JSS Money too Little, Headteachers Now Say
Headteachers have opposed guidelines issued by the government on how money released for Free Day Junior Secondary Education (FDJSE) will be used.
In a memo to County Directors of Education by Principal Secretary State Department for Basic Education Belio Kipsang, each learner has been allocated Sh3,291.34 for the first term.
Further each school will receive an allocation of Sh69,596.
“All heads of institutions must acknowledge receipt of funds by issuing official school receipts to the Principal Secretary, State Department of Basic Education for both tuition and operation accounts with copies to the Sub and County directors of education,” reads the memo.
In the breakdown per school, Sh22,625 will go towards rental box and postage, telephone charges, Board of Management meetings and capacity building.
Some Sh3,000 will go towards catering for water, electricity and conservancy. Internet connectivity has been allocated Sh9,375 while Sh33,150 will go to personnel emoluments.
All heads have been asked to confirm receipt of the funds by having individual students sign school lists per class that show their admission numbers, full name and the amount awarded.
Kipsang has also warned school heads against charging other levies, including fees for lunch.
Although the chairman of the Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) Johnson Nzioka refrained from commenting on the issue, his members who spoke to us in confidence said the money was too little under the current economic circumstances.
“It is unfortunate that the government is using budgetary estimates of last year to allocate the funds forgetting that prices of virtually everything has gone up,” said a headteacher of a primary school in Nairobi.
A headteacher in Naivasha said the amount of money would force headteachers to look for alternatives to bridge the deficit.
Under the breakdown per learner, Sh800 will go towards repair and maintenance, Sh130 administrative cost and Sh250 for co-curricular activities.
Some Sh917 will be used to acquire textbooks and supplementary readers, Sh150 for materials required during practicals and Sh500 for stationery and writing materials.
The government also clarified that schools with conflicting details will have to be left out until they provide the correct details.
“Such schools will receive their funds once the correct details are provided and confirmed. Headteachers shall write to the PS detailing correct details,” said Kipsang.