High School Heads Demand For Term 2 Capitation
High school principals have asked the government to release capitation funds, maintaining that the continued delay is likely to stall the running of the institutions.
According to Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) chairperson Indimuli Kahi, schools have not received the free day secondary education capitation funds for the second term. The situation is worsened by failure of some parents to pay school fees.
“Schools are in debt and are surviving on the mercy of suppliers. If the suppliers get tired of waiting for payment and refuse to supply, schools will be grounded,” he said. He added that the crisis has affected both day and boarding schools.
All Schools resumed last week for the second term, which is crowned the longest in the school calendar. During the second term, Form Four learners in most schools and sub counties will undertake mock examinations in preparation for the national test at the end of the year.
Schools will also participate in co-curricular activities like ball games and the music festivals, activities Mr Kahi said will be adversely affected unless the money is disbursed immediately.
“Preparations for the activities should be put on hold until funds are sent to schools. The government should prioritise settlement of children in school since they won’t understand that there’s no money. If denied the opportunity to participate in certain activities, they can react in different ways and we should avoid such triggers,” Mr Kahi said.
He added that schools had to foot the cost of co-curricular activities for the first term.
Meanwhile, Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang has issued a circular requiring secondary schools to fill afresh application forms for the free day secondary programme.
“The reason for such exercise is to be able to ascertain the number of learners not in the National Education Management Information System (Nemis) yet they are in class register, and capture new school characteristics like principals and school names that may have changed over time,” the circular reads.
County directors of education are expected to collect the forms from schools, verify the data and submit them to the director of secondary education by May 26. The form also requires principals to indicate learning materials that their schools lack.
However, Mr Kahi said that school heads fear the requirement to fill the form could be used to further delay disbursement of funds to schools. He called on the Ministry of Education to use available data even as they update the records.
The government allocates Sh22,244 per student under the free day secondary education programme. Previously, this would be disbursed in three tranches in the ratio of 50:30:20. However, after the schools calendar was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, schools have been receiving the money in four quarters.
Last term, schools had an allocation of Sh4,413 per student but received only Sh3,706. For third term last year, the allocation per student was Sh4,485.
“The government should release the funds to schools. Small-scale businesses like mine that have made supplies to schools are on the verge of closing. We usually make money in first term but last term, only a little was released,” a businessman in Machakos town told the Nation.
Primary schools have also not received their capitation funds under the Free Primary Education programme. Learners in primary school are allocated Sh1,420 annually while those in junior secondary have an allocation of Sh15,042.
Last year, auditor-general Nancy Gathungu faulted the Ministry Education over the accuracy of data on Nemis, which is used to disburse money to schools. In her report, she said that auditors were unable to verify the number of students per school and county for the 2020/21 financial year.
Ms Gathungu said her staff were denied access to Nemis while many school principals failed to acknowledge receipt of funds. There were also suspicious school bank accounts and generally poor book-keeping. Upon receipt of the funds, principals are required to upload an acknowledgement receipt in the system.