TSC Fights to Retain Power, while Machogu Defends Education
Ezekiel Machogu, Cabinet Secretary for Education, has defended the presidential working group’s proposed education changes. These measures have sparked discussion and concern among a variety of stakeholders, including members of Congress and educators.
President William Ruto’s education reform measures, which include plans to decrease the authority of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), were a main subject of discussion during World Teachers Day celebrations.
Some stakeholders have requested that specific sections of the reform report be reconsidered. Benta Opande, CEO of the Kenya Women Teachers Association (Kewota), stressed the historical backdrop of TSC’s formation, which arose from a strike and the concerns of specific Kenya National Union of Teachers members.
Kewota expressed support for TSC and opposed any limitation in its authority, citing potential negative consequences for development in the teaching profession, such as gender equality in employment.
The Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers’ Secretary General, James Torome, expressed reservations over decreasing the TSC’s authority, emphasizing the commission’s role in guaranteeing equitable teacher promotions.
Despite these reservations, Machogu reiterated his commitment to the reforms, noting that the implementation process was well underway.
He promised that any required legal changes would be made to line with the recommendations before final adoption, and that a committee would be formed to monitor the process and create legislation for submission to Parliament.
In response to MPs’ questions on the reforms, Machogu highlighted that determining entry requirements for teaching colleges is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, not TSC. He justified the adjustments in entry requirements, which had resulted in a considerable rise of trainees.
Machogu noted that the reduction in the number of disciplines taught in schools was a reaction to concerns over curricular overflow. He claimed that learning areas would be rationalized by December 31, 2023, with implementation beginning in January 2024.
Despite criticism, Machogu defended the choice to cut the number of topics at the junior school level, citing precedence in prior curriculum modifications.
In addition, he approved revisions to the grading of KCSE examinations, underlining that such changes have previously occurred to address various difficulties in the education system.