As Education CS George Magoha resolved the issue on resumption of studies by directing schools to remain closed until January 2021, another contentious issue arose with suppliers demanding Ksh 1.2 billion owed to them by schools.
The suppliers issued their demands to CS Magoha on Wednesday, July 8, while addressing the media in Murang'a County.
The disgruntled traders expressed they were counting losses following the directive arguing that they had secured loans to facilitate schools with equipment ranging from laboratory chemicals, detergents, furniture, stationery, and foodstuff and were yet to be refunded.
“We sourced for loans to buy and supply goods to schools and financial institutions are on our necks. We want the government to release some funds to schools to allow us to service our loans," spokesperson Samuel Muya lamented.
He added that the traders who majored in supplying goods to learning institutions feared that the closure of schools up to 2021 would see their businesses collapsing.School suppliers address the media on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Murang'a CountyFile
Muya noted that they were in negotiations with schools before the closure of learning activities and most of them were left facing financial constraints after Magoha cancelled the 2020 education calendar.
Josephine Wanjiku, one of the suppliers disclosed that they were facing auctions owing to money lenders pushing for loan servicing.
The trader urged Magoha to set up measures to cushion them from insolvency.
She detailed that one way of protecting them would be having the government set up a kitty to pay them if it cannot channel money through schools.
"We urge the government to come to our rescue and give us some funds to cushion us from the financial hardships we are experiencing. The biggest challenge we get with schools is the process that the government uses to release funds leading to the delay in payment," she rallied.
While suspending KCSE and KCPE exams, Magoha detailed that the health of students and teachers had been prioritised ahead of all other issues in the Education Sector. The CS stated that it would be impossible to achieve social distancing and reducing physical numbers in classes would have affected learning.
"Schools should only resume if cases reduce consistently for 14 days and social and physical distancing is the most critical factor in ensuring the safety of learners, handwashing and using masks and monitoring temperature will be crucial too," Magoha stated.File image of KCSE students in KenyaFile
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