Insights from the EE4A Conference at Tom Mboya University

A diverse assembly of policymakers, researchers, Civil Society Organizations, and academia, joined forces in a collaborative effort to reshape the educational landscape. Convening at Tom Mboya University’s Homa Bay branch, the Education Evidence for Action (EE4A) conference, now in its fifth iteration, served as the focal point for discussions with a clear objective: delving into evidence-based data that could act as a compass for steering reforms within Kenya’s education sector.

Dr. John Mugo, the Chair of EE4A, set an engaging tone by emphasizing the significance of generating evidence to inform education policies. The conference not only provided a platform for dissecting the challenges facing the education system but also underscored its dedication to evidence and data. Recent events, such as the discussions sparked by the release of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results, presented pressing questions that Dr. Mugo highlighted with particular interest, emphasizing their undeniable significance.

The myriad of concerns discussed focused on the variability in learning outcomes among diverse schools. The discourse aimed to comprehend the factors influencing these outcomes while exploring methods of harnessing data and evidence to promote effective learning. The implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) posed a significant challenge, prompting reflections on the roles of researchers in collaborative monitoring with teachers and parents, as well as collective implementation and data generation.

Dr. Mugo remarked, “As data and evidence researchers, both within and outside government, we have engaged in discussions, exploring our expanding knowledge base over the past two years. We’ve particularly focused on how leveraging this newfound understanding of data and evidence can guide us towards superior decision-making, not limited to governmental roles but also extending into our capacities as parents, educators, and lifelong learners.

Dr. Darius Mogaka, the Director of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, not only acknowledges but emphasizes the invaluable role of evidence in policymaking. He underscores the need for our culture to embrace evidence, further illuminating its potential benefits to policymakers. Good evidence could save both time and resources that might otherwise be invested in redundant research. Understanding school enrollment dynamics, dropout rates, and other critical factors emerges as paramount, informing effective decision-making—a point Dr. Mogaka decidedly underlines.

Concluding, the director affirmed the ministry’s commitment to fostering dialogue and collaboration, aligning with their overarching goal of analyzing existing evidence through engagement with stakeholders who proffer viable solutions. Dr. Mogaka underscored an essential point: a joint effort is critical for ensuring successful reforms within Kenya’s education sector.

The echoes of the EE4A conference clearly signal that the pursuit of educational reform is a joint responsibility—a robust foundation rooted in evidence and collaborative dialogue among key stakeholders. This assembly offers insights that could potentially catalyze transformative changes within Kenya’s educational landscape.

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