BY KNA’s Muturi Mwangi
Schools heads are now calling upon the government to release the remaining 30 percent capitation to enable the smooth running ahead of reopening on Monday.
Kenya Primary School Heads Teachers Association (KEPSHA) chairman in charge of Rift Valley region Patrick Kitur, while speaking to the media during the seventh KEPSHA annual conference in Thingithu secondary school, Nanyuki on Thursday, said that despite Junior Secondary School (JSS) having kicked off in earnest, schools’ heads lacked enough funds to facilitates the smooth running of their institutions.
“I want to be on record on issues of the challenges, more specifically teachers and resources. The biggest challenge is capitation and I want to request the Ministry of Education to release the remaining 30 percent of the money because headteachers and principals of primary schools are running schools under a lot of difficulties,” said the KEPSHA Rift Valley region chairman.
The conference which was a beehive of activities and a boom to business people in Laikipia saw about 2100 KEPSHA members from Rift Valley attend. The conference ends Friday, May 5, 2023.
He noted that the Ministry of Education had disbursed 20 percent which was prudently utilized as per the guidelines issued to the school’s headteachers.
Recently, the government allocated Sh9.6 billion in the 2022 to 2023 supplementary budget which is expected to cater for 1.26 million grade seven learners.
Every grade seven student registered in National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) received Sh15,042 to cater for capacity building, textbooks, laboratory materials, and stationery among other things for the smooth running of schools.
He revealed that some schools which had missed out during the capitation disbursement of the funds earlier due to wrong account details had already received the funds.
“We have had so many schools which didn’t receive the funds but three weeks ago, we were informed that funds have been disbursed. Some bank details were not correct,” said Kitur.
The Chairman also said that textbooks in JSS were not adequate but teachers were creative enough to make the new competency-based curriculum a success.
On issues of teachers handling JSS, the chairman said the government had continued recruitment to ensure all schools were well-staffed.
KEPSHA National Secretary Ms. Irene Yaile applauded teachers for the good work on the implementation of JSS and urged them to continue with the support of the government as it provides the guidelines on the JSS implementation.
She said that the ongoing retooling of the JSS headteachers and teachers was geared towards equipping them with requisite skills on the new competency-based curriculum.
Laikipia County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said that all schools would be reopened in the region next week as scheduled by the government since security and calm had been restored.
Kanyiri further pointed out that the government was also keen to ensure that pupils who had attained the age of attending school were in school and not herding livestock in the Mukogodo forest which had been previously invaded by bandits.
He warned that the authorities would take stern action against parents from those areas whose children fail to attend school.