ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION: What are the vagaries of the levels of planning in the contemporary teaching environment?

CHAPTER 9

MICRO AND MACRO PLANNING, THE PLANNING CYCLE

9a i). Discuss the vagaries of the levels of planning in the contemporary teaching environment

LEVELS OF PLANNING

Macro Planning: centralized planning

  • Deals with education sector as a whole or with basic components of the levels e.g. ECD, higher education, teacher demand, relevance of curriculum
  • The interest is usually with general overview of education needs or the structure
  • This refers to the large-scale nature
  • Tend to be a technocratic process and also removed from the people from whom education services are being planned
  • In Kenya, we have more of the centralized planning than local level planning
  • Input of local stakeholders is not always taken into consideration
  • Even execution/implementation of the pan does not always involve the ordinary people affected most.
  • Drawing up of education plans and blueprints is the sole preserve of the central government
  • Examples of a classic use of Macro Planning are the various education commissions set up since independence e.g. Ominde (1964), Gachathi (1976), Mackay (1981), Kamunge (1988), Koech (1999), Ndegwa, Wamalwa, Task force on implementation of FPE.
  • Those involved are only a fraction of the stakeholder sin educational d not the full range
  • Even where they are involved, the views are not always implemented and sometimes are disregarded especially when they are at variance with the powers that be.
  • Execution or education plans at the local levels is done by agents of the central government e.g. PGDE, PEB, DEB, DEO. These agencies are constituted by the central government.
  • Reasons for the non-participatory nature of education policy is due to the desire by the government to control the education system in away that is politically palatable to it. E.g. Mackay(1981) recommended  an education system that was popular with the government of the day but not the population (8.4.4 had failed in Canada) Koech (1999) recommended an education system popular with the people but not implemented.

Advantages of Macro Planning

  • It’s less expensive
  • It takes a short time to develop
  • Has full support of the Central government

Deficiencies in Macro Planning

  1. Complexity of planning tasks at the national level do not allow for considerations of variations in local (physical, cultural, economic, religious, social environments)
  2. It fails to reduce inequalities between provinces, regions, and urban/rural areas, group of people etc.
  3. Influential leaders could abuse the system to direct more resources and projects to their home areas (politicized)
  4. The absolute lack of participation of local communities on the design, realization, and maintenance of educational facilities means that facilities/activities become irrelevant to the needs of local community.
  5. Lack of sufficient knowledge on the prevailing local conditions and constraints bring problems when it comes to onsite implementation of the centrally/nationally defined plans and projects.
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