Sh19.5 billion too little for us, school heads tell State

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang.

School heads have protested the release of 19.5 billion to schools, accusing the government of withholding huge sums of money, which could plunge schools into further cash crisis.

The Ministry of Education yesterday announced it had released Sh14.6 billion to fund secondary schools and Sh4.6 billion for primary institutions.

Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang said the money is 25 per cent of the total amount that should be sent to schools in Term One.

The government’s financing model of free education is spread on a 50:30:20 ratio for terms one, two and three.

This means half the money is sent in first term, 30 per cent in second term and the balance released in third term.

Funding formula

Each primary school pupil receives Sh1,420 capitation per year as those in free day secondary schools are allocated Sh22,244.

Secondary school heads however questioned the funding formula, saying the money meant for last year’s second and third terms have been withheld.

The heads said the two school terms are being covered this year, yet the money to cater for the two sessions has not been released.

“We are presently covering second term for Form One to Form Three and third term for candidate classes yet the money for these two sessions is not captured in the disbursements,” said Kahi Indimuli, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman.

He said four school terms will be covered this year alone and asked the ministry to explain how the calendar year has been funded.

“Last year, there was a balance of the 30 per cent of the money that should have been released. There was also a balance of the 20 per cent that is released in third term. These monies have not been captured in the disbursed funds,” said Mr Indimuli.

Dr Kipsang said the ministry had released free day secondary education funds at a capitation rate of Sh4,656 per child.

The PS said Sh337.20 per student has been withheld by the ministry to cater for learners’ insurance cover.

Another Sh526.25 is for supply of textbooks and Sh50 for strengthening of mathematics and science education programmes.

Primary school heads said the money was 50 per cent of the year’s allocation.

Secondary school heads said the money released is not enough and will further plunge schools into crisis.

According to the disbursement details released yesterday, Sh3,397.55 has been sent to each secondary school child to cater for operational expenses.

Of this, Sh2,000 will cater for schools maintenance and improvement.

Kipsang said maintenance and improvement allocations for this year is Sh5,000 and that some Sh2,000 had been paid in January.

“The rest of the funds will be disbursed in subsequent disbursements,” he said.

Indimuli however said a meeting should be convened to enlighten school managers on the funding formula.

“We need a meeting of school heads and the ministry so that they take us step by step through the formula they have used,” he said.

He said inadequate funding is impoverishing schools.