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University fees to go up

University of Nairobi grandaunts celebrate during the 62nd graduation ceremony at the of University of Nairobi,on December 20, 2019. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

University students are likely to pay more in fees after Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said his ministry will engage players to review capitation per student.

In his budget speech yesterday, Yatani noted that the current capitation from the Government was too low and only hurt universities as they could not sustain themselves with meagre funding from the State and students.

“Under the current arrangement, universities have not only experienced financial constraints but have also been unable to continuously honour their statutory obligations,” said Yatani, noting that the Government funding per year of Sh120,000 per year was too low.

The Ministry of Education has been allocated Sh588 billion, this being the lion’s share of this year’s budget. The allocation will cater for salaries of over 300,000 teachers and other programmes, among them transiting into a new system of learning.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was allocated over Sh281.7 billion of the total budgetary allocation for the financial year 2021/2022, although the money meant to cater for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement set to be in force in two weeks was not factored in.

However, TSC was granted Sh2.5 billion for recruitment of teachers. Another Sh202.8 billion was allocated to support programmes in the education sector, out of which Sh12 billion will cater for Free Primary Education and Sh62.2 billion for Free Day Secondary Education programme. Under this new programme, there is an allocation for medical insurance under the National Hospital Insurance Fund for secondary school students

“To support infrastructure development and ensure safe learning in our schools, I have proposed an allocation of Sh4.2 billion for primary and secondary schools’ infrastructure and Sh1.8 billion for construction and equipping of technical training institutes and vocational training centres,”  said Yattani.

There was good news for learners set to sit national examination at both primary and secondary level as Yattani made a provision of Sh4 billion for the examination fee waiver.  And Sh1.8 billion was allocated for the school feeding programme.

Yattani also allocated Sh1 billion for the Competency-Based Curriculum and Sh420 million for the Digital Literacy Programme and ICT Integration in secondary schools.   Further, Sh1.1 billion has been allocated to increase access and improve quality of technical and vocational education and training programmes under the East Africa Skills Transformation and Regional Integration Project.

At the same time, universities will get Sh76.3 billion while Sh15.8 billion was set aside for the Higher Education Loans Board and Sh5.8b for Kenya Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project.

The government intends to spend Sh5.2b as capitation for TVET students, which will be sent directly to the institutions to cater for tuition.

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