NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – Former Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has challenged the incoming Cabinet Secretary for Education to target 100 percent transition from primary to secondary schools.
He says that the government should in this year’s budget factor in an additional Sh7 billion for the building of classrooms to accommodate the numbers.
“We need an additional 4,200 classrooms for this target. If the old generation of former President Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki could achieve 73 percent we can do better when we go digital,” he opined.
Speaking during a farewell party organised by staff at the Ministry of Education, Kilonzo said that the government should also triple the capitation for both primary and secondary school education and release the monies on time.
“I am sure that I am demanding too much of the government but that is my role as an opposition senator. I must remind them that we no longer want to see monies meant for education delayed for up to five months. I personally demand that capitation be increased threefold.
Currently, the capitation for Free Primary Education (FPE) is Sh1,020 per child annually while that of the Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) is Sh10,265.
The minister who served in the ministry for 11 months has further insisted that Uhuru Kenyatta’s government seeks to guarantee the rights of children to enable them concentrate on education aside from providing early learners with laptops.
“In addition to basic education being a human right, the Kenyan child is entitled to basic healthcare and quality nutrition. Sanitary towels for our girls are essential for our children; they are constitutional rights and I am looking forward to the day the country comes to terms with this issue,” he added.
Under his tenure, Kilonzo prides himself in having ensured the passage of legislation key to reforms in the education sector.
Among the laws passed was The Basic Education Act that that makes basic education free and compulsory.
The minister also lobbied for the passage of the Teachers Service Commission Act and the Kenya National Examination Act that he says helped address cheating in national examinations.
Kilonzo’s farewell held at the Kenya Education Management Institute in Parklands was attended by county directors of education as well as staff from the ministry headquarters led by PS George Godia.
In his address, Godia insisted that the ban on holiday tuition was now in the law and that those found flouting the requirement will be punished appropriately.
Schools are set to close this week and will re-open on May 6 for the second term.