Funding Confusion: Ministry of Education’s Circular Puts Principals in a Dilemma

In a surprising turn of events, secondary school principals in Kenya find themselves caught in a perplexing situation, courtesy of a circular issued by the Ministry of Education (MoE). The directive, signed by Dr. Belio Kipsang’, the Basic Education Principal Secretary, demands an account of Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) funds for the first term of 2024, funds that, as it turns out, have not been fully disbursed.

The Conundrum Unveiled

Expressing their dismay, school heads are wrestling with the conundrum presented by the circular. According to the directive, principals are required to account for a substantial Ksh8,319.68 per student. However, the Ministry has only deposited Ksh4,000 into their accounts, leaving a financial gap that raises questions about how to accurately receipt the funds as instructed in the circular.

A Clash of Figures

Amos Cherono, the National Treasurer of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) and Principal of Kapcherop Boys Secondary School, voiced his concerns about the fairness of the directive. He argues that the circular should have been based on the actual amounts received by schools, avoiding confusion caused by including funds that haven’t been disbursed. Cherono contends, “It is contradicting and very difficult because when you want to do a receipt, how will you do it?”

The Ministry’s Explanation

Attempting to shed light on the matter, Paul Kibet, the Director of Secondary Education in the Ministry, clarified that the circular outlines a two-tranche disbursement plan. The first tranche, already in school accounts, amounts to Ksh4,159.84. The second tranche, an equal sum, is slated for imminent release.

Kibet explained, “The circular released specifies the amount to be disbursed in two equal tranches. This will be the 50 per cent for term one. I am pleased to inform you that the first tranche has been successfully disbursed. For clarity, the amount received is for tranche one. The second and final tranche for term one is in progress and will be disbursed shortly.”

Decoding the Funding Mystery

Secondary school principals have long lamented the confusion surrounding funding in their institutions. The irregular, suspicious, uncertain, and sometimes punitive tranches they receive prompted a petition to the National Assembly last year, seeking intervention to ensure the full capitation at the approved rate of Ksh22,244 per child.

As principals grapple with the intricate dance between circular instructions and actual fund disbursement, the call for a more transparent and efficient funding mechanism becomes increasingly urgent. The education sector, a critical pillar for Kenya’s future, demands clarity and consistency in financial allocations to ensure the smooth operation of secondary schools across the country.


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