Reprieve for Schools as State releases Sh24 billion capitation

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu when he appeared before the National Assembly plenary, at Parliament in Nairobi on June 7, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The government has released Sh24 billion to public schools for their capitation ending the prolonged financial crisis that has stalled some programmes in these institutions.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, on Wednesday, told MPs that he has an assurance from the National Treasury that the money will hit the accounts of schools starting Friday.

He said Sh15.6 billion will cater for Free Day Secondary Schools and another Sh4.6 billion to support Free Primary Education. At least Sh3.8 billion will go to Junior Secondary School capitation.

This comes as a relief to heads of schools after a long wait for the money, which affected the reopening for the second term.

Junior Secondary Schools learners will have to wait until Monday to receive their capitation of Sh3, 812,377,184.

"The funds are available and will reach schools by Friday. ‘This morning (Wednesday) I had an engagement with the Permanent Secretary for Treasury and he confirmed by tomorrow (Thursday), the funds will be in the Ministry Education accounts for onward forwarding to schools," Machogu said.

Machogu's updates followed Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba's concerns when he pointed out that many schools were on the verge of collapse due to the delayed release of the money.

"What measures is the government taking to ensure capitation is sent to schools? Currently, school heads are negotiating with students to skip meals which can lead to student unrest," Milemba said.

This week, secondary school heads, through their chairman Kahi Indimuli, said schools are experiencing a cash crunch warning that all their programmes may stall unless the government releases the funds.

"At the moment schools are being stressed. Am aware of schools that have not been able to pay workers’ salaries since the last term, around February," Indimuli, who is the chairman of Kenya Secondary's Heads Association (KSSHA) and the principal of Machakos School.

Indimuli said schools are now under the mercy of suppliers and risk being taken to court over the huge debts.

"We must appreciate the many suppliers who provide services to the schools. They have endured a lot. We fear for the day the suppliers will stop supporting our schools because of nonpayment of their money. Then schools will crumble," he said.

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