Education CS Fred Matiang’i has become a darling of majority of Kenyans, owing to his outstanding competent leadership that has by and large transformed the country’s education sector.
In a country where public office holders are mostly associated with graft than leadership, owing largely due to the political nature in which the appointments are made in the first place and also the issue of conforming to status quo, Matiang’i certainly stands out.
As Jaindi Kisero puts it in an opinion article published by the Daily Nation; “…..Dr Matiang’i has demonstrated that there are still public officials who have the courage to push fundamental reforms even when such changes are against the interests of the strong and powerful,”.
Matiang’i managed to curb the exam cheating menace that had for year’s characterized national exams in the country and last year for the first time in the history of Kenya’s primary and secondary school national exams, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) delivered credible exams and results.
2016 kcpe and KCSE exams recoded zero cheating compared to 2015 where exam cheating rose to a high 70 percent, which was higher than the previous year. 5,101 candidates who sat for 2015 KCSE had their results cancelled and it’s indeed historic that there were zero cases of cheating in the 2016 national exams.
Some of the reforms the CS has brought about is revising the 2016 school calendar and scheduling the month of November in third term strictly for national exams. This saw students from class 1-7 and form one to form three close for two months in third term.
“Going forward, examinations will be reduced to a maximum of four weeks. KCPE exams will start in November 1 and end on November 3 while KCSE will start on November 7 and end on November 30,” Matiang’i said while announcing the reforms in May last year.
Matiang’i also delivered both the KCPE and KCSE results way earlier than the traditional period.
Parents are also happy that with Dr Matiang’i on the docket, they will no longer be subjected to paying exorbitant fees by unscrupulous school heads, who also end up charging them for exam registration fees, which the government has committed to paying for every student.
The future of Kenya’s public education sector appeared glim but Matiang’i has given wananchi hope that all is not lost.