The Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha finally released the much-awaited Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination at the Kenya National Examination Council Headquarters in Nairobi.
In his signature mix of witticism and rough edges, CS Magoha stepped to the podium after being welcomed by his Principal Secretary Dr Belio Kipsang.
Prof Magoha dropped his usual greeting: “God is good…and all the time?” upon which government bigwigs roared “God is good.”
He was soon immersed in his main business – straight-shooting communication.
Below, our choice of his 10 punchy statements.
“What a wonderful day today that He has allowed us to be alive and witness the release of KCSE examination results for our children and grandchildren.”
“Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I want to say that I am extremely…Do I need this thing?” he asked while brandishing a yellow microphone that he considered to be a burden on his hands.
“If anybody has been guilty, it is we the parents that have been guilty in this process. We confuse the children but I want to put it to you that this year we confused the children a bit less so they did better.” [That was meant for who mislead the children by engaging them in cheating]
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On the roll-out of Competency-Based Curriculum.
“I want to encourage everybody that as we move through this journey which nobody says is going to be easy. Help us fill the glass rather than removing water from the glass with some straws.”
On teenage pregnancies
“Any female child who is a learner who is pregnant or who was blessed with a child must come back to school. We shall not mince words. We will work with the Ministry of Interior.”
On CBC critics
“I want to assure you that since I believe in God and I believe in effort and I on your behalf we have the energy. And I think God is on our side. So who the hell do you think you are that you will make sure this thing does not work? It is going to work. My advice is that you should move to the winning side.”
“I am not a politician and I don’t desire to be one. By the grace of God, I am just a technocrat. The weakness I have is that I am just a worker.
“Keep politics out of my work. Nemis is here to stay. And as some busybodies were saying that we have cancelled Nemis, we have actually strengthened Nemis.” [Nemis is short for the National Education Management Information System. It is a digital tool that automates data in the education system.]
“We are also sending a stern warning to some areas of the country which still have a habit of marrying small female children that we will come and take your wife away from you and take her back to school.”
“You used your own blood to produce the child…whatever your child brings home should be celebrated. So all this nonsense that ‘you’ve failed me go and repeat’ think about it twice before you condemn the child.”
“Those who have worked with me know that I am proud of what I am and what I have and it is not money. People who have money are very poor…can we ensure that the children receive their results and remain rich because what they have is bigger than money. The hope, and the fact that God has given you life.” ??