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February 22, 2019

Matiang'i defends higher education reforms, says current system 'too intellectual'

Acting Education CS Fred Matiang'i addressing NCCK forum at the Desmond Tutu conference centre, Westlands in July 2017. FILE
Acting Education CS Fred Matiang'i addressing NCCK forum at the Desmond Tutu conference centre, Westlands in July 2017. FILE

Acting Education CS Fred Matiang'i has said there is a need for substantive reforms in the higher education system terming the current one as "too intellectual".

"When we sat down and developed vision 2030. We should have spent more time asking what education and skills we need to achieve it," Matiangi said.

Speaking at Strathmore University on Friday, Matiangi said Kenya would not have a situation where 80 per cent of undergraduate students are in the liberal, arts and humanities.

"The beginning of this is that we are reforming the curriculum and we are answering the questions of our needs. We want training of students to be responsive to our needs," he said.

Matiangi said the time for producing officers, black Kenyan master bosses who were meant to inherit the colonial government has come to pass.

Related: Matiang'i praised for Magufuli-style reforms in Education ministry

"That ideology has moved. That is why people are dying to go to the universities and get the degree no matter what. As long as they put on a gown, attend the graduation ceremony, they have a party and they bring people from the villages with matatu and leaves," he said.

"These people don't pose to ask what will this{the degree} do to them. We are reforming because our ideologies must reform. The country does not need officers or bosses."

The new 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum that will replace the 32-year-old 8-4-4 system is currently being rolled out amid cries by teacher unions that the program is being rushed.

Read: New 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum: How different is it from the 8-4-4 system?

Also read: Publication of learning materials for new curriculum underway

 "We have looked at our developments and looking at our needs. The point is when it comes to values and ethics the Education design has not been successful," Matiangi said.

Matiangi said now is the time to change adding that "we have lived the wrong way and we are in denial."

Last year, the government stopped the hiring of university staff on permanent and pensionable terms with immediate effect.

He said new staff members will get contracts from January.

"[We have stopped the] hiring, especially of support staff, on PP. We will recruit on contractual basis," he said while opening a forum for public university chiefs in Nairobi

"The proposal to introduce contract-based employment in varsities will start in the next financial year...Time has come when we must reflect on how to run universities."

More on this: Lecturers to be hired on contract basis from January - Matiang'i

 

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