, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29 – Nairobi City Governor Mike Sonko on Friday launched a free programme for Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) which is set to benefit over 13,000 Nairobi children.
Sonko directed that every ECDE child in all public schools to be allocated a capitation of Sh3,815.
“This is a big milestone in education as people of Nairobi that will have a positive impact for years to come. I am glad to say that I have fulfilled one of my key election pledges, to improve the quality of education in the city, and make it accessible for all children,” Sonko said.
During the launch, Sonko presented cheques for the 13,848 children in the 205 ECDE centres.
He further directed that all levies in all the 205 public ECDE centres in Nairobi be scrapped with immediate effect.
This initiative is expected to increase the enrolment from the current 15,295 children to about 17,000 children by the close of the year.
To cater for this increase, Sonko said his government has finalised plans to employ an extra 520 ECDE teachers.
In the financial year 2018/2019 Free ECDE has been allocated Sh70 Million.
Sonko however warned that the provision of the free ECD budget does not mean an avenue for people to misuse the money as they wish.
“I want to see strict and transparent steps taken to ensure these funds are used for the intended purpose. Anyone who misuses money set aside for ECDE will be arrested and prosecuted,” warned the Governor.
Sonko said all schools have to open bank accounts and the appointed centre managers must be the mandatory signatories.
At the same time, Sonko said he is aware of the poor situation at some of the ECDE centres.
“My government will procure furniture for public primary schools, and no child transiting to Standard one should be required to pay for a desk. We will also begin the process of reclaiming the image of our schools and will start by repainting all 205 of them,” he said.
According to the United Nations Agency for Education (UNESCO), fees and levies have been classified as the leading barrier to education access.