The transfer of Collette Suda from the Education docket to Gender was the highlight of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government changes at Jogoo House.
Prof Suda served both as the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the entire Education ministry and the principal secretary for University Education and Research, perhaps the only government official to hold two senior positions in the same ministry.
As the PS for University Education, Prof Suda was at the heart of reforms in higher education meant to safeguard quality of learning by scrapping and merging some degree programmes across the country’s 70 universities, as well as streamlining of management and exams.
As CAS, she served as the principal assistant to Education CS George Magoha in basic education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet), and University Education and Post Training and Skills Development.
Her role as PS for University Education and Research has been taken over by career diplomat Simon Nabukwesi, a director at the Foreign Service Academy.
Her role as CAS will be taken over by Ms Mumina Bonaya, a former chairperson of the Women Enterprise Fund, and little-known Zachariah Kinuthia Mugure.
Tvet PS Kevit Desai was also moved to the East African Community docket in the same capacity.
He has been replaced by Dr Julius Jwan, the chief executive of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, who has been driving the ongoing education system changeover from 8-4-4 to the Competency-Based Curriculum.
Given the urgency and sensitivity of the curriculum changes, it is expected that the government will rush to advertise and fill his position.