Saturday, April 13, 2024

Why primary and secondary schools might resume for second term late than usual

All public primary and secondary schools across the country might resume for the second term later than usual this year after school heads threatened to strike over delayed school capitation.

School heads through the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) have issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Ministry of Education to disburse the funds, failure to which they will order for closure of schools.

The union is considering calling a strike to paralyse the reopening of institutions for second term should the government fail to disburse the funds estimated to total Sh54 billion.

“We are giving the government seven days to disburse the funds otherwise we will instruct our teachers to close down schools and send students home until the day the funds will be sent,” KUPPET Chair, Omboko Milemba said.

The union noted that the government has only released Sh3,877 capitation to schools instead of the Sh11,122 expected for first term.

With three weeks still left on the school term, KUPPET says the delay has paralysed operations in schools, with the institutions finding it hard to meet their daily obligations, including utility bills, payment of non-teaching staff, and purchase of learning materials.

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The situation has seen suppliers take some schools to court over pending bills, which might adversely compromise the quality of education in the country, with day secondary schools, which fully depend on capitation, bearing the biggest brunt.

The union has further opposed the proposed reduction of secondary school capitation from Sh22,224 to Sh17,000 per learner.

“Schools will not open for the second term. It is grossly immoral to imagine a reduction in  the capitation amount.” KUPPET  Secretary General Akelo Misori said.

“At a time when Kenya is recording double-digit growth in tax revenues, and allocations for renovations and foreign travel are gobbling billions of shillings, how can the government possibly not afford to allocate the resources needed to maintain the current level of capitation?” he questioned.

Misori additionally criticized the government for terminating the EduAfya medical insurance scheme without providing an alternative.

The EduAfya programme, which was underwritten by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) insured approximately 3.5 million students for four years for Sh10 billion.

Misori says the termination of the scheme has affected millions of learners, while calling on president William Ruto to intervene.

“Given the multifaceted cuts to Education this year, KUPPET believes that only President William Ruto can avert further damage. For that reason, we appeal directly to the President to stop the haemorrhage in the Education budget,” he said.

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