Education reaps big as CS allocates sector Sh497b

Friday, June 12th, 2020 00:00 | By
An invigilator guides a pupil at Moi Avenue Primary School, Nairobi, during rehearsals ahead of last year’s KCPE exam. The government plans to hire at least 10,000 teacher interns under the Economic Stimulus Programme. Photo/PD/FILE

Irene Githinji @gitshee

The education sector is among those that will reap big in the 2020/21 financial year’s budget, having been allocated 26.7 per cent of the total budget.

Presenting the budget speech yesterday, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the sector would receive Sh497.7 billion to fund its various projects.

“The government continues to make sustained investments in the education sector in order to enhance access to quality basic and higher education,” said CS Yatani.

Key among the programmes that have received the lion’s share of the allocation is Free Day Secondary Education, which will get Sh59.4 billion of the education budget.

This amount includes National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) for secondary school students.

Another Sh12.4 billion will go towards Free Primary Education (FPE) programme. 

The sector is also set to benefit from increased teacher to student ratio. It is expected that Sh2 billion will go towards recruiting 5,000 teachers.

“This is further to the provision for hiring at least 10,000 teacher interns under the Economic Stimulus Programme,” said Yatani.

To improve health conditions and support education achievements of school-going children, National Treasury has set aside Sh1.8 billion for the school-feeding programme. 

Other proposed allocations to the education sector as Yatani highlighted include Sh6.3 billion for construction and equipping of technical institutions and  vocational training centres.

This came as placement of candidates who sat last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams showed that 88,724 would go to Tvet institutions. 

Of those placed in Tvets, 53,726 will be admitted to diploma; 29,112 to craft certificate and 5,886 to artisan certificate courses.

Similarly, the National Treasury allocated Sh4 billion for examinations fee waiver for all class eight and form four candidates.

And as the need for online learning becomes more critical owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Yatani allocated Sh800 million for the digital literacy programme and Competence Based Curriculum.

Support artisans

Another Sh323 million will go towards National Research Fund,  Sh94.9 billion to support University Education and Sh16.8 billion to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).

The CS said government seeks to improve education outcomes in the country, with the aim of getting unemployed teachers into action as intern teachers while also supporting local artisans and builders’ businesses. 

For this, Sh7.4 billion has been proposed. Out of this, Sh2.1 billion will go towards construction of additional classrooms in secondary schools.

The government has also allocated Sh1.9 billion for provision of at least 250,000 locally fabricated desks for secondary and primary schools.

Sh300 million will go to recruitment of 1,000 ICT interns to support digital learning in public schools.

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