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5 education reforms introduced by Professor George Magoha

By Wangu Kanuri January 25th, 2023 2 min read

The former Education Cabinet Secretary, Professor George Magoha, had his heart in education and ensuring that the sector toed the line.

Known for his rigorous and stern actions in pursuit of changes, the late Prof Magoha prompted to love and hate in equal measure, especially in the reforms he introduced as the then CS.

Here are five education reforms he introduced;

Changed curriculum from 8-4-4 to CBC

It was as though he opened a can of worms in the introduction of this curriculum.

Parents, teachers, and students lamented about not being well-versed in the new education syllabus. However, Prof Magoha in his defense argued that the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) would focus more on the child’s talents and skills, steering learners away from exam-oriented learning.

Introduced in 2017, CBC is a  2-6-3-3 system of education with Prof Magoha arguing that the goal of the curriculum is to equip the students with the requisite knowledge, skills, and competencies that would enable them to contribute in meaningful ways to society.

Boosted Kenyans’ faith in TVET institutes

It was during the era of Prof Magoha that technical and vocational education training (Tvet) institutes got recognition and were strongly advocated for.

The late Prof said that the sector was critical in addressing rising unemployment in the country through offering specially tailored programmes to address various needs and challenges.

This way, students who scored below a C+ (plus) the minimum entry to university continued with education. This saw a rising number of students shunning university degrees for tertiary courses.

Re-engineered NEMIS

Last year, Prof Magoha re-engineered the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) whose aim he said was to weed out ghost students and schools.

Additionally, cases of deserving students being denied Form One admission due to unscrupulous principals would also be a thing of the past following the revamping of Kenya’s education management system.

The current Nemis has been in operation since 2017.

It was centralised, making it prone to manipulation. However, the newly introduced system had new processes which allowed parents access and new school owners to register institutions.

Launch of Junior Secondary Schools

In accordance with the 2-6-3-3 CBC education system, Grade 6 students joining Grade Seven in January sat for their Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) in November 2022.

The learners were instructed to select their preferred schools through an online Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) portal managed by their schools.

Additionally, the students were required to pick national, regional, county, sub-county, and private schools.

The late Prof Magoha further instructed them to pick two in each category for national, regional, and private schools.

Sending students home over school fees 

Issuing a disciplinary action, Prof Magoha told principals who intended to send away students over school fees arrears that they would be looming trouble for themselves.

Instead, Prof Magoha urges the school heads to negotiate with parents on how to settle fee balances.