7th November 2016
No one would have thought sanity would prevail in the Education Sector till Dr Fred Okeng’o Matiang’i landed at the Ministry Of Education.This is a workaholic who has the best interests for the academy and the education of young Kenyans at heart.
He has introduced sweeping changes in the sector.When he told members of the fourth estate some time after taking office that in 2016 there would be no national examination malpractices,we thought he was bluffing.
Last week KCPE Candidates sat for their assessments and save for the incident at Coast,everything went on orderly.Those who were found culpable of abetting in irregularities were apprehended and arraigned in court.That’s how you know the Cabinet Secretary means business.
Together with Prof George Magoha,the chair of KNEC and Mrs Lydia Nzomo of TSC they supervised the logistics of the examinations as they were being undertaken at various examination centers countrywide.Even his Principal Secretary Prof Belio Kipsang was also part of the supervision team.They were not going to leave anything to chance in the administration of the tests.
KCSE exams started today.And despite it being rehearsal day,an attempt at contravening the set out rules and regulations found some examination officers in trouble.These strict adherence to the code of conduct stipulated for all stakeholders involved in the examination process will be in practice for the whole of the exam period.
Matiangi has introduced an array of stringent regulations that were meant to close all loopholes that encouraged the rot of national examination malpractices that has rocked the country these past years.Though they were met with resistance by various stake holders in the education sector.
There was restlessness among students that saw a wave of arson attacks in over 100 secondary schools countrywide that saw properties worth billions go up flames namely dormitories and students’ valuables.News-mongers and pundits claimed that it was exam cartels that were sending a message to the Ministry that they were uncomfortable with the frustration of their trade.
Despite all these happenings, CS Matiang’i has remained unbowed.He has continued to warn that no form of cheating will go unpunished.Those attempting to call his bluff,are ending up in handcuffs.It is commendable that the Cabinet Secretary is sanitizing the rot that has rocked our education system.
He hasn’t stop there though.He has been working round the clock to unravel the nightmare that is our high education,Higher learning in Kenya has been relegated to a laughing stock.An item of global ridicule. Over-commercialization of the academy has frustrated the quality of knowledge and research in these institutions.Matiang’i launched a crack down on Universities that had opened satellite campuses that didn’t meet CUE standards of best practice.Accreditation of degree courses also become an important item.
The issue of lecturers tutoring without the requisite qualifications has been put on the spotlight.Universities offering coursework without the standard infrastructure are also not being spared.The thorny issue of students’ unrest that has poisoned the tranquil atmosphere for learning is being discussed and deliberated on.
All said and done,Dr Matiang’i will go down in history as one of the best Kenyan Ministers of Education.He has performed better than all his predecessors in the docket. As the first term of the Jubilee Administration draws to an end in August next year,President Kenyatta will look back and pat Dr Okeng’o on the back for a job well done.
Despite the election pledge of Class 1 Laptops for digital learning being frustrated in the earlier days of their reign,when the program started rolling out Dr Matiang’i has been at the forefront ensuring the tablets are being delivered and the children are benefiting maximally from the program.
It is under Matiangi’s tenure that the teachers’ salaries debacle was solved.After 18 years of court battles and strikes that paralyzed the education sector,a remuneration package was agreed upon that would be paid out in stretches.Primary and Secondary Schools are now connected to the electricity grid.Institutions are being awarded with title deeds.
This man is doing a commendable job