The National Treasury has today made the last minute rush and released Sh31.34billion to the Ministry of Education for schools ahead of the reopening of schools next week amid mounting uproar from school managers and parents.
Through a communication by State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed, a detailed breakdown of the monies shows that the Department for Basic Education will receive Sh4.74billion for first term’s Free Primary Education (FPE) and another Sh7.6billion for Junior Secondary School (JSS).
Also, the government released Sh2.8billion for school examination and invigilation fees and another Sh16.2 billion will go towards Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE).
“In preparation for school opening next week, the National Treasury today released Sh31.34billion.” Mohamed said through a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter.
According to the Ministry, first term will run for 13 weeks, starting January 8, 2024 and close on April 5.
Schools will then proceed for half term on February 29 to March 3 for three days. The April holiday will then run for three weeks beginning April 8 to April 26 while term two is set to begin on April 29 to August 2 for a period of 14 weeks.
In second term, schools are scheduled to take a half term break from June 20 to June 23 and close on August 5 to August 23.
In Term Three, students will sit the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) and the Kenya Intermediate Level Education Assessment (KILEA) from October 28 to October 31.
The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination will run from November 4 to November 22, which is three weeks.
This is the first in 39 years that there will be no Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) since the last Standard 8 class under 8-4-4 sat the exam last year.
The disbursement comes against the backdrop of concerns that the Government has not been adequately funding schools.
On Tuesday, Opposition Leader, Raila Odinga called for immediate release of billions of monies owed to schools before a new term starts next week to allow the education sector to run smoothly.
Raila said in a statement that the Government must release capitation at the approved rate of Sh22,244 per child for the financial year 2023/2024.
He also regretted that head teachers are struggling to meet the basic resourcing needs of their schools owing to shortage of funds.
“As schools await opening, most parents are struggling with the reality of increased school fees of between Sh40,000 and Sh90,000 in the fee structures they have received from government secondary schools. The school fees bill is way beyond the reach of most parents,” said Raila.
He accused President William Ruto of lying to parents, teachers and children that his administration had increased allocation to the education sector and enhanced capitation but learning will resume next week to different realities.
“The truth is that at the end of the Third Term of the 2022/23 Financial Year alone, government subsidy for FDSE fell way below requirement. The government’s own data indicate that the country had 3,690,376 learners who required Sh82 billion in funding. But the government approved only Sh64.4 billion,” said Raila.
Of this approved amount, he stated that only Sh64.4 billion was disbursed to schools, leaving a deficit of about Sh17.6 billion, which left some 794,231 students without any form of funding.
In the Financial Year 2022/23, Raila stated that the Ruto administration disbursed Sh17, 339 instead of Sh22,244 per child.
He said Ruto owes each child on this programme some Sh4,905 and that the total money owed to schools from the Financial Year 2022/2023 is Sh18.1 billion.
In the 2023/24 Financial Year, Raila stated that the Ruto administration disbursed Sh3,327.87 per child instead of Sh22, 244, a mere 14 per cent of the required amount and that he owes each child some Sh18,916, 13 or 85 per cent of what is needed.
Raila stated that Ruto owes secondary schools a total of Sh69.8 billion. It is not even clear whether the paltry 14 per cent said to have been disbursed has actually been discharged. There is a big disconnect between what the government says and what is actually implemented,” he stated.
He also said that failure to release full capitation to all schools is affecting learning differently across the country, even as he dismissed that the Government has enhanced any funding for free education.