Prof Magoha, the Education CS who hardly worked from his office
When the former Head of State Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, made a few changes to his cabinet in March 2019, Professor George Magoha was named as Education Cabinet Secretary.
He took over from his predecessor Ms Amina Mohamed. Prof Magoha was the chairman of the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), a position he held from 2016 until his appointment to the CS position.
His appointment followed the promotion of his predecessor Dr Fred Matiang’i to the position of Interior CS.
Mr Kenyatta picked Prof Magoha to head the education sector, still riled from several cases of cheating during KCPE and KCSE examinations.
On his first day in office, Prof Magoha was irritated by the laziness of workers at the Ministry of Education when 100 people were late to report to work.
“People have to sit up and work. Otherwise, I will remove them. Tutapata wengine ambao wanafanya kazi, they can go to a ministry where there’s room,” Prof Magoha said.
That was the beginning of his work at the ministry, where he restored punctuality in the office and across all the education offices in the country to ensure employees are delivering services as per their job descriptions.
He will be remembered for visiting different parts of the country to assess the level of preparedness of schools and students.
At one point, the former Education CS shut down St Catherine Bombolulu Primary School in the Kibra constituency and one in Mombasa for having poor infrastructure.
When Mr Kenyatta’s administration launched a 100 percent transition of learners from primary to secondary, Prof Magoha was seen visiting students from poor backgrounds and taking them to schools.
During his door-door visits in Kibra to ensure all students who sat for KCPE are enrolled on secondary schools, Prof Magoha met Josephine Nyandiwo, who had scored 266 marks but could not join school due to challenges from her humble background.
Prof Magoha pushed for her enrolment at Karen C School and that her upkeep and school fees were to be covered by the government.
Through his frequent visits to schools in rural areas, the former Education CS could see the challenges students and teachers were going through.
Prof Magoha breathed last on Tuesday evening at 71, and several leaders, including President William Ruto, have eulogized him.