Born in 1952 in Kisumu County, Professor George Albert Omore Magoha is largely known as the no-nonsense consultant surgeon and academic administrator who until 2022 served as the Cabinet Secretary of Education.
Magoha will be remembered for many things including his steadfast leadership at the helm of the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).
In 2016, Magoha hinted that he could have well been delivering his last speech as the KNEC chairman. He was later appointed as the Cabinet Secretary of Education by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Magoha who passed on Tuesday, January 24, will be remembered for many things, especially, during his tenure as Cabinet Secretary.
1. The University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor
Professor Magoha served in various capacities at the University of Nairobi, including appointment to the position of Chairman, Dead and Principal in the College of Health of Sciences.
Magoha was appointed the Vice Chancellor at the University of Nairobi in 2005, having scored the highest among the applicants.
At the University of Nairobi, Magoha will be remembered for instituting discipline among the academic staff, non-teaching staff, and students.
Magoha reigned in on chaotic students and brought to an end the perennial students' strikes that for years plagued the University of Nairobi.
It was during Prof Magoha that UoN Towers was built by the largest Kenyan university.
2. KNEC Chairman
Magoha retired as Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi and was later appointed as the Chairman of the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).
As Chairman of the Kenya National Examination Council, Magoha will be remembered for his widespread reforms that almost ended cheating in national examinations.
Magoha is credited for dismantling cartels that had propagated exam cheating for years in the Ministry of Education.
3. Cabinet Secretary for Education
Magoha was on March 1, 2019, nominated by former President Uhuru Kenyatta to serve as the Cabinet Secretary for Education in the Kenyan Cabinet.
He was sworn in on March 26, 2019, replacing Amina Mohamed, who was transferred to the Sports docket.
At the Ministry of Education, Magoha continued with reforms that saw the highest number of students join high school.
Magoha initiated 100 per cent transition from primary schools to secondary, in which he championed for education for everyone.
Under The 100 Transition Policy, any Kenyan parent or a parent whose child resides in the country must enroll them for primary and secondary education.
"The move towards the attainment of 100 percent transition from primary to secondary education is just one step towards the attainment of universal basic education," Prof Magoha noted.
4. No-nonsense public scolding of education officials
On Monday, August 31, 2021, former Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha was recorded while scolding a public official for underperformance.
Magoha who had led a multi-sectoral team in a door-to-door campaign in the Rift Valley region to search for Standard Eight leavers who were yet to report to secondary school, publicly rebuked education official for not doing enough to assist the process.
“And you are coming here for the first time, let that nonsense stop because I will not take it.
If you want to resign and go into politics then do so now. You must make sure that you are available in the field because you are in charge of all counties in the Rift Valley unless you delegated that to someone else,” Prof Magoha.