Irene Githinji @gitshee
Education Cabinet secretary Prof George Magoha has warned individuals opposing ministry projects to be ready for tougher times ahead.
Comparing himself to a hippo, Magoha told individuals who criticise the ministry without facts to stop wasting their time because “they cannot succeed in their theatrics.”
Magoha said nothing would stop him from implementing the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC), as he remained unmoved by dissenting voices.
Magoha lashed out at the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) for opposing the curriculum, saying it had repeatedly claimed it was not consulted over CBC, yet there was evidence of their signatures, having previously participated in stakeholder engagement meetings.
The CS was speaking when he launched the National Curriculum Policy at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD). He said the government would not back down on the process of implementing the CBC.
He said the rollout would continue in a well organised, systematic, and highly professional manner to ensure all children get quality education for a better future.
Magoha assured Kenyans that over the next few months, the Education ministry would ensure it does not drop the ball saying no amount of opposition, real or imagined, will make them back-pedal on implementing the curriculum, which the government is convinced will mean well for future generations.
The CS, who referred to unions as ‘ish ish’ stakeholders, said it was their constitutional right not to be part of CBC implementation process, but assured Kenyans no one would stop the process.
“Have you measured the thickness of my skin? You will find that when I was at the University of Nairobi the skin became thicker than that of a hippopotamus so stop wasting your time,” Magoha said.
“If you give birth to a premature child, do you say let the mother go back to the theatre and put the child back so that it can develop or you put it in an incubator…this is what we are dealing with here,” he added.
The CS said he had made changes involving directors to inject freshness and match competencies to improve delivery of education services in general, and CBC in particular. Magoha promised to keep his foot on the pedal as consultations into the process continue in various fronts.
“You can write what you want but as I serve the children of Kenya, I think it is right and just to keep my peddle on the accelerator and if you do not want to be with me in that section please leave and let us continue,” he said.
The policy anchors the curriculum within the national legislation informed by Article 53 of the Constitution, which recognises free and compulsory basic education as a right of every child.
Knut snubbed yesterday’s function but the CS was firm he would only work with those who were willing. He said the ministry had distributed more than 12 million CBC textbooks to schools this month and stated that he will personally lead the supervision process.
The CS downplayed critics of the CBC particularly Knut, which insists no learning is taking place. “I have gone to schools in the rural areas and seen children have text books in the ratio of 1:1 and that our competent teachers are engaged, who do you think you are when you say nothing is going on?” Magoha posed.
The CS announced the robust engagement would continue, saying at least 20 meetings had been held with critical stakeholders to enhance the levels of engagement on the curriculum with a view to reaching acceptable consensus.