Barely two months since his March appointment as Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha has had one too many scuffles with other stakeholders in the ministry, especially with Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion.
Even as he is yet to settle the fight against the new competence-based curriculum, CS Magoha is now receiving a new blow as teachers are rejecting the National Education Management Information System (Nemis), which the Ministry of Education uses to allocate funds to schools.
The teachers argue that an identification error code is denying capitation funds to deserving students and have called on the government to suspend the system.
The problem, it appears, could be beyond the administrators of Nemis as it is created by the uploading of birth certificates that share numbers, meaning it could be at the Immigration department, under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
A principal in Kakamega County said he had 20 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidates who did not receive any funding. “My Form Four Class has 290 candidates yet only 270 received capitation,” lamented the principal.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) chairman, Kahi Indimuli, supported the proposal to suspend Nemis, saying it is creating more confusion than order. “We have to rework it,” said Mr Indimuli, adding that principals only submit documents that are brought to them by parents and have no capacity to determine authenticity.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha recently defended the Nemis programme, saying it will enable the provision of quality, reliable and timely education statistics to enrich the government’s planning processes.
“Through this system, education sector players will get to know the status of education in regard to access, quality, equity, relevance and institutional development,” said Magoha.
The new row comes amid a fallout between the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) leader Sossion, who has rallied teachers against the new curriculum, urging them to boycott any training.
Sossion in fact vowed not to work with the cabinet secretary.