NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – The government has been challenged to ride on the achievements of Kenya’s second President, the late Daniel Arap Moi, more than a decade after he left power, to redeem the ailing education sector.
Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion says over time, the education sector has suffered major setbacks, claiming it is now under the grip of cartels.
Speaking during an interview held within the Parliament building on Monday, the vocal Secretary-General said in honour of the late President, whom he said education marked as a hallmark of his legacy, the government should reclaim the sector to not only ensure quality education but also the safety of learners.
“Our greatest reflection is a bold man who understood the natural rights and desire of children through teachers, considering this was on the exemplary teachers we had in the service during the colonial period,” he said.
Sossion said it is Moi and other teachers in Parliament during the colonial period, that moved “a freelance motion that the Government of Kenya should help the teachers to form one common body. It is a motion that sailed through with a lot of ease in parliament.”
He cited recent disasters in schools as an indication that the education sector is in urgent need of restoration.
This is a clear departure from the Moi regime, Sossion said, when “you could not talk about education without talking about quality.”
The late President has heavily invested in the education sector and owns some of the top schools in the country.
His sentiments came at a time the country is mourning the death of 14 children at Kakamega Primary School, following a stampede that left tens of others with injuries.
-The list of things we lost after Moi exited power-
With his exit from power, after a 24 year-rule, Sossion said the teachers’ service lost “a lot of things.”
“Moi was present everywhere in the country. He was very clear in terms of professionalism in the Ministry of Education.”
He said the quality assurance inspectorate department has over time diminished.
Cartels and casual activities in the sector, Sossion said marked the post-Moi era, “No wonder we are facing very many calamities.”
“Even as we celebrate Moi, let us identify the great values that he stood for and we might have lost. Moi
He said KNUT will be pushing for the restoration of the inspectorate section of the Ministry of Education.
“Moi would not allow children to die. That would be the most serious offence in this country,” he said.
Moi, whose 24-year rule saw Kenya become a one-party state where critical voices were crushed, died on February 4 aged 95.