Discuss school reforms

Friday December 8 2017

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i is a resourceful, knowledgeable and hard-tackling official, who has won accolades for doing a number of things right in his portfolio.

He is almost revered by even his critics for taking head-on the problem of cheating in national exams that was rampant until he took charge of the docket.

He has also been instrumental in trying to restore sanity in the public universities, which were reeling under misadvised expansions.

Dr Matiang’i’s impressive show explains the calls for his retention in this portfolio in the expected reshuffle.

However, his latest announcement of changes in the management of schools is facing some resistance from teachers.

Their unions have rejected some of proposed changes as punitive and unreasonable.

But their loudest grouse is that the Teachers Service Commission did not consult them on staffing changes.

Causing the friction is the requirement that headteachers and deputies posted out of their counties must be holders of master’s degrees and that primary and secondary schools in the same compound should be under one principal.

The intended streamlining of management is laudable, but shouldn’t such changes have been debated by the stakeholders first?

It’s not too late for the ministry, the TSC and the unions to discuss and reach some consensus on this before implementation.