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Budget cut likely to worsen schools woes

Thursday, February 29th, 2024 07:34 | By
Moi Avenue Primary School students at a KCPE examroom in the past. PHOTO/Print
Moi Avenue Primary School students at a KCPE examroom in the past. PHOTO/Print

Earlier in the week, the Ministry of Education revealed that primary school capitation had been reduced by nearly Sh2.1 billion in the next financial year.

Documents tabled before Members of the National Assembly showed that in the 2024/25 financial year, capitation for primary education will be Sh10.34 billion, down from Sh12.5 billion allocated this financial year.

As the Ministry stated, its activities will be affected following reduction of the budget as outlined in the Budget Policy Statement (BPS).

Not only has the capitation for junior secondary schools been reduced but also funds for secondary school infrastructure improvement to ensure smooth transition of Competency Based Curriculum by providing the necessary infrastructure facilities in public secondary schools.

This is considered a drastic move given that schools have not only been struggling with cash flow but also failure to receive the entire amount they have been allocated over time.

It is also against the backdrop of primary school head teachers calling for increased capitation from the current Sh1,450 to Sh7,500.

Head teachers argue that the amount falls far below the requirements to effectively run a primary school, adding that their proposal has taken into account inflation rates, cost of living and depreciation.

The rising cost of living has affected all sectors and monies allocated to each learner could be too little to sustain education challenges that many schools across the country are facing.

Arguments have been advanced that the insufficient funds sometime push heads of schools to look for an alternative to bridge the deficit.

Heads of schools have a huge responsibility to play as far as management is concerned, coupled with very high enrollment both in primary and secondary schools.

It is a delicate balancing act involved and the government should ensure that schools run smoothly so that our children can get quality education and no child is left behind.

But there has been this unfortunate tug-of-war between schools and Treasury over money. These wars are unhealthy and touch on the future of young people who are the pillar of any nation.

The reduction in capitation should, however, not open the widow for head teachers to introduce new levies and push the burden on parents.

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