That Education secretary Fred Matiang’i has restored credibility to Kenya’s national examination system is not in doubt.
But after winning overwhelming public support for his outstanding effort to eliminate cheating in national exams and promptly releasing the results, Dr Matiang’i is beginning to behave like a typical political man.
The praises appear to have gone into his head and totally blinded him from seeing the big picture.
The minister continues to brush aside every criticism of his actions and ignores pleas to think deeply and more broadly as to what the recent mass failures in Form Four exams means for the students in the long term.
One dogmatic position that Dr Matiang’i has maintained is the refusal to consider adjusting the university entry grade from the current C+ that has been in existence since the 8-4-4 system was established nearly 30 years ago – in light of the performance in last year’s KCSE exam.
And in this he misses two critical points. First, if the minister cares to check his own university transcripts, he will see that a student who has scored a C in any subject has not failed.
Second, and most important is that the future of hundreds of thousands of young Kenyans is at stake.
And Dr Matiangi can either choose to offer them a path to a future or condemn them to oblivion just to prove a point.