Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof George Magoha has revealed that the Ministry is considering increasing the capitation funds to more than 28,000 public primary schools.
Speaking while officiating the Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) annual conference in Mombasa, Magoha told the 10,000 delegates that his ministry has acknowledged the need to increase the grant to cover emerging costs, including increased enrolment following implementation of 100 percent transition.
The CS told the conference that 25.9 percent of the national budget is spent on his ministry to implement pertinent reforms geared towards effective implementation of the ministry’s core mandate of delivering quality education to Kenyan children.
“I know the majority of you would say capitation should be looked into again. I fully agree. My ministry is consuming most of the government money but I will find a way to persuade his Excellency the President that if we can tweak this up, I think it is possible, I will persuade him it should go to primary school capitation and not anything else. You can take it to the bank, I would do my best to do so,” he added.
The CS was flanked by Principal Secretary Early Learning and Basic Education, Dr Julius Jwan, and his State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms counterpart, Prof Fatuma Chege, among other top ministry officials.
Magoha told the primary head teachers that his National Treasury and Planning counterpart, Ukur Yatani, has also assured him that all public schools capitation funds will reflect in schools’ bank accounts before schools reopen next week. “We must make sure by the orders of none other than his Excellency the President that money must be in your account by next week. Let it not bother you, the little you are getting must be in school next week,” he added.
Magoha hailed the public primary schools head teachers for the prudent management of the funds so far released by the ministry to run their schools.
On the school’s infrastructure, the Education CS revealed that the National Government will undertake a second phase of procuring new desks, targeting public primary schools to provide adequate seating facilities to all learners.
“The government has moved in a great manner to equip both primary and secondary schools and I want to recognize you as the strongest link in successful implementation of that programme. That stimulus package for 625,000 desks, of which you received half for your primary schools, that cooperation we found from you from individual teachers is appreciated. As the results of that, we are looking for means and ways of repeating the same exercise,” added Magoha.
The CS told the primary schools head teachers that the ministry was also addressing technical hitches they had experienced while configuring schools’ data into the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS). “I wanted to recognize you because we had issues with capturing data into Nemis. I came to many of your schools to help us identify the first problem. The problem was not yours. The problem was Nemis itself. As a result of that, we have reengineered NEMIS and within the next few months, none of you will have any other problem as far as data processing is concerned,” Magoha said adding fresh entry of data into the NEMIS will be done to capture the accurate data of all public schools.
On 100 percent transition, the CS hailed primary school head teachers for helping the ministry in identifying children, who were out of schools and ensuring they resume learning. He further defended teachers over absenteeism saying in his two years and half tenure in the ministry, he did impromptu visits to over 1000 schools without witnessing such a thing.
“I used to hear a lot of rumours that teachers are never in school. When I was appointed by his Excellency the President, one of the things he told me to midwife, is the Competence Based Curriculum,” he said.
The CS also thanked the primary schools head teachers for implementing CBC adding that the ministry will continue to provide necessary financial and materials support to them to properly implement the new education system for its success.
“One of the most important transformative ideas that the government has introduced is this Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). It is wrong to say that it is not funded, because the government from 2018 to date, has spent 28.5 billion shillings on providing free books to every child in this country including those who were doing CBC. The concept of CBC is here to stay. It is what is working all over the world,” reiterated Magoha.
On Covid 19 vaccines, the CS appealed to the head teachers to educate their teachers and lead them in going for the jabs. “As a top medical doctor in this country, I can assure you these vaccines have no effect on your reproductive system and your ability to have children. Don’t be one of those who are educated but not learned. It is important for you to get vaccinated as school managers and carry that message to your juniors for the sake of Kenyan children,” he added.
KEPSHA National Chairman, Johnson Nzioka, welcomed the CS announcements especially on enhancing capitation funds and others support accorded to the head teachers to implement various reforms including CBC.
“The ministry is strongly supporting the head teachers to ensure CBC assessment is done seamlessly to ensure the children are given their worth. The CS is also supporting head teachers to give them extra energy to administer the two KCPEs and KCSEs and grade 6 CBC examinations in March and December 2022,” added Nzioka.
By Galgalo Bocha