FREE EDUCATION

Joy as state to pay secondary fees for 600,000 KCPE candidates

National Treasury to release Sh40 billion for capitation in January.

In Summary

• Capitation for all students will be available by the time schools open in January except for Grade 1 pupils.

• Though the capitation is for all students in public schools, those proceeding to national institutions will each pay Sh53,554 extra.

Education CS George Magoha leaves the 15th Annual Kepsha delegates conference in Mombasa yesterday.
BYE: Education CS George Magoha leaves the 15th Annual Kepsha delegates conference in Mombasa yesterday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

The government will from next month fully pay sub-county school fees for over 600,000 learners who sat this year's KCPE exam.

The institutions are mainly day secondary schools. The government has set capitation to secondary school at Sh22,244 for each learner.  The amount is similar to the fee charged in day schools.

The aim is in line with the government agenda to provide Free Day Secondary Education.

The institutions are also expected to carry the bulk of admission with 663,145 learners set to join them beginning January 13.

Education PS Belio Kipsang on Tuesday said they have made a requisition for Sh40 billion for capitation for both primary and secondary schools from the National Treasury which will be available by January.

Of this amount, Sh13.4 billion will go to primary schools.

“We are in talks with our colleagues in the National Treasury so that capitation is released by January,” Kipsang said.

Though the capitation is for all students in public schools, those proceeding to national schools will pay Sh53,554 extra.

Those in extra county schools will pay Sh40,435 as will those joining county schools.

Extra fees.

Secondary schools will now be at liberty to charge extra fees to cater for improved infrastructure.

This is part of the ministry's plan to address the surge in the number of students in secondary schools occasioned by the 100 per cent transition.

However, CS George Magoha cautions that the funds will be on voluntary basis and no parent should be forced to contribute.

The increase in fees must be approved by the school's Board of Management.

Magoha spoke in Mombasa where he addressed the Kenya primary school heads conference. The conference started on Monday.

The CS asked headteachers to work with chiefs to ensure all candidates who sat the exam from their institutions proceed to secondary schools.

“I am tasking you to develop a tracking system within your individual schools to ensure that you work with chiefs and education and TSC field officers to account for all your 2019 candidates,” the CS said.

Knut insincere

Magohahas dismissed calls by Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Wilson Sossion for a freeze the newly adopted NEMIS platform.

The platform is an online register and gives accurate, real-time data of learners in schools at a particular time.

On Monday, Sossion said the system is marred by roadblocks and called for its suspension until the issues are ironed out.

He said the system is being used by some bureaucrats in the ministry to punish some schools through skewed disbursement of capitation.

Magoha said schools will get capitation for all students by the time they open in January (except for Grade 1 pupils) based on the NEMIS enrolment.

“But there is a catch. I will go round to cross-check that all children are in school in body and in soul,” the CS said.

Yesterday, Kipsang said the ministry has captured data of all the children with birth certificates and of those without the certificates.

“We have engaged with the interior ministry to issue birth certificates. Currently, 80 per cent of the children have been registered,” he said.

He said all have certificate numbers even though some may not have the certificates themselves.