• The CS said President William Ruto’s administration is planning to open another university called the University of Kenya.
• He said the Kenya Kwanza government is keen to make education affordable and that is why it has continued to issue capitation for students at different levels of education.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu has denied reports that the government plans to privatise public universities.
There have been reports alleging that Kenya Kwanza MPs plan to sponsor bills that will effectively privatise all public universities and some national schools.
However, speaking in Mombasa on Thursday, Machogu said the Kenya Kwanza administration funds and will continue funding all sectors of education from primary to tertiary.
“There is nothing like that [privatisation plans]. So, don’t take stories from any other person. Get it from me that the government does not have such plans, does not have any intention to privatise national schools or any schools for that matter,” the CS said.
Machogu spoke after opening the 1st biennial Kenya Universities Funding Conference in Shanzu.
The CS said President William Ruto’s administration is planning to open another university called the University of Kenya.
“The President will be giving it a charter in May and that will be a public university,” Machogu said.
He said the Kenya Kwanza government is keen to make education affordable and that is why it has continued to issue capitation for students at different levels of education.
Primary school students get capitation of Sh1,420 per learner per year.
In Junior Secondary School, the government gives each learner Sh15,042 per year while in senior secondary, each learner gets Sh22,244 per year.
The Constitution states that education at basic level in the country will be free and compulsory.
“That is why you are seeing us insisting on 100 per cent transition,” the CS.
He said together with Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang, they are monitoring on the registration of students in junior secondary across the country.
Kwale and Kilifi counties have been found to be doing very poorly in registration of students in Form 1.
“Because of that, we are going to engage with the county commissioners, chiefs and assistant chiefs to mop up so that we ensure 100 per cent transition to our Junior Secondary School,” Machogu said.
While there is a 99 per cent transition to JSS nationally, 30 per cent have not done so in both Kwale and Kilifi counties.
This is because parents in the two counties still do not prioritise education of their children, especially girls, the CS noted.
He said the parents make children work at home for some time before releasing them late, which has the effect of making the education standards poor in the two counties.
However, the government will do all it takes to ensure the two counties achieve the 100 per cent transition and have children benefit from education.
He defended the CBC saying it is here to stay and that President Ruto formed a team that went around the country to assess the CBC situation in the country and discovered that 84 per cent of Kenyans wanted the CBC to continue.
“But there are certain amendments which are required in order for us to proceed with that system,” he said.
He said the competencies and skills imparted in young learners in the CBC are superior to the ones in the old 8-4-4 system.
“We are not in isolation. We have to do what other countries are doing. In other countries, people don’t stay for eight years in primary and basic level of education.
“Actually, the standard internationally is six years. So we have to align our education system with what is happening regionally and internationally,” Machogu said.
The CS said they are carrying out a curriculum review whose report will be handed to President Ruto at the end of March and this will inform the way forward.
“There is no going back. We are moving forward. There is no way we can be able to move back to the old system,” Machogu said.
On cutoff point for joining university, the CS said discussions are ongoing over whether to raise it or not.
He however said it is unlikely that the cutoff point will be raised saying there are many factors that go into consideration that inform the same.
“We cannot do that,” Machogu said.
He said whatever recommendation they get cannot be taken as policy as of now because the ministry is waiting for the recommendations which are going to emerge from the presidential working party because they have been given very clear mandate and terms of reference.
He said if the team says the available funds the government has is what will determine the number of admissions to universities, that will be the starting point of further discussions.
For now, the government will continue using the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) formula, which is 80 per cent, to determine the number of learners admitted to public universities.
On sanitary towels for schoolgirls, the CS said the government has procured enough sanitary towels which are currently being distributed to schools across the country.
“In the coming week, each and every school should be able to have received the sanitary towels,” Machogu said.