The Ministry of Education has disbursed Sh19.9 billion to schools ahead of the beginning of the 2022 first term, Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced yesterday.
Prof Magoha said that Sh16.9 billion had been sent to secondary schools through the Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) while primary schools will get Sh3 billion through the Free Primary Education (FPE) programmes.
The CS said the funds will be in school bank accounts by Tuesday next week and warned headteachers and principals against sending learners away for non-payment of fees when schools open on April 25.
He was speaking at Pangani Girls High School during the 12th Annual Regional Education and Leadership Congress for Wings to Fly and Elimu Scholarship beneficiaries.
The money for FDSE will, however, exclude the capitation for Form One learners who will report to school on May 3.
The government allocates Sh1,420 and Sh22,240 per learner in primary and secondary schools respectively.
“Allow all the children in school as you deal with fees issues,” Prof Magoha instructed principals, adding that those who disregard the directive will face severe disciplinary action.
Parents with children in national schools are required to pay Sh53,554 annually while those with children in category B boarding schools and extra-county schools pay Sh40,535.
For the 2021 and 2022 school calendar years, the ministry reduced the fees to Sh45,000 for national schools while students in extra-county schools will pay Sh35,000 as part of the measurers to cushion parents from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The academic years are also shorter.
He defended the ministry’s Form One selection process, which has elicited mixed reactions among parents and candidates, with those who missed out on their preferred schools particularly aggrieved.
The ministry also applied affirmative action to place needy students in some of the in-demand schools. Prof Magoha said other schools need to improve their performance to reach those of the top schools.
“Are teachers at Pangani Girls from heaven? We have no apologies to make when we say we will give children from slum areas scholarships,” he said.
Earlier this week, Prof Magoha blamed schools for “misadvising” learners on schools selection. From the selection data, Nanyuki High School was the most preferred school with 156,003 selections against a capacity of 480 students.
Other schools that attracted many candidates were Kabianga High School (149,087), Pangani Girls (118,073), Maseno School (110,811), Nakuru High School (107,915) and Alliance Girls High School.
The ministry will award the third cohort of 9,000 scholarships through the Elimu Scholarship programme to the learners joining Form One; 4,000 of the scholarships will be awarded to learners from informal settlements in selected urban areas while the rest will distributed countrywide.
The future of the scholarship is unclear and Prof Magoha challenged the incoming administration to continue with it or even make it better.
“The only way to avoid a revolution is to finance education,” he said.
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi announced that learners who wish to apply for the scholarships can now do so through the portal. He said that, since its inception, the Wings to Fly scholarship programme has so far benefited 20,000 students.
Equity Group will award 2,000 comprehensive four-year secondary school scholarships throughout the country.
The scholarship programme is managed by Equity Bank through its Wings to Fly programme which also offers scholarships to secondary school students.
The scholarships are only awarded to learners in public boarding schools since the government capitation caters for tuition fees and health insurance premiums.