Treasury finally releases Sh9bn for free learning
The Treasury has finally released Sh9.8 billion free secondary education funds, Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has said.
The funds, which were disbursed six weeks after schools opened in January, will benefit 1.9 million students in 6,654 public secondary schools.
Each of the beneficiaries will get Sh5,000 — half the total allocation of the programme per year. (Editorial: Release cash for schools)
“I would like to point out that any additional levies over and above the fees guidelines the ministry has given out towards financing secondary education in public schools should be based on the requirements provided by the new Education Act 2012,” Mr Kilonzo told Nation on Tuesday.
He said charging parents arbitrary levies would be a violation of the Basic Education Act.
The minister called on school heads to conspicuously display on public notice boards within schools’ premises, the funds received and how they are spent.
“This is in the spirit of transparency and accountability. They should use the funds allocated responsibly and also remind them of the earlier directive by the ministry that all funds received be acknowledged through government receipts,” he said in a telephone interview.
Each of the benefiting students should endorse returns for funds received to the ministry besides being issued with official receipt for every disbursement.
The school principals are required to submit the block receipt for funds received against each vote head to the ministry.
The funds were released after Kenya National Union of Teachers warned on Sunday that teachers would close down schools due to lack of money.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Kibaki had reiterated the Government’s commitment to free learning programmes, noting that the Constitution had made basic education a right for every child in Kenya.
He said Vision 2030 also underscored the importance of education as a key driver in the endeavour to make Kenya a middle level economy.
“Through the Ministry of Education, my government has remained committed to providing quality education and training to Kenyans that enable them to be competitive in the national, regional and international markets,” he said and assured Kenyans that the Government would continue expanding education infrastructure to benefit all Kenyan children as required by the Constitution.
“The developments that I have enumerated should be diligently and jealously guarded for posterity. This can only happen where there is peace,” he said while receiving a peace torch from students at State House, Nairobi.