Dear CS Machogu. I woke up today and thought about you. The President has proposed you, to work with us, and we embrace you, warmly. Somehow, I had not heard about you before yesterday, but then again, I may belong to the herd of ignorant Kenyans who only focus their eye on the sector they work in. I know the name Machogu, through a fellow scholar, but that may be all. I am told that you are a seasoned administrator with a heart for change. If, indeed, you happen to be Dr Paul Machogu’s dad, then you must also be a model parent.
Here in the education sector, our hearts beat for children. Our love for children wakes us up, and when we get to bed, our minds overflow with imagination about a bright future for them. Imagination that during our time, children will flourish. Through education, they will play, be happy, and be loved by teachers as they discover their talents. At school, they will meet friends and create lifelong networks. Above all, they will learn – acquire the competences needed at each grade level, and as they exit from each level, be pushed to the next level by the joy of what they have achieved and thirst for learning more. By the time they exit the education system, they will be ready for work and for life – and from the education, be destined to a future of productive contribution to society and a fulfilled life.
Today then, is the advent of a very significant journey for you, for us and most importantly for our children. I know that many things will be on your desk, but three things may always matter to the journey forward:
- Clarity – the President was clear on the need for clarity on education reforms. Your wisdom will count in learning and discerning on what Kenya needs. An education not to favour a few elite and perpetuate colonial practice, but one that liberates the mind and unleashes the potential of our children. We will be there to support you, sharing evidence and intellectual insight;
- Participation – the President halted reform implementation so that Kenyans have the opportunity to participate and say what is working and what is now working; what they need for their children. Your wisdom will count, in embracing participation as a general principle for your leadership, beyond the Task Force. With enough space to participate, parents, teachers, researchers, and civil society organizations – Kenyans, will walk with you throughout your term in that office. Kenyans love education, and will always show up when called upon.
- Communication – the President implied that most Kenyans may not have understood the reforms. Indeed, we know this from everywhere we have been. Parents and teachers have more questions than answers. Your wisdom will count in working with the media, teachers, parent associations, and civil society – with everyone who has a voice – to reach all our parents and teachers, and respond to their questions. Rather than scare them off, or threaten them, the media and other stakeholders will be happy to work with you, to communicate clearly, in a way that every Kenyan understands and believes
Cabinet Secretary, karibu sana.
Dr. John Mugo is the Executive Director at Zizi Afrique Foundation, For feedback, send an email to email@example.com