BOM teachers will start receiving stipends from the Sh1.72 billion Covid-19 relief kitty from tomorrow Friday, Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia said.
He added that only those who were working by March 15 when the government ordered the closure of learning institutions will be paid.
Mr Kinuthia said the money has already been set aside by the National Treasury as per the advice of the Ministry of Education and would be sent to banks this morning.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang told the Nation that the funds have been cleared for release after the ministry verified the lists of 43,000 beneficiaries submitted by headteachers.
He said every recipient of the money must sign and the headteacher countersigns.
The teachers have gone without pay since March when schools shut in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Kinuthia said the delays in paying the teachers were occasioned by reports of plans by some headteachers to steal the funds.
The CAS, who was on a tour of Murang’a county, added that the scheme had inflated the number of beneficiaries to 126, 000.
He said among the tricks that some of headteachers employed were using names of serving and retired teachers as well as dead ones, friends outside teaching profession and board members listed as instructors.
“The screening was not as it included listing the help of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), county Education directors and impromptu visits to particular schools,” Mr Kinuthia said.
He added that the budget to pay the teachers is part of the Sh15.4 billion the government has set aside for public schools to enable them prepare for reopening.
He said the reopening date remains January 2021 “unless something drastic happens from the Covid-19 front”.
According to Mr Kinuthia, the academic year will resume in January if the infection curve continues to flatten “but there will be a stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday next week to make official pronouncements regarding the issue”.
He said the ministry has set aside money for free secondary education at a rate of Sh5,151 per learner.
Mr Kinuthia added some teachers would not receive the stipend despite having been recruited by school boards.
He said those to be left out have not been registered by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) or those who did not attach valid bank details.
Meanwhile, the government has set aside Sh1.9 billion for primary and secondary school desks ahead of reopening in January, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said yesterday.
The minister added that Sh1 billion would be used to make desks for high schools while Sh900 million would be for primary schools.
“We already have 800 prototypes of the desks. One goes for Sh3,800,” Prof Magoha said in Kilifi county after inspecting school preparedness for the reopening.
He said President Uhuru Kenyatta has summoned the 47 county commissioners to Nairobi on Friday to take the design of the desks.
“The President says it is not just about buying desks. Let the desks be made by sub-county jua kali artisans. The desks must be ready before the end of November,” Prof Magoha added.
He said despite the noise to reopen schools, he would not apologise to anyone “because children are home and alive”.
“There is a constitutional right to education, but there is also a greater right to life. Children have rights,” the Education CS said.
He added that educational institutions would reopen in January as earlier announced.
“That position has not changed but depending on how the virus behaves and on the ability of schools to comply with certain things, we shall relook,” he said.
Prof Magoha said if education stakeholders decide otherwise, depending on the virus curve which should be below five per cent for 14 days, the ministry would communicate to the public on the reopening date.
“When I say we can open earlier, I am talking about universities, nursing schools and colleges of health sciences because the country needs doctors. The doctors must sit for their exams to be posted,” he said.
“The next group will be the school of nursing, technical and vocational education and training institutes and teacher training colleges.”
Prof Magoha criticised the media “for misquoting me” over school reopening.
“What the media have done is to make me appear like a person who never went to school, a person who flip flops, today I say this tomorrow I say that. I am above that kind of nonsense,” Prof Magoha said.