By The COAST Team
The government will review the capitation disbursement model in quest to ensure a more equitable distribution of funds to learning institutions throughout the year, says education cabinet secretary.
Ezekiel Machogu, addressing the 46th Kenya secondary schools heads association (KESSHA)’s conference, said his ministry was working to streamline the disbursement systems through employing advanced technologies and automated processes to expedite the flow of funds.
“From this year onwards, capitation will be disbursed in the ratio of 50:30:20, for the first, second and third terms respectively. We will move away from the current quarterly system. This change will ensure a more equitable distribution of funds throughout the year, empowering schools to plan and utilize resources more efficiently.”
The CS cautioned the school heads against mismanagement of the allocated resources.
He called on education managers to exercise prudence in the management of the resources that are at their disposal.
“In the same vein, I must also emphasize the importance of promptly acknowledging receipt of capitation, as failure to do so will result in schools missing out on the next disbursement. Let us work together to streamline this process and ensure the effective utilization of allocated funds for the benefit of our students.”
Previously at the conference, headteachers had complained about constrained budgets due to the rising costs of living that has made it unbearable at their institutions.
However, the budget implementation is evidently difficult based on the current local or global economic crisis.
But for the CS, the heads should exercise prudence in the management of the limited resources that are at their disposal.
“I wish to urge all of you to strictly adhere to public finance management practices while utilizing funds that are allocated to the schools by the government and parents.”
He asked the principals to familiarise themselves with the Public Finance Management Act 2012 and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015 so as to overcome the weak links in resource utilisation in the schools.
According to him in the next financial year the government will hire 24,000 teachers to deal with the current teacher deficit.
Machogu said the government was committed to bring credibility in exams by eradicating exam leakages ahead of the coming national exams.
“In the outgoing Financial Year, we have employed 36,000 new teachers. In the next Financial Year, we will hire an additional 24,000teachers. It is crucial that we deploy these teachers in our schools in a manner that reflects equity.”
The school heads led by KESSHA chairman Kahi Indimuli had asked the government to relook into the funding models of secondary schools.
He said some of the institutions depended entirely on the capitation for their day to day activities, thus, unable to charge more when capitation was delayed.
“We need to realize that some of the commodities have gone up and they are not able to meet the cost,” he said adding that a bag of 90 kg beans was going for ksh16,000 which was very expensive.
He proposed that the government increase their capitation from Sh 22,244 to Sh30,000 per child so as to meet the cost of operations in the learning institutions.
Basic education principal secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang Kipsang said the government was committed to actualise the education reforms that would emanate from the presidential working group.
He thanked the headteachers for giving their views on the president’s appointment to the working party on education reforms, saying the ministry is committed to implement the recommendation.
“It has completed its work and is writing a report that will be launched and we shall implement it fully with respect to your views.”
He challenged the principals to play their critical role in ensuring that education was inclusive and ensure prudent management of resources within their disposals.
The PS said the competence based curriculum (CBC) had been successful in most of the institutions.
He admitted that there were infrastructural challenges and asked the school heads to optimize the little resources and infrastructure they had.
“We must deal with the trust deficit because we are the custodian of the future, let’s establish trust strength as school managers.”
The school heads had also raised concerns with exam leakages and blamed it to Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) for the failure to manage exams.
On financial management, Indimuli proposed that all school bursars be employed by government and equally be transferred just like principals.
The KESSHA boss also asked the headteachers to ensure teachers were prepared for the senior secondary school so as to effect CBC proper.
Currently, Kenya has over 10,000 secondary schools with over 30,000 learners countrywide.
According to the CS this year’s financial allocations, the education sector has received the highest share of the national budget, which was Sh628.6 billion.
“This is our record with 29 per cent of the total budget. It is an increase from the Sh544.4 billion last year to the new allocation of Sh628.6 this fiscal year.”