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Schools get money to fund free education

The government on Tuesday released Sh2.5 billion for free primary education, a day after schools reopened for the third and final term.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kispang said Sh6.4 billion for subsidised secondary education will be released to schools by Friday.

There are about 23,000 primary and 9,000 secondary schools across the country.

MANAGEMENT

The timely release of the funds is set to ease the burden head teachers faced in the past in managing schools due to regular delays in disbursing the cash.

The delays saw school heads being harassed by suppliers over failure to pay for goods and services on time.

“We want learning for this term to go on smoothly without any hitches,” Dr Kipsang said.

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Two weeks ago, the government released 18 per cent of last term’s capitation.

The delay hurt the management of most public schools in the second term.

EXAMS
According to a government schedule, 50 per cent of the capitation is released in the first term, 30 per cent in the second term and 20 per cent in the third term.

The government allocates Sh32 billion for subsidised secondary school education and Sh14 billion for free primary education annually.

Schools will close on October 29 to allow the start of national examinations in November for Standard Eight and Form Four candidates.

SCHOOL FEES
The fee structures for the different categories of public secondary schools indicate that the government pays a subsidy of Sh12,870 while a parent pays Sh53,554 for a child in boarding school.

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For a student attending a day school, the parent is supposed to pay Sh9,370.

Parents with children in special-needs schools are required to pay Sh37,210 while the government pays Sh32,600.

For primary schools, the government pays Sh1,420 per child per year.

SUPPLIERS
Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli said the timely release of the cash will enable schools to plan effectively.

“We are going to have examinations this term and the early release of the money will make us move forward as planned,” Mr Indimuli said.

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Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association chairman Shem Ndolo made similar remarks.

He said principals can now pay suppliers on time.

“Since 2013, we have increased enrolment from 2.9 million to 3.9 million at the early childhood development level, 9.9 million to 10.1 million in primary schools and 2.1 million to 2.6 million in secondary schools.

“The number of special-needs education students increased from 107,000 to 132,000,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said last week.

At the same time, Elimu Yetu Coalition has urged teachers to ensure the term runs smoothly as candidates prepare for the national exams.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers has threatened to call a strike if members are not awarded an annual salary raise.

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