Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, meets with TSC boss, Interior and ICT Cabinet Secretaries- Report on what they discussed

The New Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha in his first public address to the media at KICD on Thursday 28th March, 2019, said that all children have equal rights to education regardless of where they come from, as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha, Dr Fred Matiang’i (Interior and National Coordination of Government) and Joe Mucheru (ICT), and the Teachers Service Commission Secretary Dr Nancy Macharia held a lengthy meeting on Thursday 28th March, 2019, to highlight key issues on matters education. The meeting that was held at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, KICD, saw them deliberate on such key issues as: implementation of the new curriculum, administration of National examinations, school land titles and the 100 percent transition policy.

After the meeting, Professor Magoha gave a detailed highlight touching on their deliberations; as presented in his presser, herein:

THE PRESSER BY PROFESSOR GEORGE MAGOHA;

“MULTI-SECTORAL APPROACH TO THE MANAGEMENT OF THE EDUCATION SECTOR

First and foremost, I wish to thank most profusely His Excellency the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, for finding it fit to appoint me to the Ministry of Education. With all humility, I promise to do everything within my powers to deliver on all his education programmes. I shall not let him down.

Secondly, I wish to appreciate my Cabinet colleagues Dr Fred Matiang’i (Interior and National Coordination of Government) and Joe Mucheru (ICT), the Teachers Service Commission Secretary Dr Nancy Macharia for finding time and accepting to join me in this first consultative meeting. I also must thank the CSs for allowing their principal secretaries to also attend this meeting, one of its kind in the education sector. There couldn’t have been a better way to start off my new life as Cabinet Secretary for Education.

DELIVERING AS ONE

The meeting today is extremely significant not only to the officials present here but indeed to the whole Government and the country’s millions of children who look up to us to shape the future lives.

The decision to hold this meeting was borne out of the Government’s firm believe that we can only deliver as one. I am, therefore, announcing today during my first full day in office, that I have opened up the education sector to a joint but coordinated style of management where all relevant ministries and departments must work in consort with one another to effectively deliver quality education. We shall not have room for territorial wars within departments and ministries that only stand to hurt the government’s broad agenda on education. Consistent with this, we have today resolved to kickstart a more pronounced and robust multisectoral approach to education management with the Ministries of Interior and National Coordination, ICT and TSC taking the lead. We will keep roping in other state departments that, in other way or the other, play some role in the education sector in our determination to ensure that no relevant government department fails to contribute to the success of the education programme in this country. Further, we have resolved to have all the regional, county and subcounty officials from all the three ministries and TSC to form technical teams that will deliver education of our children. All the three CSs and their officers are free to visit schools at any time to check if government programmes are running as they must.

NEW CBC CURRICULUM

By next week, schools will close for the First Term having already run on the new Competency-Based Curriculum for One Term in PP1-PP2 and Grade 1-3. The State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education is filing a report based on the existing monitoring reports to give me the actual status of the activities of First Term. We will use the report to progress the implementation in Term Two with greater confidence. In the meantime, I wish to assure the country that the implementation of the new curriculum is firmly on track; we shall deliver. Any initial challenges will be addressed with great precision to ensure the education we deliver to our children meets global standards.

I can guarantee the country that the Ministry, together with relevant agencies, will work round the clock to ensure that a solid operational framework is in place by September to guide the activities of the new curriculum next year. Already, and as the TSC secretary will affirm, necessary training for teachers will be conducted next month and September to help keep our staff continuously prepared to deliver the CBC. All necessary reading and writing materials will also be consistently supplied to schools.

ADMINISTRATION OF NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS

The Multisectoral Team that met today has made a stronger resolve to step up the game in the administration of national examinations. We are not going, in any way, to drop the ball anywhere, any time. The high standards of administering national examinations, started during the regime of Dr Matiang’i at the Education ministry, will be stepped a notch higher this year. The combined efforts of the inter-ministerial team whose heads are assembled here today should send a strong warning to all examination cartels that they are under high levels of surveillance. With my elevation to the ministry, I even have a broader mandate to perfect the art of examinations administration jointly with my Cabinet colleagues and staff of the ministry.

Starting Second Term, we are going to spell out new measures of examination administration, including mounting a stronger examinations pre-monitoring exercise that will also assist us to address cases of indiscipline in schools. I will count on the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination to help us in beefing up security around schools during throughout the year.

I also wish to assure the country that the Government has stepped up efforts to provide birth certificates to KCPE and KCSE candidates. As a result, the number of KCPE candidates who were without birth certificates in February has reduced from 375,000 to 158,496 candidates. Only 11,107 KCSE candidates have not obtained the birth certificates. We are determined to stamp out cases of irregularities associated with the poor management of our national examinations so that the results obtained from the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) are valid and credible.

THE 100 PER CENT TRANSITION POLICY TO SECONDARY

The Multi-Sectoral Team has today been informed that the transition to secondary school for the 2018 KCPE candidates stands at 95.3 per cent. This is a historic achievement compared to the dismal standards we have achieved in previous years. We are now going to ensure that we account for the 4.7 per cent of the 2018 KCPE candidates to allow us to develop strategies to sustain the 100 per cent transition policy.

We must categorically say that the policy of admitting all KCPE candidates to secondary schools is a game changer in this country. It is the only way of offering all children the chance to gain education that can allow them to enter various career pathways. The Government is prepared to work round the clock to expand school infrastructure, provide enough textbooks and teachers to ensure high quality of learning and teaching.

SCHOOL LAND TITLES

Another fundamental issue that requires our urgent attention is the provision of land titles to public schools. In the recent years, we have been confronted with myriad of inquiries from public schools that sit on land they do not own. As you may be aware, various efforts have been initiated to handle this thorny issue, although they have not finalised the matter. I am therefore promising to harmonise all these efforts, together with the Ministry of Lands and National Land Commission, with a view to driving it to its logical conclusion.

We wish to call on all stakeholders to support the Government’s efforts that are meant to guarantee the credibility of the country’s education processes. More fundamentally, we thank all parents, Faith-Based organisations and other sector players for supporting our reforms in the education sector.”

Prof. George Magoha,
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education


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