all of them. Other challenges relate to death because of various diseases, including the HIV/AIDS, teachers resigning as well as retiring because of the age limit. I support Dr. Kibunguchy in saying that we do not need to go outside the country to recruit teachers who have retired, because, even in other countries, people retire for the same reasons as we ask civil servants to retire. We require them to retire to allow other people to get employed, especially at this time when we have these numbers. In view of that, therefore, I would like to say that, as a Ministry, we have supported recruitment of teachers. We have stated this publicly many times before. We have indicated on numerous occasions that we are negotiating with the Treasury. We have even spoken of the fact that we have a Cabinet Paper that has already been prepared, illustrating the extent to which there is a serious problem and why we need to recruit more teachers. We have also said that much will depend, therefore, on how well we are doing as an economy, and how much the Treasury is going to allocate us. We hope that, in keeping with the request from Members of Parliament, the next Budget will enable us to recruit more teachers than we have been able to recruit in the last four years. We have only been replacing those whom we have lost through natural attrition. So, we are pushing very much for that and, maybe, we will be pleasantly surprised, depending on how much we will be able to get to be able to go beyond the limit we have operated in, in the last few years.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the shortage is big. We need, at least 45,000 teachers for primary schools and 10,000 for secondary schools. It is unfortunate because we have up to 60,000 registered unemployed teachers. Many others have graduated through private institutions. So, in terms of actual numbers, we would not have to go outside. The teachers are already there. It is just a question of coming up with the resources. While we are going through this difficult time, we have indicated that we also should try other innovations. Can we do much better with the teachers that we have? Can we get them to do more, in view of the difficulties that some of our students are facing, given the high ratios that have been talked about? Can we do more by way of balancing? Can we get support from everybody, in terms of ensuring that we do not try to push teachers to capital cities and other towns, whereas remote rural schools are disadvantaged? Is it possible to ask for more partnership, again, as we try to resolve the problem? Even if we get more money, I do not think we will avoid a situation where we will have to ask all those who are investing in education to put in a little bit more so as to support the numbers that the Ministry will not be able to support, and in terms of cost-sharing with parents themselves. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I like some of the proposals that have been made. Some hon. Members have suggested, for instance, that we should abolish boarding schools as a way of releasing resources. That is a very good proposal. In many countries of the world, secondary schools are day institutions. It is not quite clear why we must still continue with the tradition of boarding schools, even in areas where children can go to schools very easily. I agree that we should 718 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 have boarding schools in remote parts of this country. But I think it is a high time we took radical measures to do away with national schools, if "national" only means a boarding institution that is far away from where the child comes from. Those schools only serve in terms of advantaging children who come from certain backgrounds in terms of competition. As a Ministry, we are considering a possibility of banning or abolishing all boarding schools. We should have day schools in every part of this country. We cannot have schools that are equivalently endowed in terms of resources and teachers. But if boarding schools are an advantage, maybe, it is a high we subjected all of them to the same competition. We should make secondary school education less expensive. We should also create other opportunities for those students who are not able to gain access to secondary school. So, that is a good policy. We should begin to think of ways and means of implementing it without causing the disruption of the system. On training and recruitment, some points have been made by some of our contributors. Having a system of recruitment and training is inevitable in terms of admitting students to teacher training colleges. But, also, in terms of teacher recruitment, there are areas which are favoured. I would like to say that with regard to the recruitment of school leavers to teacher training colleges, the emphasis has been to support areas that have fewer teachers. In other words, the admissions are proportionate to the demand of teachers in various districts. So, districts are allocated training opportunities depending on the shortage of teachers in those districts. That is also the same with regard to the employment of teachers. We should not argue that we should build more teachers training colleges, when we have more than enough institutions. In fact, I keep on wondering for how long we will continue to train teachers in our teacher training colleges when we have 60,000 to 70,000 teachers who are already unemployed. I think the question should be how to use those colleges better. Maybe, we should convert them to diploma awarding institutions and still train more teachers later!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead the House that the recruitment of teachers is in line with the massive increase of students in our primary and secondary schools as a result of the free primary education?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not remember saying that.
I do not understand what your point of order is! So, Mr. Assistant Minister, proceed! That can become an argument!
It can become an argument because I do not even remember alluding to that fact. I have explained the difficulties that we are facing. I said that there is a shortage of teachers. We appreciate and accept that fact as a Ministry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was saying that what we should be thinking about, instead of building more teacher training colleges in view of the shortage of teachers, we should convert those colleges into diploma-granting institutions. They also could be institutions where students could start training as teachers and, eventually, graduate to universities. We have such situations in United States of America (USA) and Canada. Those institutions offer associate degree programmes. They are called community colleges. They offer two-year programmes and from there, you can graduate to a university. That way, you can save two years and still continue. That is one way of reducing the big burden that we have in terms of those students who are graduating from secondary schools. But it is also important, in the long run, to have teachers who have good skills. Diploma teachers are better than P1 teachers. We hope that, in the next 10 years, most of our primary schools will be headed by teachers who have attained the diploma level of education, if not university education. That is the trend elsewhere. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, instead of, therefore, blaming the Government for doing nothing - some hon. Members have said that the Government has been sleeping and do not April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 719 see why we should be talking about teacher recruitment all this time - we need to appreciate what has been accomplished. It is not fair to blame the Government for coming up with the policy of free primary education. I think it is a very good policy and it has made a lot of difference to many Kenyans. What we should be asking is, how it is that we can make it better. However, to say that it is pointless to have started this programme is to fail to appreciate the difference it has made for those Kenyans who could not have had a chance at primary school education. Similarly, I do not think it is fair to, again, complain that we should not open day schools or day streams in boarding schools if we do not have teachers for secondary schools. I think it is a good policy in terms of supporting that transition and ensuring that many more Kenyans have access to secondary school education. Again, the issue is how to deal with the challenges. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to say that hon. Members should appreciate the difficulties we inherited from the previous regime. For example, this year, we are coming up with about Kshs5 billion to pay teachers' salaries so that we complete the two remaining phases. If teachers had been paid before 2002, the promise that had been made, this money that we would use to pay teachers now would have been released, maybe, to employ more teachers. That is why I believe that after we are done with this, it is going to be possible for us to have more resources, maybe, Kshs10 billion. It is, therefore, going to be easier to come up with that amount of money because the burden of paying teachers, which should have been accomplished by the previous regime, will have been settled. We will not be talking about increasing salaries and coming up with over Kshs7 billion that has just been allocated for resolving a crisis that had nothing to do with this regime. So, basically, this is purely the issue of the Government. I am trying to say that as we talk about these problems, let us also appreciate the fact that we have made a big leap and have got closer to resolving the issues. However, even in terms of the system of recruiting teachers that is much more equitable and transparent, this is something for which this Government deserves credit. I agree that we should try to employ teachers for our pre-primary schools. However, again, we should take one thing at a time. Have we already resolved the problem of teachers in primary and secondary schools? Finally, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, so that we can have other hon. Members contribute, for teacher recruitment, even though we are not recruiting all teachers, every effort is made to be as transparent and as equitable as possible. I need to underline again that when we recruit, say, 10,000 teachers to replace those we have lost through natural attrition, there is every effort to ensure that those teachers who are recruited are proportionate to the shortages in every district. So, for example, Makueni will always get more teachers than elsewhere. A district like Meru Central where you are saying they have no problem will get no teachers. They have not been getting any teachers. There is every effort at being equitable with regard to recruitment. Mr. Musila said that I am also marginalised, coming from Meru North because we have a shortage of over 1,000 teachers. This is also the case in Makueni and many other semi-arid areas. However, there are reasons for that. Those districts that already have enough teachers also had a head start in terms of having an education advantage. Those areas, in terms of levels of secondary school attendance, for example, you found that the district without any shortage had more of their children enroling in both primary and secondary schools and also teacher-training colleges. Really, the fact that they have no shortage has something to do with a historical advantage and the factor of investment in education in those particular districts. In many ways, you can say that they are being penalised for investing in education because their children do not get recruited as teachers. It is actually not the fault of those children from those communities. We, therefore, need to be careful. This has much to do with how much investment those particular communities have made and the level of actual literacy in those constituencies as opposed to being favoured by the Government. In 720 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 many ways, unfortunately, because of that, now, they are tending to be penalised, especially when it comes to recruitment of teachers. Of course, they are benefitting in other areas because they are the ones who take up other jobs in other sectors outside education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the problem with Makueni, Meru North and other arid areas has got something to do with that initial investment in terms of whether or not they have a surplus of young people who have gone to training institutions. Whenever you recruit teachers in those areas, immediately, they complete five years, they would want to transfer to other areas that appear more attractive in terms of infrastructural possibilities and other possibilities of support. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that we appreciate the fact that this is a problem, I would like to draw to the attention of this august House the fact that we need to begin thinking of how we can come up with resources. But, more importantly, what do we need to do, as hon. Members, to ensure that we experience serious and dramatic economic growth? This will enable us to employ more teachers because we will have more schools, resources and money. I know that this is happening. We are making progress as it happens. However, if it were much more dramatic, we would be able to do even better. Let us also see what we can do to close all the loopholes through which we are losing money, say, through corruption and other avenues. We can get those resources to be available for recruitment of teachers as well as other demands of this Government. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to stop there and say that we support this Motion, but much will depend on whether or not we will get the support of Treasury and whether or not we will have the resources to recruit more teachers. As of now, we hope that, come the next Budget, we will do better than we have done before in terms of the number of teachers that we have been recruiting.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to stand here to support this Motion. First I would like to address two issues which, probably, have not been addressed. The intention of this Motion is to provide quality education. You cannot provide quality education if you do inspect schools. I would like the Minister to listen to this: In Kakamega District, there has not been inspection of primary schools since last year. There is money that was voted for the purpose of inspecting schools in all districts, but for the last two years, no inspection of schools has been conducted. We, therefore, cannot be assured of quality education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to talk on the question of recruitment of teachers by District Education Boards (DEBs). I would not want to see a situation where DEBs are used as rubber stamps. A case in point is the Kakamega DEB. It did its bit as far as recruitment of teachers is concerned. The DEB knows its requirements because it is the recipient of services and so it knows what it wants. The Kakamega DEB did this exercise, but it was all in vain because the TSC interfered with it. Indeed, people who do not come from Kakamega District were given those slots. This is unacceptable because this exercise is intended to provide jobs for trained teachers who have not been employed from those particular districts. When you start bringing in teachers from other districts other than the districts where they have been identified by the DEBs, that is corruption and it must be stopped. It is necessary that this Ministry implements what we have agreed to do through the Motions passed in this House. We said that if teachers die or retire, they need to be replaced instantly. This is not happening! Perhaps, this Ministry should be able to look into that matter and make sure that the Motions we pass here are actually implemented. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
I now call upon the Mover to reply.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I reply, I would like to request the April 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 721 Chair to allow me to donate a few minutes of my time to some of my colleagues who have approached me. I will donate two minutes to hon. Kipchumba and two minutes to hon. Owino.
Order, Mr. Ojode! This is time for you to reply.
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will still have time to reply.
Is this going to help you to reply?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, they have requested me and I thought that it is important that their voices be heard.
Hon. Members, it is becoming disturbing that an hon. Member, who has ten minutes to reply, tries to donate part of his or her time!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me start by thanking those who have supported this very important Motion. I have taken down Mr. Sambu's observations. He was of the idea that boarding schools be scrapped. I welcome that move. However, if we did away with boarding schools, the bottom line is that we will still require more teachers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Musila spoke about the numbers of teachers to be considered for recruitment in various districts with the highest under-staffing. I welcome that move. As we have seen, Homa Bay and Makueni districts have very high levels of under-staffing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o talked about hiring retired teachers. For me, that is a big "No." We have very able young people who could as well be trained and hired. We also have those young men and women who have been trained and yet, they are still jobless. These are the people I would appeal to the Minister to give first priority when recruiting teachers. As the Minister said, there are a number of trained teachers who have not been employed. In fact, we should not employ or hire anybody who has retired. Dr. Kibunguchy said that there is need for equity. In fact, that is what the Minister should do. Mr. Poghisio also talked about marginalised areas. It is true that when you look at the list I gave to the House, the situation in marginalised areas is wanting. I do not know what method the Government will use to improve this situation. When talking about recruiting 10,000 teachers, the Minister should not confuse what has been going on for recruitment. What has been happening is replacement of teachers who leave the profession through natural attrition. In fact, the Government has never done any recruitment of teachers since 1995. The ceiling was given by the former Minister for Finance, Mr. Nyachae. There was nothing legal about it. The Minister should note that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is time for the Minister to convince the Treasury that the Ministry needs Kshs10.7 billion in order to recruit 56,000 teachers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are a number of projects in which the Government has put a lot of money. As I speak, there is a case of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) where a variation has been done without re-tendering. The procurement procedures say that if one wants to vary any contract, it has to be re-tendered. The KAA have not re-tendered any contract, but are varying it to the tune of Kshs20 billion to Kshs30 billion. What Mr. Ojode is asking for is only Kshs10.7 billion per annum in order to recruit 56,000 teachers. This is the case I would like the Minister to address. There are those fast-growing economies of East and Central Asia, such as Korea and others like New Zealand, Brazil, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. Those countries are spending more resources on education. They are spending between 39 per cent to 50 per cent of their countries' budgets on education. So, why can this Government not follow suit? Why not forget about the phantom projects and put more resources in the education sector? 722 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 18, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, even creating more districts is not a priority. In fact, the priority now is to recruit more teachers. I believe that the majority of my colleagues are spending more money on education. In my constituency alone, in 1994, I only had six secondary schools. As we speak right now, I have increased them to 24 and these schools need teachers. So, I am appealing to the Government that their priorities should not be targeting phantom projects or buying and purchasing of second-hand helicopters. I was perplexed to hear that from a Government Minister who stood somewhere and said that they are in the process of purchasing second-hand jet fighters and helicopters. I want to caution this Government. If they are looking for resources for campaigns, they should not try to purchase any second-hand equipment. We will take them to court once we form the next Government because they are trying to loot Government resources. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry should direct financial and material support to more day-secondary schools in order to enhance their effective utilisation and overall performance and quality. The reason why we need to put more resources in day-secondary school is because of the expenses. In fact, I should bring another Motion here to either abolish or transform all boarding schools into day-schools. I am saying that because it is too expensive for ordinary Kenyans to afford boarding schools. The other area where I wanted the Minister to come out clear, is the issue of that money which is being disbursed for FPE in each and every primary school. I think there is need for the Minister either to constitute a task force to check whether that money which is being given out, based on enrolment, is being utilised for the intended purpose. A number of teachers are misusing this money. It would have been important if that money could be channelled to the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) as a separate item. If that is done, it will be easy for us to know which school needs what. But there are some schools which are just misusing that money. They are not supplementing CDF by contributing some of the money that has been allocated to them. It is important for them to change the mode of disbursing that money. That equally applies to the Bursary Fund. The bursaries target the orphans but the Ministry does not give us enough money and it takes a long time to disburse the bursary funds. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Hon. Members, it is time to interrupt the business of the House. This House, therefore, stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.