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President Uhuru appoints Education PS amid opposition from ODM party

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ignored his handshake partner Raila Odinga and appointed Professor Fatuma Chege as Education Principal Secretary (PS). 

In a gazette dated May 6, 2021, the Head of State appointed Professor Fatuma Chege as the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and directed her to assume office on the same day.

Ms Chege will serve as the Principal Secretary (PS) for the State Department for Implementation of Curriculum. She will spearhead the execution of the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). 

“In exercise of the powers conferred to me by the Constitution, I, Uhuru Kenyatta, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, appoint — Fatuma Chege to be a Principal Secretary with effect from May 6, 2021,” Gazette Notice no. 4203 of Volume CXXIII – No. 96 reads. 

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party had opposed the nomination of the Kenyatta University (KU) Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, arguing that it would heap pressure on an already bloated wage bill and extended government workforce. 

ODM Chairman John Mbadi and Minority Whip Junet Mohamed argued that the Education Ministry, under CS George Magoha, already had five PSs. 

The Education Committee chaired by Busia MP Florence Mutua had approved Fatuma Chege for the newly created state department.

“There are five PSs in the Education ministry. Let us reject something for the first time as a House. Whereas I don’t have a problem with Chege, we do not need another PS. 

“It is hypocritical to lament a bloated government and we come back here to rubber-stamp creation of more positions,” Mbadi stated. 

Chege was the Chairperson of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) task force that gave the road map for the 2-6-3-3-3 education system as the government shifts from the 8-4-4 system.

She holds a Doctoral Degree in Education with a specialization in Gender & Education from the University of Cambridge – (UK). She has a professional career spanning all levels of the Kenyan education system. 

The professor teaches Philosophy & Sociology of Education; Educational Research Methods and Gender and Education. She also has considerable experience in multi-disciplinary & participatory research in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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    Written by Kennedy Omondi

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