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Council of Governors strongly rejects Ruto's education reforms over 5 concerns

The Council of Governors has termed the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms as unacceptable

President William Ruto and Education CS Ezekiel Machogu at Kamagut Primary School, Uasin Gishu county

The Council of Governors (CoG) has strongly expressed its disagreement with the recommendations presented by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms in 2023.

The CoG, particularly the Legal, Constitutional Affairs, and Intergovernmental Relations, along with the Education Committee, held a consultative meeting to assess the implications of these proposed reforms on January 10, 2024

Emphasizing the critical role of education in socio-economic development, the CoG acknowledged the ongoing efforts to enhance the education sector in the country.

However, they asserted that the recommendations pose a significant threat to the devolution of education functions, which counties have been diligently managing since its inception.

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"The recommendations of the Presidential Working Party are unacceptable to the Council they heavily claw back on devolution," the statement read.

According to the council, county governments have made substantial strides in transforming devolved education functions, overseeing approximately 30,400 pre-primary schools, employing over 54,000 pre-primary teachers, and ensuring over 2.3 million children access pre-primary education across the counties.

Notably, these achievements have been accomplished without specific financial resources being devolved to support the pre-primary education function.

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While appreciating the efforts of the Presidential Working Party, the CoG urged further consultations to address the concerns and perspectives of county governments adequately.

  1. Comprehensive School System: The CoG opposed the establishment of a comprehensive school system, expressing concerns about the lack of accountability to counties for the management of pre-primary schools.
  2. Intergovernmental Agreement for Teachers: The report suggested an intergovernmental agreement for hiring and remuneration of pre-primary teachers, a move contested by the CoG.
  3. County Commissioner as County Education Board: The recommendation to amend the basic education act to have the County commissioner as the County Education Board was criticized as a drawback on devolution gains.
  4. Hiring of Pre-primary Teachers: The CoG reiterated that the hiring of pre-primary teachers is within the purview of county governments, citing a High Court ruling.
  5. Coordination Framework for Development Partners: The CoG proposed a framework where the Ministry of Education coordinates national education partners, while the CoG manages partners supporting devolved education functions.

The council went ahead to withdrawal its participation from any process aiming to legislate the recommendations, including the proposed meeting by the Inter-Governmental Relations Technical Committee.

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The CoG concluded by strongly protesting against attempts to claw back on devolution in the education sector and other devolved sectors.

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