Schools set to provide free, compulsory ECD education

By Bernard Gitau
Monday, April 19th, 2021
The Kenya Union of Pre-Primary Education Teachers chair Lawrence Otunga.
In summary

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

Nursery education will be free and compulsory after the gazettement of Early Childhood Education Act, 2021.

Through the Act that was gazetted on April 9, no parent will be charged any amount during the admission or entire learning period of an Early Childhood Development Education learner.

The Kenya Union of Pre-Primary Education Teachers chair Lawrence Otunga welcomed the development, saying the Act will provide a legal framework that will guide counties on ECDE issues.

“Act will also compel parents and guardians to present their children for admission in the ECDE centres.

Those who fail to comply commits an offence and shall be liable to, on conviction, a fine not exceeding Sh10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year,” said Otunga.

Speaking at the weekend, Otunga said through the union, they will engage all counties to domesticate the Act, as it will allow devolved units to remunerate teachers in consultation with the Salary and Remuneration Commission. 

“This would now bring to an end all the pay disparities by the counties, as ECDE teachers will now be paid according to their qualifications,” Otunga said.

He added that through the Act, there would be equality, equity and non-discrimination in the provision of ECDE and the recognition of children with disabilities. 

“Act will ensure counties provide necessary infrastructure and fund the development of ECDE centres and the administration of Early Childhood Education in the counties,”

Act would also ensure whoever wants to establish an ECDE centre must do so in accordance with the law.