The Kenya Publishers Association on Monday said the delay in disbursing the Sh11.3 billion for free education was also affecting other players in the education sector.
The club said publishers had incurred losses running into millions of shillings owing to the “erratic process” of releasing funds.
“When the government does not release the funds, schools cannot pay booksellers the money they owe us for supplying them with textbooks,” a publisher, Ms Jane Kibara, said.
Down their tools
KPA chairman Lawrence Njagi said publishers will down their tools in solidarity with teachers should the lack of action by the ministry culminate in a strike on Thursday.
The Ministry of Finance has since attributed the delay to lengthy bureaucratic budgetary consultations with the Ministry of Education and a change in the disbursement schedule.
According to the new schedule, the Treasury will be releasing the funds in three instalments of 50 per cent in first term, 30 per cent in second term and 20 per cent in third term to both secondary and primary schools.
The publishers, however, said such a “flimsy” explanation when term dates are well known to both ministries is an indication of negligence and lack of planning.
The KPA chairman added that such reasons were not convincing because the funds are a major budgetary allocation, which must be prioritised.
Secondary School heads first raised the issue when they wrote to the Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo last month, threatening to close schools and send students home for lack of funds to cater for crucial needs.