Ezekiel Machogu Ombaki: CS Education


In a country as corrupt as Kenya, nothing happens by chance or coincidence, especially where money is concerned.

Inside the chaos of anything in the public or private sector, there is a method to the madness.

Take for instance the chaos in the High Schools selections and placement of students that was recently released for the candidates that sat KCPE in 2022.

Parents are reeling from the shock of the outcome of school placements.

The parents whose heads are still spinning are parents of those candidates that performed exemplarily in the examinations, but who are doubly cursed for having been educated at private schools, which means that their parents are viewed by Education mandarins as having infinitely deep pockets.

The education sector ranks 2nd in the institutionalization of corruption, probably only following the ignominious Health Ministry which likely ranks 1st.

Urban primary schools are profiled with the same alacrity with which predators stalk and hunt down prey in the wildlands of Africa.

Just last week, various parents and other organizations shouted ad nauseam at Education CS Hon. Ezekiel Machogu to ensure fairness and parity in the schools selections, and not to single out the kids from Private schools for skewed selections.

These skewed selections are done under the pretext of affirmative action where the kids from public schools are given a leg up (despite having attained lower marks in the standardized KCPE) to go to the best performing secondary schools at the expense of the high performing kids from Private schools.

The argument here being that the kids from Private schools have a distinct advantage over public schools in terms of access to reading material and teachers, amenities like electricity and vehicles to take them to school daily.

What nobody wants to point out to the Education dinosaurs at Jogoo House is that these private schools have been systematically and deliberately under-funded and those monies pocketed by those in the education sector, and in the process parents ran away to private schools.

Didn’t the collapse of the public health sector lead to the emergence of thousands of private medical facilities?

So why would the Education sector of ravenous hyenas pursue these same kids to their schools and further strip them of the opportunity and their hard work, as well as that of their teachers and parents?

All this came to light this week, when amid pomp and colour, Education CS Hon Machogu unveiled the schools selections, to the utter shock and horror of the parents from the private schools.

After using the Ministry USSD to get the school selections, kids who had scored above 390 marks and their highly optimistic parents discovered that these children had been placed as far away as Coast Province, NEP, the inner recesses of the Rift Valley.

Have you ever wondered why the Education mandarins make a huge show and tell to the parents that they should ignore the download link for the school that their child was placed in, which is code that the parent is free to source another school, which means that hands must be greased.

What an open capitulation to graft by the Education ministry.

All the effort put into the schools selection process in 2022 eventually turned out to be crap and balderdash, because shocked parents discovered that it all meant nothing.

Majority of the schools selected were not considered in the selection.

Meanwhile, the Education officials and school heads in the top schools opened for businesses (of soliciting and collecting bribes in exchange for school placements) immediately before Christmas in anticipation of the deluge of good performers that would be knocking on their doors with brown envelopes to massage their decisions on whether to accept their kids.

In top schools, the going rate for entry (under the table/ backdoor) is Ksh. 300,000/- and the Principals have now work what is known as “sura ya kazi”.

All the top performing schools everywhere in Central and Nairobi Provinces have a similarly chaotic mudfight, from the Alliances, Kenya High, Mang’u, Nairobi School, Loretos, Starehe, Pangani etc

The saddest part is that everyone has accepted this state of affairs as normal and everyone is happily going along with this lunacy. Churches and Church leaders are in the forefront, collecting money from their congregants to arrange for these placements.

What shall certainly leave scars in the hearts and minds of innocent, hardworking and gifted kids, is the weaponisation of the schools selection system and the silly affirmative action, by the accursed and vile human beings in the Ministry of Education.

Dreams have been shattered for the most deserving kids while those with low marks have benefited majorly.

In the process, the same parents who forked out extortionary levels of school fees, have now been forced to go back into their pockets to pay bribes to headteachers and Ministry officials, just to have their kids reassigned to closer and saner schools.

Worse, we saw a Governor from NEP holding up a cheque for Ksh. 350 million ostensibly to pay school fees for their students.

Where do we think that those students will go to school?

Which schools do you know in NEP that will accommodate those students from NEP, majority with their low marks?

Well, those lucky boys and girls are making a beeline for schools in Nairobi and Central provinces, with a particular preference for National schools.

The deals to pick up these students were done ages ago and money exchanged hands.

Try to approach any National school today and they will tell you honestly that they were forced to take a certain number of students from those areas, ages ago.

None of those counties in NEP, Eastern, Rift and other parts of the country bothered to invest in institutions (high schools) of their own. No sir…!

10 years of devolution and those Governors have not built a single school that will accommodate these “high performers” in their home counties instead they come to clutter the schools in Nairobi and Central. Yuck!

These Governors all have massive homes in Nairobi where they spend an inordinate amount of time cutting deals with Education Ministry mandarins

No wonder BBI was opposed so vigorously because it called for the more sober and rational one-man, one-shilling – one vote that would have equalized Central and Nairobi Provinces revenues on the basis of population alone, as opposed to the current situation where revenue allocation greatly disadvantages some while rewarding others.

The people of Central Province keep taking it up the rear in every sense of the word. They vote in successive Governments, yet can’t get their high performers called to their own schools because those slots must be given to outsiders.

The people of Central belligerently voted for the KK Government but will be hit with most taxes. The Deputy President who fancies himself the top politician in the region will be heard speaking about everything under the sun including the most mundane issue, but will remain silent on this one.

Our DP is standing by as his own community’ future is being decimated right in front of his eyes.

Deputy president Rigathi Gachagua

This madness at Secondary schools and with Education ministry officials needs to come to an end immediately.

The CBC curriculum was a half-baked joke that the current political dispensation is slowly rolling back. It was built on prayer and the belief in miracles that is associated with certain segments of the Christian faith.

In the background though, there was a massive financial windfall for publishers and booksellers to schools, both public and private.

More money was gorged on in the form of retraining of teachers and other such flights of fancy, yet the real burden of CBC was loaded onto the same overworked and cash-bled parents.

Then they created a maniacal exit exam for Grade 6, who were also supposed to join the same secondary schools as the Std 8s which created a situation where more than 2 million students were expected to join high schools simultaneously.

The same high schools currently creak under the weight of students who have been loaded onto the school under the banner of capitation.

Why shouldn’t the Education Ministry mandarins be candidates for capital punishment?

Yet these schools have zero expansion in infrastructure and facilities over the period of the last political dispensation that dreamt up this lunacy.

For sure, whenever you hear anything being proposed in the education sector in Kenya, always ask yourself whose pocket is being raided, and you might just discover that it is your pocket.

In this placement debacle, the parents of middle and upper class Nairobi and Central Kenya primary schools were the target of this extortion.

Lord have mercy.

About the author

Cyprian, Is Nyakundi

Cyprian is a blogger who has an interest in politics, news, current affairs, people and anything that is of interest to society. My aim is to inform and update readers with the most accurate information.

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