Home' People Daily : THE PEOPLE ISSUE 5490 (MONDAY) Contents 11
PEOPLE DAILY \ Monday, July 28, 2014
Youth employment my top priority
Order on certi cates ought to be rejected
Last week, the government launched a public service reform
initiative that seeks to rationalise sta ng in the public service. The
stated aim of the process is to reduce the wage bill and improve
The media quoted the chairperson of the Salaries Remuneration
Commission Sarah Serem as saying the government plans to
improve on civil service e ciency in service delivery.
The Civil Service has at its disposal highly competent and
experienced sta . However, it operates in di cult and complex
circumstances. The current generation of civil servants is better
educated and cumulatively brings a combination of professionals
and expert skills than any private entity. However, their productivity
levels do not reflect this power.
The challenge that ministries face is to tap on the plurality of
knowledge and skills these have in dealing with the issues that the
ministries have respectively been established to do.
The problem is that civil service is still autocratic, hierarchical
and inflexible. Yet, the best civil service anywhere, is flexible
and agile, able to identify risks, develop responses to changing
priorities and changing demands. This rigidity has weakened
the service. It has denied room for infusion of new and terrific
ideas from university graduates who join the service. Most have
let whatever innovative ideas they had to die because they are
expected to act on instructions and implement government
policies in the ministries they serve, even though they feel some of
the policies are either dysfunctional or could be improved upon.
Therefore, review of policy-making in government is urgently
needed to guarantee flexibility, agility in responding to policy
problems and risks as they arise. The government must also
provide general direction on the need for ministries to hold regular
strategic meetings to review issues and risks facing them and their
policy and programmes implementation.
Lack of strategic orientation of senior civil servants has made
them to spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy on
purely operational meetings that don't add value to their core
Back to the launched reform initiative: It will not be complete
without re-appraisal of the management credentials of the head
of departments within ministries. These people form the interface
between Cabinet secretaries and PSs and the professional or
technical sta . Most of the professionals are experienced; they
have knowledge of the real challenges facing their departments.
They also have ideas on how to deal with them in a cost e ective
and functional way. However, they cannot do much in the face of
ostrich mentality among some of their technical heads.
The writer is a Political Scientist
A swing to death?
When you miss a cosy and safe leisurely
swing, you probably have to pay good money
at a beach or live without. This street boy
on Nairobi's Murang'a Road, near Globe
roundabout, chose to expose himself to obvious
danger than to live without! Call it a 'swing to
death'! PHOTO: KANYIRI WAHITO
Sarah Serem: Government to improve civil service e ciency
As we re ect on the insights that accrued from the just-conclud-
ed International Conference on Great Lakes Region on youth em-
ployment, I recognise the support and goodwill extended to Kenya
by our compatriots in the region. For their commitment, the sum-
mit turned out distinctly successful.
Our region, and Africa at large, has a magni cent gift---a visibly
talented, energetic and youthful population. It demands of us that
we build and leave behind a legacy worthy of them. is task is all
the more urgent given the various challenges which we must strive
to overcome in our quest to create adequate and suitable oppor-
tunities for the youth.
In the past decade, Africa has progressively recorded favourable
economic growth. Unfortunately, the growth is not re ected in the
rate and quality of the jobs created, especially for the youth, over the
period. is dissonance should be addressed as a matter of priority.
It is also true that decades of underinvestment in the develop-
ment of talent have left us ill-equipped to meet the demands of our
growing economies. What is called for, from each of us in a position
to make decisions and policy in these matters is creativity and will-
ingness to learn from what works elsewhere.
Our region has made signi cant progress in supporting inclu-
sion of youth in the national social-economic and political agenda.
e inclusion of youth in the development agenda formally be-
came a core principle of the Dar es Salaam Declaration of Novem-
ber 2004. Subsequently, the Pact on Security, Stability and Devel-
opment came into force in June 2008. e just-concluded summit
builds on what our predecessors did besides strengthening previ-
ous work dedicated to enhancing youth employment in the region.
Here in Kenya, the built infrastructure sector has, no doubt, be-
come critical to creation of employment in recent years. Indeed,
the sector has continued to ensure access to income and improved
livelihoods of thousands of our people and in particular, our youth.
My government, therefore, has increasingly prioritised infrastruc-
ture development and investment as a reliable approach to spur
growth and create jobs in all sectors.
To maintain the momentum, my government has developed a
national employment policy, now awaiting approval by Parliament.
e core proposal here is a simple test: that all major investments
and projects undertaken be subjected to analysis that will deter-
mine their potential for employment creation.
e Constitution now obligates the government to take mea-
sures to ensure the welfare of youth is accorded proper o cial
attention. e areas covered by this revolutionary departure in-
clude access to relevant education and training on employment
opportunities. In line with the foregoing, Kenya enacted a law
that established the National Youth Council, an out t mandated
to gather and present the views of youth, and integrate them fully
into decision making mechanisms. is approach has inspired a
policy regime dedicated to mainstreaming youth issues across all
My government also established a number of national initia-
tives, to nurture and build an entrepreneurial culture among the
youth and to put into their hands the capital and skills they, as we,
so urgently need. Our Youth Enterprise Development Fund is a
Sh6 billion revolving fund that has already bene ted more than
20,000 youth enterprises and trained more than 200,000 youth en-
trepreneurs. e creation of productive, decent and sustainable
livelihoods for youth will continue to be our goal both in the public
and private sector.
e writer is the President of Kenya
I add my voice to the debate on the issue of releasing national
exams certi cates to former students with school fees balances by
supporting the stand taken by the Kenya Secondary School Heads
I happen to be the chair of the Board of Management for a large
boarding public school with a population of 570 students and I
know it is very di cult for schools to provide boarding facilities
and basic amenities to a highly demanding adolescent population
if their parents do not pay fees in time. High school students will de-
mand good facilities and expensive food even when they have huge
fees balances. e board, principal and teachers are always faced
with the threat of violent riots any time food rations are reduced
or the "sweet" expensive things are removed from the menu. And
yes, suppliers of food items and laboratory implements have been
known to sue and levy distress on public schools.
Public schools cannot be run at no cost. ey are not charitable
organisations to house and feed the adolescents freely. is is why
timely collection of fees is a serious matter. Even with the current
fee subsidy, the government is always delaying funds, hampering
school programmes in every school calendar term.
e fees are not owed to the principals but the school manage-
ment committees who also get sued for debts. Principals are just
secretaries and agents of BoMs. ey implement BoM decisions.
is is the law under the Education Act. e schools are registered
exam centres on behalf of Knec and they hold onto certi cates as
bait for unpaid fees. Defy order
By ordering unconditional release of certi cates of defaulters,
the government is opening avenues for continued defaulting. e
State should have consulted key stakeholders in the education sec-
tor. e results of this policy will be felt soon, may be in the form of
violent strikes reminiscent of the experience of June and July 2008
when almost all public schools were hit by a spate of strikes over
boarding facilities and basic amenities.
As an educationist and a legal practitioner, at the risk of being
labelled an inciter, I would rather all school principals defy the di-
rective and hold on to the certi cates until all the outstanding fees
balances are paid. e law is clearly on their side.
e writer is chair, Mweru High School Board ofManagement
Reforming civil service
go beyond wage cuts
#TweetsToTheEditor: A word to
'Jastorina' family on her passing on?
Ojwando Adongo Musa@Musa-
fande: @PeopleDailyKe. God
let us accept the things we can't
change,courage to change things we
can,wisdom and power to move on.
Nature has done its role and God the
ultimate guider is watching over your
two angels. R.I.P Heroine.
[email protected]: Still
unfathomable.She wins a Kalasha
award,then succumbs to illness in a
few hours.Sad.RIP Nancy Nyambura
Bishop Eric Freeman@BishopEJ-
Freeman: RIP Nancy Nyambura aka
#Jastorina. Kenya has surely lost a
talented actress. Prayers of comfort
to her family!
Juliet Mwikali @julietmwikali1:
Nancy Nyambura died too soon. Her
star had just started shining. Death is
cruel,it takes the talented good and
Miss Sharon @Tsharz: Nancy Nyam-
bura aka Justorina was just about to
start enjoying the fruits of her labor,
so sad yani :'(
Josay D. Maina @josay_maina:
Damn R.I.P Nancy Nyambura, I loved
your antics. May your soul find eter-
nal peace in the afterlife!
#Tweets to the editor / / / @peopledailyke / / / The People
TRUTH IS: "To build a Godly life, let God
be the architect and His Word the
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