State seeks fresh data on schools amid cash crunch

"The reason for such exercise is to ascertain the number of learners not in NEMIS, yet they are in class register and capture new principals, and school names that may have changed over time,'' the circular stated.

He directed county directors of education to collect the forms, verify and submit them to the office of the director of education. The principals interviewed described the move as a waste of time as many of the details sought are in NEMIS.

They said they are pleading with suppliers to give them more time as only a small percentage of parents have paid the fees. "The teachers are faced with myriad challenges as the government has failed to remit the free secondary school capitation," said a head teacher who sought anonymity.

Remain afloat

Gititu High School Principal Caesar Njoroge said the circular is a delaying tactic perfected by the Ministry of Education. "The schools are in dire need of resources to remain afloat," he said.

Muthithi Secondary School Principal Njenga Githige said running day schools is a challenge due to lack of funding. "The heads are pleading with suppliers to help the schools operate," said Njenga. Kahuhia Girls Principal Naomi Njehia said there is a need for resources to facilitate school programmes.

"The State asked for these details to be forwarded through the county directors of education," said Njehia.

Some principals in the North Rift region said they were providing data, which was being submitted to respective county directors, while others said they are yet to get new information on data collection though they went through a similar exercise last year.

The principals said the exercise is going on 'silently' after they received communication from the ministry.

The information needed in the latest data tool includes the school registration, location, enrollment per class, information on the principal, a letter of appointment, and school accounts.