The government on Thursday (25/May/2017) announced it had released Sh5.5 billion for free education this is almost a month after schools reopened for the second term.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said Sh3.8 billion had been released to secondary schools and Sh1.7 billion to primary schools.
“It will take time for money to reach schools,” said Dr Kipsang, He assured that the government had paid all the money for both secondary and primary education.
Delay in releasing the funds had paralysed learning institutions, leading to protests from school heads and teachers.
Schools reopened for the second term on May 2 and will run until August 4.
The government releases capitation funds to schools in three phases of 50 % for first term, 30 % for second term and 20 % for the third term.
The government has allocated Sh32.7 billion for secondary schools and Sh14 billion for free primary education in the current financial year.
However, several school heads in both primary and secondary schools said they were yet to receive the cash.
Schools heads have been going through tough times because of the high cost of food as well as many crucial programmes of co-curricular activities that take place this term.
Wilson Sossion, the secretary general of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, has asked the government to change the way it releases funds saying delays hampered activities in schools.
“Many school programmes had collapsed due to lack of funds and schools risked early closure with the compounded challenge of high prices of basic commodities,” Mr Sossion said.
At the moment parents are required to pay Sh53, 554 for boarding secondary schools, Sh9, 374 for day-schools and Sh37, 210 for special need schools, while the government gives a subsidy of Sh12, 870 for each learner a year.
Meanwhile, teachers and other education stakeholders have cautiously welcomed the announcement by the government that it would introduce free secondary education starting next year.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers secretary general Akelo Misori said the plan was viable.
“The challenge is that even the Sh12, 870 per student for free day education is never released on time. What we expect is compromised quality education. Also, laptops have not reached all schools,” said Mr Misori.
Mr Sossion said the government does not have capacity to fully fund all students in secondary schools, saying the statement was political.
“They cannot sustain the budget. We will appreciate if they focused on improvement of infrastructure, employment of teachers and payment of tuition fee on time,” he said.
He said the government cannot just make pronouncements without sitting down with stakeholders to work out ways of implementing the declaration