Shock as government reverses money for running schools and paying BOM teachers

Shock as government reverses money for running schools and paying BOM teachers

School heads across the country are disappointed after the Ministry of Education reversed school funds previously released to schools by the government.

The ministry had on Thursday morning updated the National Education Management Information System (Nemis) indicating that Sh3,725 per student and Sh1 per student had been released into the operations accounts and tuition accounts of schools respectively.

However, shockingly, school heads revealed to the Saturday Nation that details of the capitation had been deleted from the system.

“We are shocked that the allocated funds are no longer showing in the school students’ capitation system,” said one principal who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation.

Another principal said he had confirmed from his school’s Nemis system that the funds had been allocated to each student and was hoping to receive the funds in the school’s bank account.

“Surprisingly, the figures in Nemis were reversed yesterday (Thursday),” he said.

The released funds usually show in the Nemis system first before reflecting in the schools’ bank accounts. Each school receives funds depending on student population. 

“I was to go to the bank today (Friday) to confirm if funds have been credited to our school account, but nothing has been deposited so far,” said another principal.

Speaking virtually before the parliamentary committee on Education on Thursday, CS George Magoha said the government had set aside funds for school operations.

“The government has set aside funds to pay Boards of Management teachers, non-teaching staff including security men and women, and maintenance and safety of schools,” Prof Magoha said.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani on Friday told the Nation that had already given instructions for the school funds to be released.

“The funds that are supposed to be released to schools will be used to pay BOM teachers and other workers, and I have already given instructions for the release of the money,” said CS Yatani.

He said it is the Ministry of Education that is required to draw the budget and capitation per student.

“I will confirm from Prof Magoha if the budget has been drawn and submitted to the Treasury,” said Mr Yatani.

Prof Magoha and the Basic Education Principal Secretary, Dr Belio Kipsang, did not respond to calls made to their mobile phone numbers by the Nation.

Prof Magoha told the parliamentary committee on Education, chaired by Busia woman representative Florence Mutua, that he had presented a budget to the National Treasury and the Cabinet for approval to enable the expansion and purchase of other necessary infrastructure ahead of schools’ reopening in January 2021.

The funds are meant to enable heads to oversee the operations of schools and pay teachers employed by boards of managements and other workers.

The funds are also to be used to pay non-teaching staff, who include security officers, to ensure proper maintenance and safety of schools.

The heads have complained that they have had to send their non-teaching staff on unpaid leave as schools do not have funds.

More than 72,000 BOM teachers across the country have not been paid since March, when schools closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to lack of funds, school heads said schools have been left vulnerable as workers were sent on leave while others risk being vandalised.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) chairman Kahi Indimuli yesterday also confirmed that the details of released funds had been deleted from the students’ system. Mr Indimuli said the ministry is yet to issue schools with a note detailing how the funds should be spent.

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