Nairobi Education minister Janet Muthoni-Ouko resigns

Monday January 7 2019

Janet Muthoni Ouko

Mariakani Pre-school pupils receive packets of milk from Nairobi's then Education, Youth and Gender minister Janet Muthoni Ouko, September 27,2018. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDAIA GROUP 

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Nairobi County's Education minister Janet Muthoni-Ouko resigned on Monday, citing challenges including a small number of schools against a large population.

She said she will pursue "other interests" after a little over a year in the office.


Ms Muthoni-Ouko said she had submitted her resignation letter to Governor Mike Sonko and was awaiting his response.

In the short letter seen by the Nation, she told the governor, "I wish to thank you for the opportunity to serve in your government as an executive committee member."

She said the resignation was effective January 31.

While announcing her decision, she pointed out that she had had a good working relationship with the governor and that it was exciting to help shape the county’s education landscape.

She added, "I have however sought to resign to seek and pursue other opportunities and interests which will grow my career, personal life, and professional growth."

"For now, I cannot tell you what I will be doing. I will with time," she also said.


Ms Muthoni-Ouko had been in charge of the education, youth, sports, gender and social services docket.

She noted that hers was a challenging tenure, with many expectations but that she was pleased with her achievements.

She cited her contributions to the revival and development of the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) model.

Ms Muthoni-Ouko noted that the number of children in the county’s 205 ECDE centres grew to about 20,000 from 13,000 since she took over.

She called for the scrapping of all levies in the programme so more children are enrolled.

“It is a very populous county yet the schools are few. We have about 205 public schools so a very large number of Nairobians attend private schools. Sometimes one feels the urge to intervene but there are limits in finance and systems which do not adjust as one would want them to,” she said.

“We need to expand public-funded education facilities as Nairobians are compelled to pay more for education as there are not enough public schools, hence many opt for private institutions."

Ms Muthoni-Ouko said policy changes, after the time-consuming engagement of several organs will help in areas where she could not effect changes.