Teachers’ unions in Trans Nzoia County are protesting against a circular issued by Ministry of Education officials in the region requiring them to remit Sh50,000 for training school accountants.
The June 10 circular from the Trans Nzoia schools auditor Kelvin Onchwari requires all public boarding schools and secondary schools to remit the money by June 27 through an Equity Bank account for the training to be held in Nakuru.
The payment covers full board, transport and an out-of-pocket allowance of Sh5,000 for each participant.
Trans Nzoia Kuppet secretary Lusweti Furaha said the conference on international public sector accounting standards (IPSAS) and financial management slated for July 3-8 is ill-timed as most schools are cash-strapped.
“The Ministry of Education should not force school heads to finance the training at such a huge cost on a short notice, without considering that some of them have financial challenges with pending payments for support staffs,” said Mr Furaha.
He also faulted the choice of venue, saying it was not favourable due to distance, suggesting nearby towns like Busia, where the cost of living is lower than in Nakuru.
“The ministry should cater for such trainings instead of forcing schools to fund them. Most heads will be forced to seek loans from shylocks to meet the requirement," said Mr Furaha
Some of the principals, who sought anonymity, told the Nation that the organisers exaggerated the facilitation fees of Sh50,000, which they said was too high.
"We have not received capitation fees yet. We are being told to pay Sh50,000 for the conference. With the little money we have, we would rather concentrate on paying workers and teachers," said one principal.
But Trans County Director of Education Luke Chebet has said the amount had been reduced to Sh25,000 following complaints from school heads but insisted the training was for the benefit of the schools.