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Schools face exams crisis over Sh7.5 billion delayed funds

EDUCATION
By Augustine Oduor | March 23rd 2021
Machakos Boys Principal Indimuli Kahi during an interview at Machakos Boys on October 12, 2020. [Photo: John Muia, Standard]

Schools are yet to receive Sh15 billion capitation money, putting head teachers in a fix over administration of national examinations.

Secondary schools are most hit, with reports that they are unable to buy chemicals for science practical examinations.

Feeding candidates and settling debts owed to suppliers is another nightmare school heads face.

“Some schools had to close earlier than expected because they could no longer sustain all the children,” said Kahi Indimuli, chairman of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association.

But Education PS Julius Juan yesterday said the National Treasury had released Sh7.5 billion that would be disbursed to schools as soon as possible.

This will be a major relief to school heads, who had expressed concern over the management of national examinations and debtors.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha had announced three weeks ago that secondary schools would receive Sh15 billion capitation money.

He said the money would cover balances principals claimed were a source of financial crisis that also threatened administration of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) one.

Some 1,088,986 candidates will sitting KCPE exams, with another 700,000 set to sit KCSE papers.

The revised national examinations timetable shows KCPE candidates will end their papers tomorrow, while KCSE rehearsals are scheduled for Friday. Written national examinations for KCSE start next Monday.

Principals who spoke to The Standard yesterday said delayed release of the capitation money had frustrated purchase of chemicals for practical subjects and apparatus for science subjects.

The Kenya National Examinations Council sends a list of chemicals to be bought by schools ahead of Biology, Physics and Chemistry practical papers.

Speaking to The Standard last week, Mr Indimuli said preparations for Biology, Physics and Chemistry papers might not be adequate if government fails to release capitation money in time.

He said the money ought to have been sent earlier to facilitate schools that might not have adequate apparatus.

The Ministry of Education had only released Sh14.6 billion to fund secondary schools and another Sh4.6 billion for primary institutions when schools reopened.

This was, however, inadequate, with school heads accusing the government of withholding huge sums that would have been used to manage the schools.

 

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