, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – Prof George Magoha, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi’s co-executor of radical reforms in the examination sector is set to take over as Education Cabinet Secretary after exiting the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) later this month.
Magoha who served as University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor for a decade was nominated to head the Education Ministry Friday in a Cabinet reshuffle that saw Sports, Culture, and Arts Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa sacked.
The Professor of Urological and Transplant Surgery will take over the docket from Amb Amina Mohamed who replaced Echesa at the Sports Ministry.
In the changes outlined in Executive Order 3 of 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Echesa’s appointment had been revoked under Article 152 (5) of the Constitution.
“The government shall be reorganized as set out in this Executive Order; the portfolio responsibilities and changes made in the structure of government set in this order shall come into immediate effect, and Executive Order 1 of 2019, is further amended accordingly,” President Kenyatta stated.
Magoha’s appointment is subject to clearance by the National Assembly in accordance with Article 152 (2) of the Constitution which states: “The President shall nominate and, with the approval of the National Assembly, appoint Cabinet Secretaries.”
Magoha shot to prominence in 2016 after the successful execution of national examinations following the introduction of examination containers in sub-counties which were put under lock and key and manned by the police to prevent premature exposure of exam material.
He was credited for effectively slaying the dragon of exam cheating and leakage that had for long bedevilled the education sector.
In 2016’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams, the number of students who attained grade A declined to 141 from 2,685 as recorded in 2015.
The number of students attaining A minus also declined from 14,754 in 2015 to 4,786 in 2016 under Magoha’s watch.
The situation was replicated across grades B plus to D plus where the number of students attaining the grades declined sharply in 2016.
Only 199,316 students attained the minimum university entry grade – C plus – in 2016 half the number (408,457) who attained a similar grade in 2016.
The trend has largely remained the same in subsequent years amid fierce opposition by a section of education stakeholders who decried what they termed as militarization of examinations in the country.
Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion faulted KNEC for deploying the police to examination centres, a move he said would be counterproductive.