Shock of 380,000 students not funded by government

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu. [File, Standard]

Some 380,000 students have not been receiving government funding despite attending classes and even feeding in public schools.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said some principals provide wrong information that leads to false data on students’ enrollments.

He blamed this on school heads who delegate their duty to people who do not have the capacity to verify the learners’ information. Mr Machogu said some school heads feed students’ data on Nemis in cyber cafes hence leading to wrong entries sent to the ministry for funding.

‘‘During the disbursement of Free Education funds, it was noted that heads had delegated their functions of updating the information on various individuals who lacked the capacity to verify the data entered,’’ he said.

“…they (cyber cafes) end up giving wrong bank accounts, listing most learners as pending, listing schools at the wrong level while others missed crucial information,” said Machogu when he appeared before the National Assembly Education Committee.

It also emerged that some students’ data are not captured for not having requisite documents such as birth certificates.

Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang told MPs that at least 380,000 students are not captured on NEMIS making it impossible to be funded.

Capitation remissions

This means these students have been riding on capitation remissions of other students every academic year.

The PS said although the enrollment number is shared by the National Treasury, only 3.6 million are fully registered. The 380,000 children do not have the needed documents.

‘‘We have a number of children enrolled in our schools both who are in schools without birth certificates and those who are fully registered. As we do now, we fund Kenyan children and you can only confirm that once we have some of these critical documents,’’ Dr Kipsang said.

Education PS Belio Kipsang. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

He said the issues will only be addressed once a new biometric system of registration is adopted.

‘‘As we move to the biometric system, then some of these challenges will be overcome by a number of children who are in our schools as we can even identify them when they do not have a birth certificate,’’ Kipsang said.

Machogu said although the ministry allows learners without birth certificates to be registered on NEMIS for the purpose of capturing accurate enrolment in schools, capitation is only provided to learners registered on the system and who have birth certificates.

‘‘This is to avoid the risk of having ghost learners which may lead to over-capitation in schools. The approach is to ensure heads of institutions are able to register such learners,’’ he said.

The CS said the ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Interior to fast-track the process of enrolling more learners for the documents.

Machogu said as much as the government insists on learners obtaining viable documents for registration, no school should be left out on funding.

The CS further observed that through the Sub–County Director of Education, they will map out students who do not have the documents.