Members of Parliament (MPs) have halted the implementation of the report presented by the presidential working party on education reforms.
Moses Wetangula, the Speaker of the National Assembly, emphasized that it was unlawful to implement recommendations without parliamentary approval.
He clarified that the role of MPs is to legislate, necessitating a debate and approval in Parliament before any recommendations can be implemented.
I repeat, nobody; no minister of government can purport to make law or do things that appear to be in the (sic) that they have made law because they cannot make any law,” he asserted.
The issue was raised in Parliament by Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba, who highlighted that the recommendations had sparked disagreements among stakeholders in the education sector, including the Ministry of Education, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), and various unions.
Milemba, who doubles as the Chairman of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), stressed that such recommendations should be put on hold until they go through the parliamentary process.
“The recommendations that the Ministry of Education reveals the grades for pre-service teachers jeopardize TSC’s mandate as provided under Article 237 (3) of the Constitution,” he stated.
“The working party also proposed that the Ministry establish a comprehensive school system, managing all levels of learning as a single institution, contradicting the Constitution. Furthermore, the working party recommended that the Ministry hires special needs staff for institutions, which would interfere with TSC’s mandate.”
Milemba’s stance garnered support from fellow MPs who affirmed that the recommendations must be presented in Parliament as a formal bill.
National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah expressed his intention to consult with the Education Ministry and deliver a report to Parliament.
“I have nothing much to add because the law is the law. Nobody, including Cabinet Secretaries, has the power to make law, even a presidential working party. The best they can do is to make recommendations which, if adopted, those that touch on statutes, then it must begin from this House,” he affirmed.
Some initiatives that have been put into action based on Prof Raphael Munavu-led task force report include:
- Relocating Junior Secondary School from high school to primary school.
- Embracing a revised grading system.
- Implementing a fresh funding approach.
- Rationalising new learning areas.