The government, led by Education CS Ezekiel Machogu, has released a statement expressing it’s difficulties in fully financing education programs. Ministry of Education officials are concerned about a potential crisis unless immediate action is taken to allocate additional funds through the supplementary budget.
During a session with the National Assembly Committee on Education, Basic Education permanent secretary Belio Kipsang revealed that the ministry is in discussions with the National Treasury regarding a budgetary deficit of KSh22 billion, essential for the proper operation of educational institutions.
However, the committee chairman, Julius Melly, criticized Dr. Kipsang for being overly bureaucratic and evasive when asked about the source of funds, which he believes fails to provide an accurate overview to the public.
Gov’t to stop funding students in schools
Various education stakeholders argue that the government has not matched the recent increase in enrollment rates with an equivalent increase in funding.
Mr. Melly questioned why Kipsang was not disclosing the government’s commitment of KSh16,000 per student, instead of assuring KSh22,244. He accused the PS of avoiding the truth about the available funds. The ministry’s current budget allocation, as per the Free Day Secondary Education Program, is KSh22,244 per student, but due to economic challenges, it has been reduced to KSh16,428.
Statistical projections suggest that in 2024, there will be nearly 4.2 million students. With the current funding level, this would mean a reduction in per-student capitation to KSh15,476.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu is urging the House committee to intervene and ensure schools receive funding at the appropriate rate, citing the ongoing shortfall in government financing and the financial challenges faced by many schools.
In agreement with these concerns, PS for Basic Education Belio Kipsang noted that the department has received a supplementary budget of KSh8.9 billion, which is still insufficient to meet the needs of schools nationwide. He argued that the responsibility of building 3,000 classrooms this year should now fall on the Constituency Development Fund.