Teachers demand release of withheld capitation for schools

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Mr Akelo Misori (Centre)

(File) Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Mr Akelo Misori (Centre) with other union officials addressing the media on January 10, 2023.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Teachers now want the national government to release all the funds withheld from schools before the 2024 capitation is remitted in January. 

Through their lobby groups, teachers have raised concerns that a lot of money is being retained by the Ministry of Education yet principals are asked to account for the funds which generally they have not received.

Kenya Union of Post Education Teachers (KUPPET) Kisumu Branch Secretary Mr Zablon Awange wondered why the Ministry was remitting half of the expected capitation per student. 

 Zablon Awange.

Kisumu County Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers  Executive Secretary Zablon Awange.

Photo credit: Justus Ochieng | Nation Media Group

"You could be wondering why schools are almost collapsing. Because the capitation MOE remitted Sh11, 892.14 instead of Sh22, 244.14," said Mr Awange. 

Kenya National Union of Teachers Kisumu Branch Secretary David Obun noted that it has become a norm in Kenya that the Ministry of Education fails to release the funds to public schools as required.

Mr Obun said that heads of institutions have been grappling with debts and their health have deteriorated due to the pressure of work emanating from debtors and the unmet needs of their learning institutions.

"Schools have records of unpaid salaries, debts from service providers yet the MoE field officers and auditors keep on asking for accountability, risk taken against non-compliance by the MoE itself,” he said.

Mr Obuon said that primary schools and junior secondary schools got it rough with instructional accounts getting credited in few coins and general purpose accounts missing. 

"Most school heads who have made follow-ups are told of NEMIS records not submitted. But how can Account One be credited and Account Two have misses? Yet the two depend on the same records?" he wondered. 

Kuppet Kisumu Secretary noted that with the ongoing examinations, many principals are finding it hard to purchase Science materials for practicals and chemicals.

"The BOM teachers are yet to be paid and many will be offloaded during the November and December holidays,” he said. 

Already some school heads have threatened to increase school fees by January due to the increased cost of commodities.

"It is time the government made it public that the funding sent to school accounts is what each child is entitled to rather than retain so much and expect schools to account for what they never received, "said Mr Obun.

The teacher's lobby group is demanding the release of funds to be done timely and strictly on the agreed ratio of 50:30:20.