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Increased funding for education a plus for Jubilee

EDUCATION
By Job Weru and Rawlings Otieno | March 15th 2016
Deputy President William Ruto plays with school children at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi during the launch of the Chevrolet One World Play football project. [PHOTO: DPPS]

The Jubilee administration cites increased funding for education and the scrapping of examination fees as its improvement of the sector.

Currently, the Government offers free primary education and free tuition in public schools.

"We have increased budgetary allocation for free education from Sh30 billion in 2013/14 to Sh40 billion this year (2014/2015), with the objective of rolling out free and compulsory primary and secondary school education in the next five years," President Uhuru Kenyatta said during his State of the Nation address in Parliament last year.

He said nearly 10 million pupils were enrolled in primary schools. The number is a build-up from 2003, when President Mwai Kibaki's administration abolished fees for public primary schools.

Last year, the Jubilee administration waived examination fees for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates.

In the Financial Year 2014/2015, Sh2.9 billion was paid to the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) as examination fees. In the current financial year, the Education ministry has earmarked Sh3 billion as examination fees.

The Government says the number of secondary schools increased from 7,834 in 2013 to 8,734 in 2014.

The total enrolment in both public and private secondary schools increased by 10.5 per cent from 2.1 million in 2013 to 2.33 million in 2014.

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Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said the Government had provided capitation grants of Sh1,020 per pupil under the free primary education programme, and Sh10,265 per student for all secondary school students since 2003 and 2008 respectively.

In 2014, Dr Matiang'i said, the grants increased to Sh1,420 for primary pupils and Sh12,687 for secondary students.

The Government maintains that the number of universities and their enrolment has continued to increase as is the number of students receiving Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) bursaries.

In the same period, the number of universities both public and private increased to 67 while enrolment increased to 421,152.

The number of students receiving university loans increased to 167,803 and those receiving TVET bursary increased to 7,071.

As one of the measures to keep pupils in school, in the 2014/15 financial year, Treasury said the school feeding programme provided midday meals to approximately 1.3 million pre-primary and primary school children in 105 arid and semi-arid districts, and some selected schools in the informal settlements within Nairobi.

In addition, the Government provided sanitary pads to 675,000 girls in primary and 1.2 million girls in secondary schools.

The Presidential Bursary Scheme for orphans and vulnerable children in secondary schools has also grown from Sh1 million in 2012 to Sh400 million in 2015.

The scheme benefits 13,050 orphans and vulnerable children to ensure they do not miss out on education opportunities.

In the year 2015/2016, the ministry utilised Sh10 billion to support 8.9 million pupils in public primary schools and Sh32.9 billion to cater for 2.34 million students in public day secondary schools, and also allocated Sh826 million to support 55,000 trainees as capitation grants at Sh15,000 per trainee in youth polytechnics.

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