, MERU, Kenya, Jun 14 – About 800 secondary school students in Maara District may be locked out of the free tuition programme after the area education officers failed to submit the list of newly enrolled students in time.
Nithi MP Kareke Mbiuki and local Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Executive Secretary Germano Nyaga said the area stood to lose out on more than Sh8 million allocated to students to aid the programme that was introduced by the government in 2002.
Speaking during the district’s education day at the weekend, Mr Nyaga petitioned Mr Mbiuki to intervene so that the amount could be included in this year’s district vote.
He said the area has already received funding based on last year’s statistics despite a rise in secondary school enrolment following a campaign by the local provincial administration.
Mr Nyaga said many more students had joined schools built through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
“The education office did not submit the correct figures on the number of students who are currently enrolled in secondary schools. It seems somebody somewhere failed in his duty,” Mr Nyaga said.
Mr Mbiuki said he would inform the education minister of the anomaly.
Maara District Commissioner Michael Tialal, in a speech read on his behalf, narrated how he had mobilised the provincial administration to ensure all the children who had attained school-going age went to school.
Mr Tialal said the provincial administration had taken about 150 students who had dropped out of primary and secondary schools in the area back to class.
He said Female Genital Mutilation is still rampant in the district and was a major contributor to the rate of school drop outs.