, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi has accused members of the House Committee on Education of being dishonest on the formulation of the contentious Basic Education Regulations 2015, yet they attended four stakeholder meetings.
Kaimenyi who appeared before the House team said he was being unfairly criticised even by the MPs yet they attended meetings organised by the ministry before drafting of the regulations.
“As we came up with this regulations we held four meetings, and those meetings we invited you MPs, Hon. Melley was there, Hon. Anami was there and the chairperson attended one also,. In those meetings, madam chair you know, we require people to leave their contacts and they sign. We have done this; it’s not a walk in the park because we know the enormity of the opposition,” he said.
The Education CS added the that contentious regulations were agreed by a majority after consultations with sector stakeholders including the National Council of Churches of Kenya, education sector players and the National Parents Association.
“As a ministry we consulted with the Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers, Teachers Service Commission, Kenya National Parents Association, Parliamentary Education Committee and the Non-governmental Organizations,” Kaimenyi said.
Committee Chairperson Sabina Chege directed the CS to submit the list of the participants who attended the four meetings before the House.
MPs Yusuf Chanzu (Vihiga), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and Harrison Kombe (Magarini) who sit in the House Committee on Education said publication of the rules was unconstitutional.
“The attitude I see from the minister is too condescending, the attitude of a know it all, which is unfortunate because any small disruption in the education sector can be very costly to the country and therefore anytime you hear the unions issuing threats and calling for strikes they need to be taken seriously,” Wandayi said.
Awendo MP Jared Opiyo added: “Even what the KNUT and KUPPET are saying, it seems the consultations were made, they may not be have been adequate.”
Kaimenyi who faced a rebellion within the education sector following the gazettement of the Basic Education Regulations Act of 2014 said he is willing to abide by the decision of Parliament.
The regulations are now with the National Assembly’s Committee on Delegated Legislation which will give the way forward.
Kaimenyi urged the committee to act with urgency so as to diffuse the tension that has riddled the country since the announcement.
Under the contentious regulations published to guide the implementation of the Basic Education Regulations Act, 2014, the Education Cabinet secretary has the power to sack and discipline school heads, a role currently performed by Teachers Service Commission.
Teachers affiliated to the Kenya National Union of Teachers and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers accused Kaimenyi of overstepping his mandate and warned of a strike next term if the ministry fails to revoke the gazetted regulations within a week.
Teachers Service Commission secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni had also written to both Kaimenyi and Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai criticising the decision. He said the regulations contradicted the Constitution and laws that set up the commission which had given all the head teachers’ management functions exclusively to TSC.