Teachers vow to strike for cash
Posted Sunday, May 27 2012 at 21:13
Learning in Kenyan public schools could be disrupted this week if the government does not release money for free education.
On Sunday, teachers reiterated that they would march to the ministry of Education offices in Nairobi to protest at what they called deprivation by the government.
The money meant for Free Primary Education (FPE) and Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) has not been sent to schools, almost a month after the institutions reopened for second term.
“It is very annoying to the teachers and the public at large,” Mr David Okuta, the Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary-general, told the Nation, as he vowed to lead the demonstrations to Jogoo House.
“This is a programme the government launched long time ago with noble intentions but it has not been taking it seriously. We want them to style up or let them admit they can no longer run the programme.”
Head teachers on Friday said they had been forced to dip in their own pockets to run school programmes.
In the current financial year, primary schools were allocated Sh7.5 billion, Sh223.6 million less than the previous year.
The government should disburse at least Sh11.3 billion at the moment to enable primary and secondary schools clear with their creditors and run school programmes.
Besides learning, the schools are expected to take pupils and students for music festivals and athletic competitions.
On Thursday, acting Education Permanent Secretary George Godia said the delays were occasioned by lengthy consultations the ministry had to go through to send the money, which is included in budget allocations.
The Ministry argued that they had to comply with Section 221 of the Constitution that calls for thorough budget consultations.
But that argument has been criticized by lobby groups who argue that the money was budgeted for in the current budget.
Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo blamed the Treasury for delaying to release the funds despite timely request for more funding.
“The demonstrations would be okay so long as they start at the Treasury before coming to my office. I have no problem. I love teachers,” he told the Nation.