The frequency and sophistication with which case studies are deployed by social scientists has greatly expanded in recent years. The goal now is not merely to document or describe, but to diagnose, explain, interpret, and inform a basis for action. Professional schools across the disciplines – from medicine and engineering to business and public policy – now routinely use ‘the case method’ not only to teach but to generate practical knowledge.
Despite facing formidable political, economic, and capacity challenges, The Gambia has recorded sizable advances in the education sector in a relatively short time frame. Since 2000, enrollment has more than doubled in secondary schools, while the number of students enrolled in basic education has increased by 40 percent, with notable growth in the madrassas schools. Gender equality and completion rates in basic education have continued to improve across the board and surpass the regional averages. Simultaneously, the number of teachers formally trained and the number of students enrolled in the Teachers’ College has grown considerably since 2005.
These gains are directly linked to the scaled-up investment in the sector, which has translated into a greater number of schools, larger number of qualified teachers and monitors, and the introduction of innovative programs catering to hard-to-reach groups. In turn, these achievements have been made possible by the organizational and management changes introduced by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) and its ability to remain focused on a small set of goals, report results, and mobilize domestic and external support to realize them, while generating and renewing its leadership cadre. To achieve this, the institution has had to navigate and solve numerous challenges in its internal organization and in the governance environment.
This is how development happens. Specific segments of governments get it right and, with some luck, generate positive spillovers into other departments. In Gambia it is happening in the Ministries of Finance and Education. In Kenya, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and, to some extent, the Treasury are doing much of the heavy-lifting in the quest to rationalize the Kenyan economy.
Every year, the Treasury presents the Controller and Auditor-General a revenue statement, disclosing details of revenues received on income tax, VAT and corporation taxes.
The accounts for all revenue categories are kept separately. The gist of the new report by Mars Group is that the Auditor has discovered several cases where records of revenues received by KRA does not tally with what was actually received by the Treasury.
There are also cases where accounts of revenues banked at the Central Bank differ from the records kept by the receiver of revenues.
Where there are material differences, what the Auditor-General has been doing has been to exclude such revenue categories from the general certificate issued to the Treasury at the end of the year.
Is it just a matter of sloppy accounting? We all know that accounts which cannot reconcile are a recipe for irregular dealings.
That is Kisero writing in the Daily Nation. I am trying to get a soft copy of the actual report from the Mars Group. More on this soon.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has tabled in parliament a list of those who acquired land in the Mau based on their well-connectedness with the government. Top of the list are those closely associated with former president Moi – including his son and former Baringo Central MP Gideon. The task force on the Mau issued a report that claimed that 80% of the titles to the land in Mau were issued to undeserving people.
I like this dose of transparency from the Prime Minister (Although for good practice he should have made the list public as soon as he got it in order to allow for a more mature progression of the eviction debate). My hope now is that Kenyans will realise exactly what the interests of those against the government directive to conserve the forest are. Indeed if I had it my way, the millionaires who unlawfully acquired public land should be made to pay a fine.
The popular consensus seems to be that the government should compensate the regular “wananchi” who have titles and who unknowingly legally bought illegally acquired land. But the “wenyenchi” who grabbed public land should not be given a cent. Shame on them.
And on a different note, kudos to the Kenya Revenue Authority. I was surprised that I was able to get my pin number online. The first time I tried getting one I had to wait in line at Times Tower and left because the line did not move for the more than 45 minutes that I was there. My only problem now is that I can’t seem to be able to print my pin number certificate. Anyone with a clue?
Kenyan MPs are some of the highest paid parliamentarians in the world ($ 136, 160 p.a.) – and this in a third world country with per capita income of $ 1800. The MPs have forever refused to pay taxes on their hefty pay, and for no good reason. Over the years their main defense has been that since they are forever helping their constituents with school fees, medical bills, funeral expenses and what not, they should be exempt from taxes because such help is an implicit tax. I say this is a load of horse manure.
If these people really cared about helping their constituents they should formalize such means of assistance and then pay taxes to fund such programs. The faux welfare system that they claim to be running as it is only serves as a tool for patronage and corruption. Their ‘help’ is essentially a money-for-votes racket and therefore should be declared illegal by the electoral commission (oops, wait a second, we do not have an electoral commission – how is any Kenyan politician in their right mind able to go to bed knowing that the country has a president who ‘has eaten a lot of salt’ (not to mention old military helicopters) but no polls body?????).
I agree with Kenya’s chief taxman (KRA Commissioner General Michael Waweru) and the secretary to the cabinet (Ambassador Francis Muthaura) in their calls for a pay freeze and taxation for our under-performing parliamentarians. They don’t deserve the very high salaries to begin with and so the least they could do for the millions of poor Kenyans whose money they continue to steal is pay taxes.
It is my hope that the Akiwumi Tribunal will let common sense prevail and write a sane report that will recommend the abolition of the Parliamentary Service Commission (these clowns should not be allowed to give themselves raises whenever they want) and its replacement with a general salaries body for all civil servants as has been suggested by ambassador Muthaura.
PS: If only we had this level of transparency. This is why America still rules the world. They have very honest leaders.