The National Assembly on Tuesday approved the appointment of Prof Fatuma Chege as the new Principal Secretary for state department for the implementation of curriculum reforms in the Ministry of Education.
In a strange turn of events, the Members of Parliament overwhelmingly supported her appointment, changing from their earlier position.
Education and research committee chair Florence Mutua said failure to approve Prof Chege’s appointment will jeopardize the implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).
“The appointment of this PS is very crucial in the implementation of the curriculum and therefore the education committee recommends the approval of her appointment,” said Ms Mutua, also the Busia County Woman Representative.
National assembly speaker Justin Muturi said with the overwhelming support from the MPs her appointment is approved.
“There being no objection, the appointment of Prof Fatuma Chege as the new Principal Secretary for state department for the implementation of curriculum reforms in the Ministry of Education is hereby approved,” said Mr Muturi.
Prof Chege’s nomination debate had come to the floor of the house for a second time after a section of MPs last week opposed creation of a new department in the Ministry.
The MPs had argued that a creation of the department is not necessary as the current principal secretary in the State Department of Basic Education Dr Julius Jwan was the director of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and is competent to implement the curriculum.
The MPs also argued that the current Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Sarah Ruto was also the KICD Chair and therefore has all the skills to implement the CBC.
Uriri Mp Mark Nyamita, Suba East, Junet Mohamed and Minority leader John Mbadi were among the MPs who opposed the appointment.
Mr Mohamed said he does not see the need for an additional state department to do a specific duty which can be done by the existing state department of basic education.
Mr Mohamed said currently, the Ministry of Education has a dysfunctional state department in charge of post training and skills development headed by PS Alfred Cheruiyot.
“That man called Cheruiyot is doing nothing, why can’t that job be given to him because honestly he is idle,” said Mr Mohamed.
Mr Mbadi said it is unnecessary to have another PS in the Ministry of Education.
“We cannot always complain as a nation that we have bloated wage bill and as a House we keep on approving more appointments and creation of positions without even raising a finger. Our role as oversight institution is that if we have agreed the Government is heavy, then we cannot continue allowing creation of more positions in government,” said Mr Mbadi.
The MP said that Prof Chege already has a job and does not need a new job.
Mr Nyamita opposed the appointment saying that within the Ministry of Education is the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) which is a fully fledged institution which deals with curriculum reforms.
However, when the debate was brought in parliament yesterday for a second debate, the MPs did not raise any objection.
The National Assembly will forward her approval to President Uhuru Kenyatta for gazettement to become official.