Kenya’s Ministry of Education Proposes New Leadership Structure for County Education Boards

NAIROBI — The Ministry of Education in Kenya has introduced the Basic Education Bill, 2024, which proposes significant changes to the leadership structure of the County Education Boards (CEBs).

According to Kenya News Agency, the new legislation aims to appoint County Commissioners as chairpersons of the CEBs, a shift from the current Basic Education Act of 2013 that mandates the Cabinet Secretary to appoint an educationist with at least five years of experience in the county.

The draft bill, unveiled during a stakeholders’ forum at the Kenya Institute of Special Education, maintains the position of the County Director of Education or their representative as the Secretary to the CEB, aligning with the provisions of the existing Basic Education Law. Machogu highlighted that these adjustments are in response to the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), which sought to tackle various systemic challenges within Kenya’s education landscape.

The session was attended by key educational stakeholders, including Principal Secretaries for Basic Education, Technical Vocational and Technical Training, and University Education and Research, Dr. Belio Kipsang, Dr. Esther Muoria, and Dr. Beatrice Inyangala, respectively. The Cabinet Secretary reassured attendees of the government’s commitment to reinstating the Sh22,244 capitation for the Free Days Secondary Education program, correcting the temporary reduction to Sh17,000 due to fiscal constraints.

Additionally, the proposed Universities Bill, 2024, aims to restrict universities from offering diploma programs, advising that these institutions focus on graduate and postgraduate offerings while leaving diploma and certificate courses to middle-level colleges.

Machogu also presented various legislative proposals for discussion, including the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Bill, 2024, and the Kenya National Qualifications Framework (Amendment) Bill, 2024, among others. These bills seek to implement comprehensive reforms in the education sector, as detailed in the Sessional Paper on a Policy Framework for Education Reforms in Kenya, 2024, which the Cabinet Secretary said would anchor the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party’s report for presentation to Parliament.

The forum brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including representatives from teachers’ unions, faith-based organizations, public universities, civil society, and semi-autonomous educational organizations, to deliberate on these proposed changes and provide feedback.