Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu says the State will hire an additional 24,000 teachers in the next financial year to address teacher shortage in schools.
Last year, the government hired 36,000 teachers to address the severe teacher shortage especially in junior secondary schools.
“In the next financial year, we will hire an additional 24,000 teachers. It is crucial that we deploy these teachers in our schools in a manner that reflects equity,” said Machogu.
He said the education sector received the highest share of the budget in this financial year at Sh628.6 billion, accounting for 29 per cent of the total budget.
“It is an increase from the Sh544.4 billion that was allocated to the sector in the last financial year. Indeed, it was a new record and for a good reason; to improve the quality of education in the country.
At the same time the CS addressed on the issue of capitation for secondary schools.
The current quarterly students’ capitation system has been abolished, following protests from secondary school principals over delays in the disbursement of the money.
Ezekiel Machogu said yesterday that capitation will from next term be disbursed on the ratio of 50:30:20 for the first term, second term, and third term, respectively.
“I understand the challenges and the constraints that these (delays in the disbursement of capitation) cause to operations in your schools. We are working diligently to streamline the disbursement systems, by employing advanced technologies and automated processes to expedite the flow of funds,” he said.
The announcement of the changes was applauded by the principals who confessed the system had made running the schools difficult.
Earlier, Chairman of Kenya Secondary Schools Head Association Indimuli Kahi asked the government to increase capitation from Sh22,240 to Sh30,000 per child to help teachers address the high cost of living.
Indimuli pleaded with the government to also drop the quarterly system which had seen the schools not receiving Sh22,240. “We want this system changed because it is the cause of confusion,” said Indimuli
Speaking at the ongoing secondary schools’ heads conference in Mombasa, Machogu said the change from quarterly to the ration system will ensure a more equitable distribution of funds throughout the year.
The CS did not however respond to the request to increase the capitation and instead asked the principals to tighten their belts. The principals had also said they will prepare their proposals to increase school fees.
He said the increase came at the right time when the country was still emerging from the ravaging effects of Covid-19 and still implementing a competency-based curriculum.
“This calls on education managers to exercise prudence in the management of the limited resources that are at their disposal. You must strictly adhere to public finance management practices while utilising the funds
“All principals must familiarise themselves with the Public Finance Management Act 2012 and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015 to overcome the weak links in resource utilisation in schools,” said the CS while addressing the over 8,000 secondary schools’ heads at Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa.
Machogu said the government was introducing three distinct pathways for our learners: Arts, Sports Science; Social Sciences; and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
He said these pathways will allow students to choose a field that aligns with their interests and aspirations, providing them with specialised skills and knowledge.
The CS directed that schools operating with certificates under Cap 211 must seek re-registration to ensure accurate data to facilitate effective resource allocation.