Knut wants State to increase capitation funds for schools

Knut secretary Union Collins Oyuu (centre) speaks during the union's NEC meeting in Nairobi on December 3, 2023. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has appealed to the government to increase capitation funds for primary and secondary schools.

In a proposal to the Education Ministry, the union wants capitation for Free Primary Education reviewed from Sh1,420 to Sh4,000.

The presidential working party had proposed the figure to be reviewed to Sh2,237, which the union says is still low.

For Junior Secondary School, Knut is proposing review of capitation to Sh22,000 up from Sh15,547 set by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms.

For senior secondary, the union wants the monies reviewed from the current allocation of Sh22,244 to Sh35,000.

The union has also expressed confidence over the start of Junior School one year on.

For pre-primary schools which under the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will be part of primary schools just like JSS, the union wants the government to set aside Sh5,000 to support their operations.

This is an upward revision to the proposal of Sh1,170 given by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms through county governments.

The proposal comes as the union today (Monday) commences the 63rd annual delegates conference set to run for three days to December 6.

Knut has also called on the government to ignore the debate seeking migration of the JSS from primary schools to secondary schools.

During the NEC meeting on Sunday Knut Secretary Union Collins Oyuu said they want primary school head teachers to run the comprehensive school - pre-primary, primary and JSS.

“It is an insult to think that primary school teachers are not able to teach and run JSS,” Oyuu said.

The proposal, to migrate JSS, was fronted by the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers arguing that the primary schools lack the capacity to support the junior school level.

But Knut has dismissed the proposal as mere union politics and instead wants the JSS rollout to continue as planned.

“With approximately 23,000 primary schools compared to a significantly lower number of 8,000 secondary schools, it is clear that the primary schools can ensure better access to education,” Oyuu said.

Addressing concerns on the capacity of primary school teachers to handle JSS, the union said there considerable number of qualified educators equipped with diplomas, degrees, and postgraduate qualifications capable of handling JSS education.

They warned Kuppet against undermining the teachers' capabilities to teach JSS, given their comprehensive training and retooling.

“The decision to house JSS under Comprehensive School was backed by comprehensive research conducted by educational and economic experts,” he said

On the plight of intern teachers whose contracts are nearing expiration by the end of the year, the union said there was no formal communication on the matter.

He appealed to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to confirm the over 56,000 interns to permanent and pensionable terms.

TSC had in November revealed to parliament that it intends to extend the contract of intern teachers by a further one month and then confirm them to permanent and pensionable terms in 2025.

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