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Reason Ruto was unimpressed by education reforms report

A member of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms explains why President Ruto was unimpressed with their latest report

President William Ruto meeting the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform at State House, Nairobi.

President William Ruto reportedly sent the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) back to the drawing board after their report failed to impress him.

According to members of the task force who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity, President Ruto was not pleased with some of the recommendations in the report that was presented on Thursday, February 16.

Neither State House nor the head of state posted details of the meeting between Ruto and members of the team, suggesting there had been nothing substantive to report.

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We need to align ourselves to the national development agenda and the Kenya Kwanza vision. I felt we presented nothing new from what’s already in the public domain. We need to account for our appointment and use of public resources,” a source told Nation.

A crisis meeting was convened by Raphael Munavu, the chairperson of PWPER, with the aim of developing a strategy to address the concerns of the President.

According to reports, Ruto took issue with recommendations that the government should rescue universities that are cash-strapped.

The report revealed a shortfall of about Sh164 billion cumulatively from the 2018-2019 academic year to the 2022-2023 academic year, with private universities faring slightly better with a funding deficit of Sh56.96 billion over the same period of time.

He told us to go think through the proposals. It was a good eye-opener. Sometimes you think you’re doing the right thing until it’s interrogated. It was a good discussion and thinking through the different scenarios,” the source detailed.

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The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms also recommended increasing the fees paid by government-sponsored university students from Sh16,000 to Sh52,000 per semester.

The report also suggested ways to improve governance in universities and increase enrollment in teaching colleges and expand technical and vocational training across the country.

Further, the task force recommended the filling of Chancellor vacancies in 28 universities.

The group said that while the President should still be the appointing authority for chancellors, the input of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and the University Senate should be sought.

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