Reforms in the education sector were yesterday thrown into disarray after Parliament stopped the implementation of the recommendations by a taskforce on the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula told State agencies to stop amending the law through the back door as the mandate is solely the privilege of MPs.
Wetang’ula said that the Ministry of Education cannot purport to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) chaired by Prof Raphael Munavu yet the same has not been approved by the House.
To this end, he directed the Leader of Majority Kimani Ichung’wah to issue a comprehensive statement from Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu on the status of implementation of the said report.
Said Wetangula: “I direct you (Leader of Majority) to engage the CS and bring a comprehensive statement in two weeks’ time. Nobody and I repeat nobody including the minister of government can purport to make law or do things that appear to be interpreted that they have made law because they have no capacity to make any law.”
Wetagula’s directive came after Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba claimed the recommendations made by the working party were against several laws and even the Constitution.
He stated that the recommendations were illegal as they intend to take away the mandate of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
He said: “When recommendations are made by committees that are appointed, and they are implemented by passing this House, and it has a force of law. Mr. Speaker, we would like you to pronounce yourself on these matters that are being implemented on the basis of recommendation. One of the cardinal rules of a Member of Parliament is legislation. We don’t expect any other person who has not been elected by anyone to make law that is in contravention of the Constitution,” he said.
A number of MPs supported his sentiments and told the Speaker to issue directions on the matter.
Ichung’wah, while promising to engage Machogu, said that nobody has the powers to make laws as this is the preserve of MPs.
He said: “Nobody, including Cabinet Secretaries have the power to make law, not even a presidential Working Party. The best they can do is to make recommendations,” he said.
Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga said they do not expect any other entity apart from legislators to make laws.
“We don’t expect any person who has not been elected to make law. That is a contravention of the Constitution. This is a matter that you should issue a statement from your chair. There is nobody in this county, however, high or mighty they think they are, they cannot make law or regulations, they should stop their recommendations.”
Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo accused the ministry of trying to circumvent the law by not allowing Parliament or the courts to determine the legality of their recommendations.
He said: “I am aware that not only is it despite it being a policy document, they have purported to appoint an implementation committee which is already implementing it, yet it’s not even considered if Parliament will accept it into law.”
Wetang’ula’s directive comes at a time when some of the programs initiated by the team including removing junior secondary school from high school to primary school, adopting a new grading system, the new funding model and rationalization of new learning areas have already been implemented.
TSC has opposed the recommendations and asked the National Assembly to intervene.
TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia in a brief to the parliamentary Committee on Education, said the proposals committee takes away its key mandate and function.
In particular, TSC said despite submitting a comprehensive Memorandum and engaging a committee of the Working Party, the taskforce failed to consider its input on critical matters involving the teaching service.
Said Macharia: “The Commission’s Board has analysed the recommendations of the Report, and identified areas that will impact its mandate and functions under the Constitution and Statute Law. Specifically, the PWPER did not only exclude the Commission from the list of institutions visited, but also the list of the organizations that submitted their Memoranda to the party.”