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You are lazy, Magoha tells ministry staff and vows to take action

By Augustine Oduor | October 17th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Maghoha consults CAS Education Coleta Suda at the KICD Simba Auditorium in Nairobi during the Programme for the Launch of Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2019. He called on Regional Directors of education to take their jobs seriously and stop being bossy as they discharge their duties. [Phillip Orwa, Standard]

An angry Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday laid bare the frustration he faces daily and put his staff on notice over lethargy.

Prof Magoha painted a picture of a less focused staff, with some of them "too lazy to get out of the comfort of their offices to work".

The CS also accused some of his staff, especially regional administrators, of operating independently with little coordination.

He said senior officers only issue instructions to junior staff with little follow-ups.

“The team spirit is not there at all. We are not working and let us not pretend. We are not even at 10 per cent,” said Magoha.

The CS said most of his staff draw monthly salaries while some collect money from stakeholders with little to show for it.

“I feel bad if my officers collect money from people to do certain things which they do not even deliver,” he said.

The CS singled out quality assurance staff whom he said were in their comfort zone.

“I took personal responsibility for the recent death of children in school. I am not prepared to do that again because someone has refused to do work that they were employed to do,” said Magoha.

The CS further accused his officers of giving inaccurate reports on the status of education sector programmes on the ground.

“You are expected to inspect schools. But you gave me false reports on the availability of books in schools under the Competency-Based Curriculum. When I went to the ground, it was not the case,” he said.

No licences

The CS said he was shocked to learn that some 3,000 public schools are operating without licences.

“If you do not inspect schools for six months, you are a complete thief because you have been paid for doing nothing,” said Magoha.

He read the riot act to his staff during the launch of the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2019 and the 2018-2022 National Education Sector Strategic Plan (NESSP) at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

Regional directors of education, county directors of education, chief executive officers of the various Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs) under his ministry were present.

Magoha said it was pointless to have well-prepared documents which cannot be implemented.

“These documents are good but I am more worried about the bodies that will implement them,” said Magoha.

The tough-talking Magoha also accused some of his staff of fighting over seniority and job titles.

“Let us not argue about who is senior. Some senior officers here give instructions to their juniors saying they are the directors and cannot visit schools… You cannot give orders when sitting in the office,” said Magoha.

Implementation notes for NESSP show that it will rely on the existing structures of the Ministry of Education. 

And the report seems to support Magoha’s statement of high levels of apathy among ministry staff.

“As identified in the sector diagnosis, the non-alignment of systems and institutions in the sector stands out as a threat to the implementation of this plan,” reads the report.

Effective alignment

The report, however, says that the programmes outlined in the governance and accountability section of the document are expected to deal with the challenges.

“For effective alignment and delivery, this plan has proposed the creation of the NESSP Co-ordination Unit, which will take the form of a multi-agency secretariat, to spearhead the implementation of this plan,” reads the report.

It says that the NESSP Co-ordination Unit will be accountable to the principal secretaries of the four State departments, who will report regularly to the CS on progress, according to the NESSP Results Framework and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

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