A total of 10,000 teachers are set to be recruited in anticipation of an increased number of students as the government prepares to roll out free secondary education in January.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said negotiations with the Teachers Service Commission on hiring were ongoing.
Dr Matiang’i also defended the Sh23.6 billion supplementary budget, saying the amount was critical in actualising Jubilee’s campaign pledges. Dr Matiang’i appeared before a special committee of the National Assembly that is scrutinising the budget.
The amount is part of the Sh46 billion approved by the Cabinet to fund the project and does not include the hiring of the extra teachers.
Dr Matiang’i said the approval of the funding will drastically reduce the fees paid by students in boarding secondary school as the ministry intended to increase the capitation per student from the current Sh12,870 to Sh22,241.
“The new capitation measures mean that even boarding schools, no matter their status, will be extremely affordable for all. We will expect that their fees will immediately drop,” Dr Matiang’i told the committee chaired by Kipkelion East MP Joseph Limo.
He also resisted attempts by the MPs to cede Sh1.4 billion meant for secondary school infrastructure to be administered through the National Constituency Development Fund as conditional grants, saying such a move would only be sanctioned after consultation with the Treasury.
If the budget is approved by MPs when they resume next week to consider the supplementary estimates that also include Sh10 billion for the fresh presidential election, parents will only be required to meet minimum costs for children in boarding schools. Meals and boarding fees will be the only stand-out costs.
He said the ministry was currently working on capped limits that schools should charge parents ahead of January, but said they expected public institutions to charge minimal fees following the boost in capitation.
The CS also noted that the ministry was working on the required infrastructure for extra-county secondary schools as it targets a 100 per cent transition from primary schools.
The ministry already has a Sh7 billion budget for this work reallocated from last year’s financial plan. At least 903,200 learners are expected to join public secondary schools, with 100,322 joining private institutions.
Dr Matiang’i said Sh600 million for sanitary towels and Sh100 million for emergency cases such as natural disasters was required.
The sanitary towels programme will be channelled through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund currently supervised by women representatives.