State Department for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVETs) Principal Secretary Esther Muoria has hinted at the possibility of capped capitation for TVETs due to the ongoing cash crisis at the National Treasury.
Speaking at the Nyeri National Polytechnic, Dr Muoria said that many government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had already received communication from the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u indicating the tough times ahead owing to cash flow issues.
She noted that just like universities, TVETs would equally be affected by the proposed funding cuts and urged heads of the institutions to brace themselves for reduced government funding.
“The government does not have the kind of money we traditionally had. The other day I actually carried and read out that letter at a function in Naivasha in which the CS has instructed us to start thinking without the box. I mean this is a bitter pill to swallow because we have to think hard about how we are going to operate in this space,” she told over 30 principals in attendance.
Kenya has a total of 2,432 public and private TVET institutions. The current student population is estimated at slightly over 385,000.
During the 2022/2023 Financial year, Treasury allocated Sh 5.2 billion as capitation for TVET students.
Every year, students placed in TVETs by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service have access to a total of Sh30,000 as capitation.
Additionally, during the same financial year, the exchequer allocated Sh1.8 billion for the construction and equipping of TVETs while Sh1 billion was set aside to be spent increasing and improving the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programmes.
The PS said that following the communication from Treasury, TVETs will be left with no choice but to come up with projects that will make them self-sufficient.
“I have been speaking to these people (TVET principals) about being able to think much more seriously about how we are going to support our institutions because what we call capitation is not there. Please start forgetting the word capitation. Start forgetting that you are waiting for funds from Treasury,” she said.
Dr Muoria was speaking during the launch of Trees for TVETs campaign which will see the State Department partner with TVETs all over the country to set up tree nurseries in the institutions.
She said they were eyeing all the institutions to accelerate the 15 billion tree growing campaign by the President and ensure the ministry attains its one billion trees target before 2032.
The launch comes one day after the TVET PS made a deal with her Forestry PS, Ephantus Kimotho for Kenya Forest Service and the Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) to supply tree seedlings for greening the TVETs and polytechnics.
During the launch, each of the 30 principals from Nairobi, Mount Kenya, Northern and Coast regions received their first batch of 10,000 seedlings and an equivalent number of polythene potting bags from KEFRI which will be used to set up tree nurseries in their respective institutions.
“The President has committed to planting 15 billion trees in 5 years. As a ministry we are committed to helping him do that by planting one billion trees in five years or less. We will use the Nyeri National Polytechnic as the base for distributing seeds and our base for tree nurseries where we want to achieve between 500 million to one billion trees,” she said.
By Wangari Mwangi and Yvette Kimani