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Head teachers' demands ahead of first term

Education
 KESSHA chairman Indimuli Kahi [in cap] at Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa, June 2023. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Head teachers’ associations now want the government to effect increase of funds to schools as proposed by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms.

The secondary and primary school managers want this done starting January when schools reopen. 

The headteachers want the implementation to include the proposal of a Minimum Essential Package – a flat rate funding for schools - so as to run their operations seamlessly.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) chairman Indimuli Kahi said the increased capitation should be accompanied by the Minimum Essential Package.

The chairman argued that this will critical considering the increasing cost of living, and the high cost of teaching and learning materials.

The presidential reform team proposed capitation for pre-primary learners be set at Sh1,170 per pupil.

Primary pupils were allocated Sh2,237 per learner and Sh15,544 allocated to junior secondary school learners. Currently, the government is allocating Sh1,420 per child in primary school. Those in senior school will have an increase of Sh280 bringing their amount to Sh22,527.

“Although it does not meet the realities of the current economic times that has pushed up the prices of essential commodities, it will be important for a start,” Kahi said.

The task force proposed a yearly basis of Sh70,000 to pre-primary schools, Sh537,000 to primary schools, Sh2.03 million to junior schools and Sh3.04 million to senior schools.

Kenya Primary School Heads Association chairman Johnson Nzioka said it will be a game changer in financing education. “If increased capitation and the Minimum Essential Package are implemented, it will be a step in the right direction.”

The school heads have also appealed to President Ruto to fulfill the Kenya Kwanza campaign pledges on education. Key among these, the headteachers said, will be a recommendation to waiver the cost of electricity and water.

“The Kenya Kwanza education charter had captured the intention to provide a waiver on electricity and water bills but this is yet to be put into consideration more than one year later,” Kahi said.

He added: “Reducing the cost of water and electricity bills is one way of increasing capitation because schools will repurpose that money that would have been used for paying these utilities.”

The school heads also want timely release of capitation and proper direction on school fees to prevent disruption of learning.

According to KESSHA chairman, students completing Form Four owe schools billions of shillings but school heads don’t have any way to compel them to pay.

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