Githae releases free education funds

September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – The Treasury has released Sh6.3 billion for Free Primary and Free Day Secondary Education, as requested by Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo.

Kilonzo had on separate dates between August 29 and September 14 asked for Sh1.77 billion for Free Primary Education, Sh3.94 billion for the Free Day Secondary School Education program and a further Sh300 million as grant to the Kenya National Examinations Council for the administration of examinations.

“It is my hope that Treasury will act urgently to avoid any challenges associated with learning in this term as well as the smooth running of KCPE and KCSE in order to protect the children’s rights,” the Minister said.

Kilonzo had accused the Ex Chequer of delaying funds meant to facilitate activities in the second term saying a repeat should be avoided.

The Kenya Music Festivals, which take place in the second term, were delayed as a result of the hold-up in the release of monies meant to cover education.

Head teachers had also threatened to send students home at the time for lack of funds.

The Treasury has in the past been criticised for delaying the funds which are normally budgeted for.

In a letter sent to Kilonzo on September 24, Finance Minister Njeru Githae noted that the monies released would cover all the items requested by the Education Ministry and other items related to education that could come up.

“I am glad to inform you that today September 24, a total of Sh6.3 billion was released to your ministry for free primary, free day secondary education, KNEC and any other purposes,” said Githae in a letter.

Teachers had been on strike for the past three weeks demanding for a pay hike, before Treasury finally caved in.

Although the government had allocated free education funds in the 2012/2013 Budget, there had been concerns over where the Finance Ministry would get the extra funds, meant to cover the teachers’ pay raise.

Githae noted that Treasury would have to hike taxes or halt developmental projects so as to raise the required revenue.

Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno however dismissed the plan to raise taxes saying it was not economically feasible because the financial year was already underway.

“It is a cardinal principal in taxation that public service management must be predictable and transparent. You cannot raise taxes midstream,” he said last Friday.


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