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County Commissioners to be chairpersons of Education Boards

The Ministry of Education has drafted the Basic Education Bill, 2024, for legislation that will make County Commissioners chairpersons of the County Education Boards (CEBs).

This will be a departure from the Basic Education Act, 2013, which is set to be repealed, that provides that the Cabinet Secretary appoints an educationist of at least five years standing, and based in the county.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, the Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu said the Bill would however, retain the County Director of Education or their representative as the Secretary to the County Education Board as in the current Basic Education Law.

The proposed changes were unveiled during the stakeholders’ forum on the Draft Sessional Paper and Bills to implement the recommendations of the Working Party at the Kenya Institute of Special Education.

Machogu who presided over the occasion said the changes followed recommendations by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), which was established to address the various challenges that had been observed across all levels of Kenya’s education system.

In attendance were the Principal Secretaries for the State Departments of Basic Education, Technical Vocational and Technical Training and University Education and Research Dr. Belio Kipsang, Dr. Esther Muoria and Dr. Beatrice Inyangala, respectively.

The CS assured the stakeholders that the government would restore the Sh22, 244 capitations for the Free Days Secondary Education programme.

“The reduced capitation to Sh17,000 was due to the restrictive fiscal space. The restoration of the Sh22, 244 will help secondary schools to operate,” he noted.

The changes in the Universities Bill, 2024 seek to bar Universities from offering diploma programmes.

Machogu said the Universities should restrict themselves to offering graduate and postgraduate programmes, and leave diploma and other certificate courses to middle-level colleges.

Among the public documents the Ministry of Education presented to stakeholders for discussion and comments included The Sessional Paper on a Policy Framework for Education Reforms in Kenya, 2024.

“The Sessional paper will anchor all the recommendations in the Report and provide the vehicle through which the Report will be presented to Parliament for adoption,” said the CS.

The bills were The Technical and Vocational Education and Training Bill, 2024, The Kenya National Qualifications Framework (Amendment) Bill 2024, Tertiary Education Placement and Funding Bill, Kenya Literature Bureau (Amendment) Bill, 2024 and Kenya National Examinations Council (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

Others were the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (Amendment) Bill, 2024, the Basic Education Bill, 2024, the Education Appeals Tribunal Bill, 2024, the Basic Education Scholarships and Bursaries Bill, 2024, the Science Technology and Innovation (Amendment) Bill, 2024 and the Universities Bill, 2024.

The Stakeholders were drawn from teachers’ unions, faith-based organizations, Vice-Chancellors of public universities, members of civil society, senior education officials and all the Semi-Autonomous organizations in the education sector.

By Bernadette Khaduli




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