Release delayed school funds to avoid chaos

In Summary

• More than 200 secondary schools are yet to receive government funding for the first term.

• Education PS Belio Kipsang assured the affected schools that money would be released.

Students of Machakos school outside the Machakos DEO’s Office
Students of Machakos school outside the Machakos DEO’s Office
Image: FILE

More than 200 secondary schools are yet to receive government funding for the first term, a few weeks to the end of the first term, because of failing to register learners on the National Educational Management Information System. Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association Chairman Kahi Indimuli says it is unfair for the Education ministry to expect learning to go smoothly without adequate funds.

A week ago, Education PS Belio Kipsang assured the affected schools that money would be released. The government pays Sh22,224 annually for every student in secondary school in three phases; 50 per cent of the amount in the first term, 30 per cent in the second term and the rest in the final term.

The promise the official made has not been honoured and it is quite a shame to him and the ministry at large. No school can run without funds and so the KESSHA chairman is right when he says the ministry is being unfair.

Failure to register students does not mean there are no students in school and so funds should not be released. Having funds released even before students are registered outweighs waiting for students to register in order to release the funds. 

This is not the first time those students are being registered, so registration should not be the issue. The government has the numbers and so the reason they have not released the funds should be discussed only after they've done so. It should be immediate because schools are almost closing for the holidays.

The government should act responsibly and avoid being pushed by citizens' complaints into doing what it is supposed to do. How does the ministry expect the schools to run without the normal funding? Principals are expected to pay non-teaching staff, teachers employed by boards of management as well as buy food for students.

The first term is almost done, the money these schools has been running on came from other sources. The state should give out those funds so that they can be paid back to their sources. It should be done before schools close because the sum for second term is separate. With unbearable conditions in schools, don't be surprised to hear of student unrest. The government has to step up and play their part before that happens.