If the Sessional Paper no 1. of 2019 was to be the policy document that would give a structural framework for education for the next few decades, then it has failed to deliver on that promise. Instead, the policy document is a spectacular withdrawal of the Government of Kenya from education and taking over regulation and banking, and leaving Kenya vulnerable to manipulation from forces that do not necessarily have the interests of Kenyans at heart.
In summary, these are my concerns:
1. KICD and Ministry of Education have made NO CASE for competency based curriculum as a national education approach from primary school. The only chapter of the document on CBC talks about the new school structure and gives no justification of CBC. Yet CBC has been questioned by decades of research on not just the viability of CBC, but especially so for education before tertiary level.
2. Unlike Magoha's claims, Sessional Paper 2019 is not a paper on the new education system. It's a mash up of policies on everything and nothing that runs into 210 pages, raising the question of whether Ministry of Education really intends for MPs to scrutinize and reflect on such a long document.
3. So many sections of the paper are repetitive. For instance, the rationale and structure of TVET is repeated in many chapters with no expressively new information offered. This is why I'm suspicious that Ministry of Education is is trying to prevent close reading of the policy document.
4. Contrary the claims by KICD, this new education is not learner centered but manager centered. The government is giving up its function of providing education to pirate sector, so it's increasing supervision, monitoring and quality inspection jobs. In essence, the government is spending less money on education itself than on monitoring it. And with the kind of corruption we have, this will mean more corruption in the education sector, as institutions will bribe to get permissions and go aheads from government bureaucrats.
5. Missing from the sessional paper is a costing of the actual implementation of CBC. We are not told how much materials, training of teachers, consultancies, travel of administrators cost, or how much more funds schools will need to implement the system.
6. The sessional paper also doesn't give a breakdown of what will happen to the primary and high schools, how it intends to deal with teacher administration. Will high school teachers go teach in primary school or what? And how much will the teacher adjustments cost?
The information of costing was necessary for our "democratically" elected representatives to determine if replacing the education system was a good use of money and resources.
7. The other notoriously unspoken aspect of the new system is that the government is planning to hand over tax payers' money for schools to private sector to build the same schools. It is possible that the sinister plan behind this is to break up teachers' unions to prevent teachers from bargaining for better pay, working conditions and holding schools and GoK responsible for quality education, since teachers in private schools will have different employers who can have more leeway in deciding salaries. The government is proposing to create a fund to lend money to entrepreneurs who want to run schools. Replacing education with lending money to private educators is essentially turning the government from a provider of social services into a bank.
8. The greatest threat from Ministry of Education is its reckless handing over of our education to business. Yet it has not thought through the implications in terms of national consciousness, vulnerability of kids and the poor to manipulation for profit and foreign agendas. Our elite have simply not understood the long term implications of foreign interests or of their own actions on our education system.
8. Sessional paper no 1 of 2019 is a master plan for Kenya's recolonization through handing over the minds of our children to people with money, foreign or not. There's no national consciousness in the document. This government just doesn't care for the people of Kenya.
We know from history that Kenyans of conscience in previous times were also told that the policies of government were made in the name of God of the poor and the will of the Kenyan people, just as Prof Magoha told Kenyans today. Since Prof Magoha has thundered back his credentials in history, then he knows that history is a very different kind of judge from him. And that history will absolve us.