NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – The government on Friday released Sh3.7 billion to fund the Free Secondary Education (FSE) programme.,
The move came barely a week after Education Permanent Secretary Professor Karega Mutahi claimed there was no money to fund the project because government funds had been diverted to counter the food crisis.
But the Minister Sam Ongeri assured Kenyans that all funds invested under Free Primary Education (FPE), FSE, secondary school bursaries and school feeding programme would not be affected by the cash crunch.
“The funds in these programmes are ring- fenced and what this means is that investments in these programmes cannot be reduced or diverted to any other areas,” Professor Ongeri said.
“Regardless of the challenges we face, these pro-poor investment programmes will continue to be funded and thus implemented as scheduled,” he said.
The Minister added that the release of the funds brought the total sum released for FSE in the 2008/2009 financial year to Sh10.3 billion and the total spent on the programme since its initiation in January 2008 to Sh16.9 billion.
Professor Ongeri also announced that he would next week release an additional Sh2.6 billion to the FPE programme.
“In the meantime let us all appreciate that the entire world is engulfed in an economic crisis that forces us to experience inconveniences. Let no one try to make it appear as if the government has reneged in its commitments,” he said.
The Minister also told Journalists that the school feeding programme would receive more funds to boost the current Sh1.5 billion due to the economic crisis and the escalating cost of food.
“The problem with Kenyans is that when the government states its budget on such programmes, they expect the money to be there in lump sum forgetting that we get it from their taxes,” he said.
“Let us all remember that all these pro-poor investments are ring fenced and so Kenyans should not politicise education.”