NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 12 – The government has made a fresh allocation of Sh17.4 billion for the supply of laptops to schools and the development of digital content through building of computer laboratories.
While reading out his Budget speech on Thursday afternoon, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich indicated that Sh320 million has also been allocated for the purchase of computers.
“Improving quality and making our education system accessible to all school-going children through a comprehensive e-learning program remains a priority to this administration. As such, we are once again allocating a total of Sh17.4billion for e-learning, including laptops for our children, building capacity of teachers and rolling out computer laboratories for class four to class eight in all schools,” he said.
A consultant from tax firm PKF Services James Mulili indicated that more emphasis should have been put in the development of infrastructure in schools to enable students benefit fully from free education.
While lauding the allocation to the laptop project, the tax consultant pointed out that more monies should have been set aside for the construction of classrooms.
“I think it is a fair allocation. However, more emphasis should be on infrastructural development within the education sector mainly geared towards the building of classrooms in schools,” he told capital FM News.
He explained that not all areas in the country have the necessary resources, and there are more urgent issues when it comes to education that need to be addressed.
“There are still areas which grapple with having adequate classrooms and adequate teachers. And also in as much as the government wants to enhance IT, do the teachers actually have the capacity to train the students?” he posed.
Rotich increased the budgetary allocation to education by 33 percent in both secondary and primary schools to improve access to learning.
“To improve the quality of our education and ease the financial burden on the shoulders of many households with school going children, I have increased the allocation for free tuition in secondary schools by 33 percent to Sh28.2 billion. I have also increased by 33 percent the allocation for Free Primary Education to Sh13.5 billion,” he outlined.
Rotich pointed out that this is expected to raise the capitation per child.
“But there are concerns on the quality of education and the high number of pupils dropping out of schools with no clear alternative access to the acquisition of lifelong skills to enable them to find jobs. Through this budget, I have proposed measures to enhance the quality of education and build skills,” he stated.