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We have come a long way as a country in terms of education as far as the debates around the education reforms is concerned. The question then perhaps on many citizens’ minds in where the country is at the moment in the education reform process.

The promulgation of the new constitution of Kenya 2010 was the genesis of the education reform process in the country. The rights of all citizens to access education are highlighted in article 43(f) and special emphasis on the right to basic education for the child addressed in article 53 (b).  Vision 2030 is a blueprint for development in the country and education is an element under the social pillar. This goes to show how important education is to the well being of a country.

Education has suffered a setback in the recent past. The misappropriation of Free Primary Education funds in the education sector sometime in 2009/2010 stirred up mistrust from the donor communities. As a result there was a dire need for accountability and transparency in the sector. A task force led by Professor Douglas Odhiambo came into being to realign the education sector to the constitution of Kenya 2012. The recommendations made by the task force toward education sector were validated at a conference which brought on board members of the Civil Society Organisations in Kenya.

From the recommendations of the task force report , various bills and policies were born to the jubilation of many. Some of these documents that essentially address the basic education sector include The draft education bill and the basic education policy . Kenya was then set on the right track as far as reforms were concerned. With such frameworks set up to address the education reforms, one can only appreciate the spirit of the Kenyan people in the implementation of the new constitution.

Ever since, the country has not looked back and Civil Society Organisations have not lagged behind in advocating for an education system that suits the needs of the people of Kenya. Elimu Yetu Coalition (EYC) which is an umbrella body for over 95 CSO’s in the education sector has been helmsman steering the ship destined to dock on the shores of a new Kenya. The recent Civil conference held at Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) further propelled the reform process to greater heights. Member organisations from all 47 counties in Kenya converged at the conference and had a chance to provide input to the education bills and policies. This I must say is a very rare opportunity that stakeholders had. Kudos Elimu Yetu Coalition!

Moving on swiftly, a conference communiqué was developed and presented to the Assistant minister for Science and technology Dr. Kilemi Mwiriawas who was the guest of honour at the closing ceremony. It highlighted the gaps that stakeholders at the conference identified. We should therefore applaud the Government for they have opened their doors to CSO’s and committed towards delivering an education system to the people of Kenya. Currently the drafters of the bills and policies are working on the inclusions presented by the CSO’s present at the conference. The education bill and policy are expected to be tabled in parliament in the next 2 weeks.

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