Relief for schools as education receives lion's share of budget, scooping Sh628.6 billion in allocations

 Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung'u during the presentation of the 2023/24 budget. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The education sector has received Sh628.6 billion, making it the largest allocation compared to last year's budget.

Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung'u stated that this amount accounts for approximately 27.4 per cent of the government's total budget estimates, which amount to Sh3.6 trillion.

Last year, the sector received Sh544.4 billion out of a budget of Sh3.31 trillion, translating to only 16.44 percent. This indicates that the education sector is one of the biggest beneficiaries of this year's budget.

This allocation brings relief to schools that have been struggling with pending bills due to delayed funding.

Recently, the government disbursed Sh24 billion to schools to settle debts from the previous year, which sparked an outcry from school heads.

The allocation includes Sh65.4 billion for free day secondary schools, covering tuition and health insurance (EduAfya). Last year, the Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) programme received Sh64.4 billion. The current enrollment in secondary schools is 3,883,139 learners.

In this year's budget, primary schools will receive Sh12.5 billion, up from Sh12 billion. There is also an increase in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) capitation, with an allocation of Sh25.5 billion compared to the previous year's Sh15 billion.

Additionally, Ndung'u mentioned that Sh6 billion will be allocated to improving infrastructure in primary and secondary schools, including JSS. Last year, only Sh2.8 billion was allocated for this purpose.

Ndung'u also proposed an extra Ksh 5 billion to cover examination fees for candidates and another Sh4.9 billion for school feeding programs.

Furthermore, Sh2.7 billion has been allocated to the Kenya Secondary Education Quality Improvement Projects.

In higher learning institutions, the government plans to spend Sh1.9 billion on the construction and equipping of Technical Training Institutions.

Lastly, in his budget, Ndung'u allocated Sh400 million for digital literacy programs and Sh940 million for girls' sanitary towels.