MOMBASA, Kenya, Jun 23 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday said his administration would make public secondary school education freely available in the next three years should he be re-elected into office.
Speaking during the 41st Kenya Secondary School Heads Association Annual National Conference in Mombasa, he said it would make transition from primary to secondary school possible for all KCPE candidates.
Outlining his administration’s track record, he said his administration had already increased the Free Day Secondary Education expenditure by 33 per cent to Sh32 billion as it prepares to make universal secondary education free to ensure 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.
“We are doing all this to improve the quality of education and ease the burden on parents by removing impediments of access to secondary education,” the President said.
Looking back on the introduction of Free Day Secondary Education in 2008 when the Government started paying Sh10,265 for each student a year, he said the scaling up of the figure to Sh12,870 last year had resulted in the growth of high school enrollment.
“The Free Day Secondary Education programme has paid handsome dividends – transition rates from primary to secondary schools have improved substantially from 60 per cent in 2008 to 86.7 per cent in 2015,” he attested.
The President said the Government was concerned about those who were still not able to join secondary school.
And with increased funding, President Kenyatta emphasised the need for school heads to prudently manage public funds.
“As accounting officers in your institutions, you are fully responsible for management of the resources,” he said.
He also instructed Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi to address the mushrooming of schools to ensure only economically viable ones are registered.
The President said education was a key pillar in his administration’s blueprint as the country would require a critical mass of knowledgeable and skill to achieve its development goals.
He also challenged the school heads to not only shape theminds but character of their wards.
“The youth require guidance and understanding, not judgment and condemnation to be able to navigate through this turbulent period of their lives,” President Kenyatta said.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi on his part assured that his ministry was also focused on creating condusive learning spaces through infrastructural improvements.
Other speakers included Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, officials of the teachers unions and the KSSHA chairman John Awiti.