The successful administration of the national examinations was perhaps one of the most outstanding achievements of Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, who now takes up the Sports ministry.
Appointed into the Education Ministry in January last year, Dr Amina immediately put in place measures that ensured no examination was leaked in primary and secondary examinations.
Kenyans have acknowledged this exceptional execution by listing the 2018 exercise as one of the most efficient in the examinations’ three-year reform history.
The success in the Ministry of Education cannot go unnoticed, even with the change of guard.
Notably, Amina took over from Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and pledged to sustain the momentum for reform in the Education sector, and true to her word, has worked hard to fulfill her promises.
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In 2018, the ministry recorded an improvement in examination administration, formulated, launched and operationalised disaster preparedness policy and worked towards the presidential directive on 100 per cent transition.
In January 2019, Amina commenced a rigorous process to guarantee 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary education and the roll-out and implementation of the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC), a process she was deeply committed to.
The 100 per cent transition, which to some seemed impossible, has yielded a 93 per cent transition rate, the highest in the history of the Ministry of Education.
Amina led the quality assurance team at the ministry to monitor the implementation of the CBC and, as promised, completed and submitted the CBC anchoring Sessional Paper to Parliament, which has adopted and given it Sessional Paper Number 1/2019.
She completed the Curriculum Policy, which outlines the entire roll-out process. Amina also ensured the CBC implementation plans for Grade 4 and all the requisite books were ready for the second year of implementation.
She oversaw the conclusion of the new 2-6-3-3-3 syllabus piloting process and its national roll-out to early grade classes.
It is during her tenure that the ministry successfully hosted the Sixth African Higher Education Week and ROFURUM Biennial Conference in October last year, and the Pan African Conference Education in April the same year.
Amina also rolled out robust dialogues in all 47 counties to discuss the status of education regarding quality of teaching and learning. The dialogues engaged the public countrywide on reforms in the Education sector.
The dialogues have shaped basic education, particularly access to education for girls and special needs children. They are partly credited for revealing the shockingly high levels of teenage pregnancies. Amina was set to launch the School Related Gender-Based Violence Standard Operating Procedures this month.
During her tenure, the ministry unveiled the Special Needs Education Policy and set aside resources to establish 10 Model Education Assessment and Resource Centres to support special needs education in Mombasa, Kisumu, Kakamega, Embu, Nakuru, two in Nairobi, Garissa, Nyeri and Turkana.
She enforced the setting up of a National Psycho-Assessment Centre at the Kenya Institute of Special Education to support the assessment of learners with disability in collaboration with UNICEF. Amina also completed the process of equipping Special Needs Centres in Nairobi and Garissa.
Her focus on reforms in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) raised enrollment into TVETs from 98,000 to 169,000.
Additionally, the Ministry raised the financial allocation to TVETs from Sh13 billion to Sh16 billion. This was part of the ministry’s Marshall Plan to raise the enrollment, expand infrastructure from 203 TVET institutions to 233 this financial year and finance tuition for 150,000 trainees.
Further, Amina led the most comprehensive restructuring process of the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), which culminated in the launch of HELB 2019-2022 strategic plan.
In the universities sector, the ministry regularised the appointment of council members by applying a merit-based application process. This approach was a departure from the traditional “university specific” approach that ethinicised university management.
The ministry also increased funding for research from Sh500 million to Sh3 billion to support innovation.
Mr Chesang is a Historian.