Magoha pledges funds as exam term kicks off
The government will release the last tranche of this year’s capitation funds this week as schools re-open for Third Term, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has said.
Learners resume for Third Term today, to run for nine weeks from September 26 up to November 25, the culmination of which is the national examinations for Standard Eight and Form Four.
“As schools open on Monday (today), the government will make arrangements within the week to release the money that is due for the basic education sector. We are starting a crucial national examinations term and therefore there should not be any cause for delay in the disbursement ,” said Magoha, who spoke in Kisumu during the closing of this year’s Kenya Music Festival.
Grade Six, under the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), are also expected to sit their Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) exams alongside Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) counterparts from November 28 to 30 while Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates will sit theirs in December.
Magoha said arrangements had been made by the government to ensure Free Primary Education and Free Day Secondary Education funds are released in the course of the week to facilitate smooth running of programmes in the already constrained school calender.
Magoha asked school administrators not to send students home over fees, saying all learners should be kept in school to prepare for exams.
“We are going into the final examinations term and I am pleading with the headteachers and principals to ensure that none of our children is taken out of school because of fees,” he said.
It has been a tough year for parents who have had to pay school fees for four terms in a year, amid the harsh economic times they have had to contend with, especially since the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020.
Because of the high cost of living, some education stakeholders have urged the government to review capitation for schools.
Magoha, however, ruled out a further increase saying that there are other ministries that require funding.
According to Magoha, 25.9 per cent of the total budget is being spent on the education sector and requesting for additional funding may not be feasible.
“We are already spending 25.9 per cent of the budget on education,” said Magoha.
At the same time, the CS reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensure smooth transition particulars under CBC, noting that all was well and there was no cause for worry.
“It’s our ultimate duty to ensure there is a smooth transition in the learning process. Therefore, if you see me running around, it is just because I want to make sure nobody messes up with the busy term,” Magoha added.
Speaking at same venue, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua assured that the new government had no plans to scrap CBC. He clarified that although the government is going to establish a task force to review the effectiveness of the programme, it does not intend to do away with it.
Gachagua said the Kenya Kwanza leadership is only interested in reviewing the CBC programme to make it cost effective and retain what is good and address issues raised about the new system.
“We are only going to establish a task force to review what is feasible and/or not so that what is working is retained and what’s not is expunged from the curriculum,” Rigathi explained.
Concerns about the CBC programme have been raised with some teachers, educationist and leaders opposed to how it is being implemented.
Magoha has defended the system saying it is the best education system in a changing and dynamic world.
The CBC programme, he said, is good because it harnesses skills and abilities of learners at an early stage.
“It therefore defies logic, that some Kenyan elites are against the programme, yet skills are in abundance among the young population to tap. The education system was overhauled so that Kenya nurtures innovation and creativity for future growth,”said Magoha.
Gachagua also said the Ruto administration will promote digital super highway and creative economy.
He urged young artists to explore and harness their talents as a source of income and not only entertainment.
“Soon, we will roll out a national programme to harness’s and tap the young people’s talents,” he said
Gachagua noted that in young people reside a pool of talents, which if well utilised will create more wealth and employment opportunities for Kenyans.
He also asked MPs to enact laws that are favourable to the arts industry, so that they can help to grow the sub-sector.
“Our administration is Keen on developing young talents to grow their potential and to create more wealth and employment,” the DP said.
Last week, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KSSHA) chairperson Indimuli Kahi said it would be wrong to scrap CBC.
“In my opinion, we cannot at this point in time talk about scrapping CBC. Asking the question whether it is working or not may not require a straight answer but what is important is of course we need to listen to what the parents are saying,” Kahi said during a TV interview.
Some of the areas Kahi said the task force should consider include financing of the programme, good capacity building plan, curriculum interpretation and execution, quality assurance and preparation for senior secondary.
“What we are saying is that the curriculum is good, it is important for us to look at it. We cannot compare CBC with 8-4-4 because CBC is a pedagogical approach while 8-4-4 is a structure. This CBC is now being delivered in the structure of 2-6-3-3-3 and requires us to identify competencies and allows children take different pathways,” explained Kahi.
“Interpretation of any curriculum does not in any way say that the curriculum was rushed. Interpretation is interpretation, even if I have gone through training for four years and I fail to interpret how I need to deliver the knowledge to the child, it does not mean I was hurriedly prepared to teach,” he added.