NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 10 – The Ministry of Education on Friday said it had released funds for free secondary education a week into the third term.
Education Permanent Secretary Karega Mutahi said the disbursements began on Thursday and continued on Friday. He allayed fears of a crisis in schools following the delay that had caused alarm.
“As always after getting money from Treasury we take 48 hours to disburse all of it,” he said.
Schools opened on Monday and there were reports that some schools were cash-strapped and had started sending students home. This is the third allocation for the students this year. Each student gets an allocation of at least Sh10,000 annually.
Earlier in the week Minister Sam Ongeri had assured that the funds would be released by the end of the week after the Parliamentary Education Committee threatened to summon him and his Finance counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta over the delays.
The committee had said that the perpetual delays had affected the quality of education since some schools had been forced to science cancel practicals while workers went without salaries. Committee chairman David Koech also complained that extra curriculum activities had also been affected by the delays.
The government introduced free tuition for secondary schools in 2008, five years after the free primary education, in its bid to make education accessible to all in the country. The programme has faced enormous challenges owing to inadequate facilities and teachers.
Prof Mutahi assured that the monies for Primary schools will come on time in November clarifying that no monies were expected this term contrary to reports.
“The program is such that the next trunch will come in November,” he said.
Prof Mutahi spoke after announcing a major regional conference on peace education to be held next week in Mombasa in which 14 African countries have been invited. The purpose of the meeting is to facilitate the sharing of experiences related to peace education. The meeting is organized by the Ministry in conjunction with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).
“Another aim is to draw up national frameworks that will enable education to act as an agency for building peaceful societies and preventing conflicts,” a statement from ADEA said.
“This is about exchanging lessons learnt, experiences on policy, program implementation and the challenges faced,” Prof Mutahi.