A teachers’ union on Saturday supported the appointment of Amina Mohammed as the Cabinet secretary for Education.
Ms Mohammed, the outgoing Foreign Affairs CS, was on Friday nominated to head the Ministry of Education taking over from Dr Fred Matiang’i, who becomes the new Interior CS.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) leaders supported the minister, saying they were optimistic she would help solve diplomacy issues in the ministry.
They urged her to use her expertise in diplomacy to bring together education stakeholders and engage on various issues affecting the sector.
“We know that she is an accomplished diplomat…we welcome her and are happy,” Kuppet Secretary-General Akello Misori told the Nation on the phone.
He said despite not being an educationist, he supported her because she was capable of delivering.
“I do not want to undermine her; even the Late Mutula Kilonzo was a lawyer but he did quite well in the Education Ministry,” Mr Misori said.
Unlike her predecessor Dr Matiang’i, who was viewed by many as being ‘military’, Ms Mohammed is viewed as ‘soft’.
But Mr Misori said all Ms Mohamed needed to do was to create new strategies and structures to deal effectively with challenges at the ministry.
The priority areas for her, he said, should be infrastructure, secondary school transition, the new curriculum, examination cheating, cartels and teachers’ welfare.
“She should fight so that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) may have its budget enhanced so as to support teachers in their work, as well as increase their numbers in schools,” said Mr Misori.
“She has come at a time when we are at cross road, we have not achieved 100 per cent transition rate and still are grappling with poor infrastructure and a new curriculum. It is upon her to get her act right,” Mr Misori said.
Kuppet Chairman Omboko Milemba, who also is the Emuhaya MP, said: “We welcome and congratulate her for the new appointment. With her diplomatic experience and skills, she will do a good job.”
“But we want to remind her that she should continue with reforms at the ministry, especially the new curriculum, policy and localisation of teachers,” he said.
Mr Milemba also said the minister should ensure moderation during exam marking to avoid many failures.
He said for the two years Dr Matiang’i was the Education CS, there have been 95,000 Es in national examinations.
According to him, Dr Matiang’i did a great job and should have been reappointed Education CS.