Prof. Jennifer Wanjiku khamasi, PhD, EBS

Chief Editor

I write this editorial three days after the release of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education results by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; and about one month after the primary school examination period was concluded.  The Cabinet Secretary and his team received heaps of congratulatory messages for successfully managing the examination process.  For more than 20 years, results were normally released after 25th of December and the rush for Form One positions begun thereafter and caused anxiety in families who needed spaces in reputable secondary schools.  The act of releasing the examinations within a month as well as minimizing incidents of examination malpractices has revealed that for a Ministry of Education to transform educational institutions, good leadership is key. 

As I wait to start the second week of December 2016, I am reminded that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (Kenya) released an audit report in October 2016.  And on 6th December 2016, the Commission plans to engage public universities on the need to create institutions that value ethnic diversity.

I also recognize that the world over, we are two weeks away from Christmas and nationally a week away from celebrating Jamhuri Day; 53 years since Kenya attained political independence from colonial rule.  This calls to mind the fact that the holiday season has begun and domestic tourism will increase in this festive season. 

In brief, the papers featured in this volume address issues of national significance some of which touch on the issues I have raised above i.e. educational leadership, national cohesion and integration and domestic tourism.

Irene Simiyu and Clement Eyinda in their paper entitled Leadership with a Conscience: Narratives on Teacher Leadership from Two Secondary School Teachers from Western Kenya discuss teacher leadership and narrate their experiences and efforts to transform their work environments as well as mentor colleagues to become leaders. The authors remind us that a “teacher leader is one who leads within and beyond the classroom … contributes to other teachers’ and learners’ welfare and empowerment’, and is more often than not motivated by a sense of “moral purpose of achieving educational goals …”  Using lived experiences, they have recommended ways in which teachers can embrace the teacher leadership role and transform their institutions. 

In chapter 2 we have a paper by Scholastica Musakali Adeli entitled Selection of a Preschool: Comparison between Play-based and Academic-based Preschools in Eldoret Municipality.  Adeli presents findings from a study that engaged parents and explored the factors that a selected number of parents considered when selecting preschool institutions for their children.  The findings show that most (72%) of the study participants/parents preferred academic-based schools rather than play-based schools. This finding and discussions between the researcher and selected participants point to the need for educators to sensitize parents on the long term benefits of choosing play-based school for preschoolers. 

Mary Wanjiku David’s paper which is entitled Enhancing Visitor Experience in Museums to Increase Visitation is the 3rd chapter.  Mary reminds the reader that the Museums of Kenya have a mandate in the promotion of national development.  The role manifests itself in many ways; but the educational role is the most conspicuous.  In this regard, the Museums receive hundreds of visitors annually irrespective of the location, a fact that Mary has articulated in the paper and gives a number of recommendations that would facilitate the Museums of Kenya meet the needs of the various clientele, and consequently, educate and promote domestic tourism. 

Lastly, Justus Barasa Maende has presented a paper entitled: Role of Higher Education Expansion in Enhancing Cohesion and Integration in Kenya.  At the onset he asks: how do current trends in higher education in Kenya deal with social exclusion, equity considerations; articulate issues of class, gender, and ethnicity and contribute to social development?’ Justus fears that the many regional public universities are nothing but avenues for host communities to create employment for ‘their own’ and exclude ‘the other’ Kenyan from a different region.  Justus argues that one of the reasons why Kenya Government is expanding higher education is to address cohesion and integration.  He emphasizes that one of the roles of National Cohesion, Integration Commission in Kenya is to facilitate elimination of negative ethnicity in public institutions. 

I invite readers to engage with the different papers and possibly contact the Chief Editor for more information.