Schools Re-Opening: Why MPs Want Ksh983M Capitation Funds Released

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    Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha assesses Grade 3 learning at Joy Town Special School in Thika in September 2019
    File
  • Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha faces pressure on the release of the capitation fund to schools after lawmakers demanded answers on Thursday, September 10.

    Primary and secondary school heads had complained in August that they were notified of a deposit of the funds via the National Education Management Information System (Nemis) only for the transaction to be seemingly reversed within 18 hours.

    They maintained that they needed the funds for Covid-19 protection measures before schools re-open, as well as to pay Board of Management (BoM) teachers and other staff.

    Lawmakers on Thursday, September 10 called on the ministry to immediately release Ksh983 million in capitation funds, warning of a crisis in learning institutions if the disbursements were to be further delayed.

    File image of Parliament in session
    File image of Parliament in session
    Daily Nation

    Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe had sought a statement from the Education Committee, chaired by Florence Mutua, on details of capitation funds to schools and how much was pending in disbursements for the financial year 2019/20.

    MPs observed that the release of funds was necessary for schools to undertake construction of classrooms and other Covid-19 mitigation measures.

    It was observed that the situation would be dire if schools were to re-open under current conditions, with the lives of children and educators at risk.

    As it stands, schools are scheduled to re-open in January 2021 after the school year was declared lost due to the pandemic.

    Magoha has, however, severally hinted at re-opening schools earlier if the Covid-19 curve continues to flatten.

    BoM teachers and school staff including chefs and security guards have also been seriously affected by the delayed disbursement.

    Challenges in securing accurate data on BoM teachers was among challenges cited for the delay. 

    The capitation funds are usually released in three tranches aligned with the three-term school calendar. However, only the first term disbursement has been received by schools.

    The funds are meant to cover operations and tuition, with the government currently sending Ksh1,470 per learner in primary schools and Sh22,244 per learner in secondary schools.

    Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Zack Kinuthia had warned that the second disbursement would likely be lower than usual.

    “You may not get a hundred percent of what you receive in normal times but you’ll get a substantive and rational amount of money that befits you,” he stated on Friday, August 14.

    An image of Student in a class room
    A teacher instructs her pupils at Kotuga Primary school in Suna West Migori County on January 23, 2018.
    The Standard