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Why Parliament suspended Ruto’s education reforms

Parliament speaker suspends the implementation of educational reforms by Ruto’s Presidential Working Party.

National assembly speaker Moses Wetangula on Wednesday, September 27 halted the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party of Education Reforms (PWPER). 

The National Assembly Speaker said that it was unlawful for recommendations to be implemented before passing through Parliament.

He added that the work of the MPs is to legislate, meaning the recommendations should be debated in Parliament before they can be passed for implementation. 

“I repeat nobody; no minister of government can purport to make law or do things that appear to be interpreted that they have made law, because they have no capacity to make any law,” said Wetangula.

The National Assembly Speaker directed Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah to engage Education CS Ezekiel Machogu and come up with a comprehensive statement on the issue.

“Majority leader you will have to engage the minister and I direct you to bring a comprehensive statement on that issue on the Tuesday after next week,” he directed. 

The matter was brought before Parliament by Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba, who revealed that the recommendations had caused a rift among stakeholders in the education sector including the Ministry of Education, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), and unions.

Milemba, who is the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) chairman, added that such recommendations should be suspended until they pass through Parliament.

“The recommendations that the Ministry of Education reveals the grades for pre-service teachers jeopardize TSC’s mandate as provided under Article 237 (3) of the Constitution,” he stated.

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“The working party also recommended that the Ministry establishes a comprehensive school system where all levels of learning are managed as one institution contrary to the Constitution. The working party further recommends that the Ministry recruits staff for special needs in institutions, which will interfere with TSC’s mandate.”

Ichung’wah on his part said nobody including cabinet secretaries has the power to make laws adding that they can only make recommendations.

“Nobody including Cabinet Secretaries have the power to make law even a presidential working party. The best they can do is to make recommendations which, if adopted, those that touch on statutes, then it must begin from this House,” said Ichung’wah.

PWPER has recommended among other things the modification of the Competency-Based Curriculum(CBC) to achieve desired objectives.

The task force also recommended that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) reduce the number of learning areas not to exceed five in pre-primary, not more than seven in lower primary and not to exceed eight in upper primary.

It also recommended the Ministry of Education discontinue the categorization of public secondary schools from the current nomenclature (national, extra-county, county, and sub-county) to career pathways (STEM, social science, and arts and sports science).

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