Speaker Justin Muturi blocks debate on motion to scrap new curriculum

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has barred lawmakers from debating a petition by nominated MP Wilson Sossion seeking to scrap the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

Allowing MPs to discuss the matter, he said, is likely to prejudice the fair determination of related proceedings now underway in the High Court.

“My considered opinion remains that the conduct of a parallel process in Parliament to consider a petition in which the substantive prayer sought is similar to the prayer sought in a matter filed in court would definitely prejudice the outcome of the matter in court,” Mr Muturi said.

“The idea of sanctioning parallel proceedings becomes more unpalatable when one considers that the petition before the court was filed earlier than the petition before the House, and that the House is listed as a respondent and has been served with the pleadings.”

But Mr Muturi warned that if the court delays in determining the matter, which he described as of grave concern to the public, Parliament will swing into action and propose an education system it deems fit.

“It is worth noting that the door is not entirely closed to the members in seeking to resolve this matter. In the event circumstances arise indicating an inordinate delay in the resolution of the matter by the courts, the member is at liberty to raise the matter for reconsideration by the Speaker,” Mr Muturi said.

Mr Sossion, in a petition presented in the House last week on behalf of parents and education stakeholders, wants the National Assembly to scrap the adoption of CBC, saying citizens were not invited to offer their views before the system was introduced.

But Mr Muturi pointed out that when a dispute arises between citizens and the Executive on the propriety of a policy decision or its effects, only the Judiciary can resolve it with finality.

“The Constitution places legislation within the exclusive authority of Parliament. Conversely, the petition presented by the member seeks to stay or stop the implementation of a policy adopted by the Executive on the manner in which it intends to fulfil its constitutional mandate of providing free and compulsory basic education,” Mr Muturi ruled.

“In this regard, the House may proceed and deliberate such a matter of extreme concern to the people, but its power to resolve the matter with finality is circumscribed by the inescapable fact that the House can only recommend to the Executive what to adopt as a policy decision or urge it to rectify the policy one way or the other.”