Editorial: Education monitoring structures need to be strengthened

It is fair to say that the Ministry of Education has sailed through the most difficult waters than any other government institution.

The education sector went through extreme makeovers and the difficulties it encountered were to be expected, especially transiting from French to English as a medium of education.

From the very beginning, it was trial by error and most times a knee jerk reaction to encountered problems. It was a daunting task to tame and streamline the education system. Many ministers have occupied the education post with varying results, but most will agree that it was always a learning curve.

Today one can comfortably say that the weaknesses in the education sector are not the policies or policy makers, but implementers, beginning with those supposed to monitor the implementation of the said policies.

An example is the recently concluded inspection tour of vocational training centres where 65 were to be suspended until they met requirements. But a few days to the beginning of the school calendar, schools were yet to know their fate.

Early this year a similar inspection tour was carried out in secondary school and many were found in appalling conditions and had been in that state for some time. Had ministry officials been vigilant, it would not have come to that situation.

Some of the issues raised or encountered would not be there if the ministry strengthened its monitoring system and intervening before things got out of hand. The welfare of the students should not be sacrificed at the altar of mercenary education institutions and weak implementation structures.

Let the new team in the education docket prove that they can make a difference.