NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 14 – MPs have welcomed the budget statement describing it as fair.
Speaking after the ceremony at the Parliament buildings, Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo said he was satisfied with the Sh119 billion allocation that will allow him to hire 10,000 new teachers.
Kilonzo however said he would have wanted more.
The ministry was allocated an additional Sh19.2 billion , raising the total allocation by 9 percent to reach Sh233.1 billion in Financial Year 2012/13 that would cater for the expanded enrolment at all levels of education and training through increased infrastructure and teaching staff.
Parliament’s Education Committee chairman David Koech argued that the government had not been keen on honouring its pledge to recruit at least 28,000 teachers every year as outlined in the Vision 2030.
But Kilonzo argued that will lead to a bloated teaching staff, explaining that the deployment of teachers must be gradual in order for it to be commensurate with the number of learning institution.
Koech said it could have been much better had Githae considered setting aside more funds to recruit more teachers to balance with the large percentage of students and pupils being admitted in schools due to the Free Education Programme.
Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi said the Sh1.4 billion she received for IDPs’ resettlement was sufficient but questioned the allocation given to Strategic Grain Reserves and Relief distribution.
Water and Irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu complained no money had been directed towards the development of water dams across the country.
She argued that the country will be able to harvest rain water for agricultural development to spur food production across the country.
Ngilu protested the huge amounts of money channelled to the Ministry of Special Programmes for importing food when it could have been useful in promoting food production locally.
However, she applauded the allocation for security and education saying it was a good gesture by the Finance Minister.
Acting Local Government Minister Fred Gumo also supported the budget saying it was pro-poor.
Parliament’s Agriculture Committee Chairman John Mututho said the irrigation schemes which got a boost from the Treasury were noble, terming them a milestone in the history of the country’s agriculture sector.
He further said it was important that the minister indicated the country could be on its way to fertilizer production.