A report by the Ministry of Education has exposed the skewed allocation of funds for infrastructural development in secondary schools across the country.
Despite some of the country’s top national schools enjoying state-of-the-art infrastructure, they have continued to receive the bulk of the infrastructure budget of up to Sh60 million every year since the 2013/2014 financial year.
This is at the expense of less-equipped extra-county, county and sub-county schools, which receive as little as Sh1 million per year, raising concerns regarding government commitment to improving infrastructure to attain the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.
“In the 2013/2014 financial year, 29 schools which were upgraded to national school status received Sh25 million each making a total of Sh725 million as infrastructure grants,” reads the report.
However, in the same financial year, 54 secondary schools were collectively allocated Sh52.6 million for infrastructure development, with a majority of them receiving between Sh800,000 and Sh1 million per year.
The report further indicates that, in the financial year 2014/2015, 25 national schools received Sh25 million each making a total of Sh625 million after they were elevated to national school status.
But during the same financial year, four top national schools received a total of Sh250 million to develop their infrastructure.
Of the four schools, Alliance Girls and Alliance Boys, two of the country’s most prestigious learning institutions, received Sh70million each while Lenana School received Sh50 million and Kapsabet Boys High School Sh60 million.
Again, in the 2015/2016 financial year, these four schools received more allocation from the government than the rest of the schools across the country.
Alliance Girls and Alliance Boys received Sh70.3 million each for upgrading of their infrastructure. Lenana School and Kaspabet Boys also received Sh70.3 million each during that financial year.
In contrast, 238 secondary schools across the country received a total of Sh300 million as infrastructure support grants from the government during the same financial year.
Majority of these schools received Sh1 million each.
A few lucky schools such as Muhoho Boys in Kiambu county received Sh15 million, Butere Girls in Kakamega county received Sh10 million while Cheptiret secondary received Sh5 million during that financial year.
Another 43 schools received Sh260 million to improve their infrastructure in 2015/2016 with most of them getting about Sh4million each.
Besides Alliance Boys, Alliance Girls, Lenana and Kapsabet Boys, Kisii School in Kisii County was another of the big beneficiaries as it was allocated Sh50 million alongside Meru School which got Sh10 million and Bishop Gatimu Ngandu (Sh10 million).
In the 2016/2017 financial year, 327 schools were allocated a total of Sh939 million to improve their infrastructure with majority getting a mere Sh1 million.
Some of the lucky schools such as Moi Girls Eldoret received Sh50 million, Loreto Girls (Sh30 million), Butere Girls (Sh15 million), Limuru Girls (Sh10 million) while Mary Hill school got Sh12 million.
This time round, Lenana School got Sh15 million while Nairobi School and Nyambaria Girls in Nyamira county got Sh10 million each.
In the 2017/2018 financial year, 880 schools were allocated a total of Sh1.97 billion for infrastructure development with Mama Ngina Girls in Mombasa county getting Sh100 million while majority of the schools received an average of Sh1 million each.
This year, a total of 999,371 Form One students are expected to join extra county, county and sub-county schools as compared to 30,000 who were selected to join 103 national schools.
To achieve 100 per cent transition, a total of 128,838 students are expected to join extra-counties schools while county schools are expected to admit 148,215 students.
Sub-county schools are required to admit the highest number at 722,318 while special needs schools take in 1,626 students.
According to Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, the Ministry of Education received a total of Sh5.47 billion during the 2016/2017 financial year.
“This amount was initially allocated to the national government constituency development fund for equal disbursement to each of the 290 constituencies for specified school infrastructure across the country,” said Ms Mohamed in the report.
She went on: “Each constituency received all the funds that were due to it. Sh3.48 billion was disbursed to the constituencies with each constituency receiving Sh12 million. This amount was distributed to secondary schools nominated by Members of Parliament.”
She said a balance of Sh1.99 billion was disbursed to needy schools across the country. A total of 2,576 secondary schools across the country benefited from the funds.
She said request for funding by schools must have supporting documents including minutes from the respective County Education Board (CEB).
A recent report by Auditor General Edward Ouko revealed that 85 national schools that were upgraded are not attracting students. Mr Ouko disclosed that they lacked adequate dormitories, libraries and teachers among other crucial infrastructure.