The government has released Sh15.4 billion to enable public schools prepare for reopening in January.
Of these, Sh13.3 will go towards arrangements for social distance, hand washing and purchase of thermo-guns.
Another Sh2.2 billion will pay salaries of teachers employed by the Boards of Management (BoM) and non-teaching staff, such as security personnel.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the money will help cushion teachers and support staff from the effects of coronavirus.
The money is expected to hit schools accounts starting today.
Details show that some Sh750 has been allocated per child to cater for teachers employed by BoM.
Another Sh2,246 has been allocated for personal emoluments and will be used to pay non-teaching staff.
Sh675 has been given for the National Hospital Insurance Funds (NHIF) and Sh500 for maintenance and repairs. This brings the total allocation per child to Sh5,151.
It emerged the data of 43, 000 teachers submitted by TSC to the Ministry may not be accurate as some teachers had quit following the March closure of schools to contain spread of Covid-19.
A letter by TSC dated August 4 to the ministry said the data submitted reflected the pay roll status before the pandemic.
“The data being submitted was updated in February. However, to ensure accountability in case of payment of BoM teachers by the government, each head of institution should provide documentary evidence to confirm employment status of each teacher,” said Dr Nancy Macharia, TSC Secretary.
It emerged some teachers were fired or sent on compulsory leave while others decided to quit after it emerged schools may close for long.
Data seen by The Standard reveals huge discrepancies on the final list of verified teachers.For instance, in Trans Nzoia County, TSC data showed the boards employed 1,305 teachers. After verification by the ministry, only 903 were actively on schools’ payrolls.
Prof Magoha said only teachers in schools’ payroll will be paid.“I want to assure that names will be confirmed before any payments are done and we will only cater for BoM teachers whose details will be availed to the ministry,” he said.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) national chairman Kahi Indimuli, who has been pushing for the release of funds, yesterday welcomed the move. “We wish to see the money reflected in schools account so that we can sort out staff because many have suffered for long,” said Mr Indimuli.
The Kessha chairman also said time has been running out for schools to make necessary arrangements ahead of opening.“Most schools are closed yet we are expected to put measures in place before children report. Lack of funds had hampered these efforts,” said Indimuli.
Magoha said all schools would open in January next year. “This is based on the assumption that the infection curve will have flattened by December 2020,” he said.
The CS announced there would be no national examinations this year, as the 2020 school calendar year will be considered lost due to Covid-19.
An education stakeholder meeting in July set minimum reopening conditions to include reducing physical contact in learning institutions by having fewer learners.
Other conditions were maintaining right social or physical distancing to ensure safety and health of learners and erecting hand washing points.