The government has set aside Sh13.4 billion for capitation, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang has said, assuring provision of resources for continued learning.
Dr Kipsang said on Tuesday that this amount will be released to schools before January.
The PS added that the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education had requested Sh40 billion for capitation for both primary and secondary schools.
He also said he was engaging the National Treasury for release of this amount ahead of the reopening of schools in January.
“We will ensure the Sh40 billion we need in January is available before schools reopen. I know there are challenges and that the resources will never be enough we are trying to optimise use of what we have,” Dr Kipsang said.
“There are 22 ministries. Some complain saying we benefit more because we get a huge chunk of resources but you know we are moulding children for the future. If you don’t invest in the young ones, you are setting the country up for failure."
He assured primary school heads that the government will continue funding free education to ensure all children go to school.
Regarding the registration of children, Dr Kipsang said none will suffer as the government has the data of those with birth certificates and those without them.
The Education and Interior ministries are working together to ensure birth certificates are issued and recorded added to the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS).
“Eight percent percent of those children have been registered and all that is remaining is issuance of certificates, but we have the numbers. The people we shall expect you to give us are those joining Grade 1,” he said.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the capitation will be aligned with schools' schedules.
Nicholas Gathemia, national chairman of the Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association National, urged the ministry to increase capitation from Sh1,470 to Sh8500 per pupil.
“The capitation grant has been pegged at Sh1,470 since President Mwai Kibaki’s reign, much as we know there are economic hardships, but the Competency Based Curriculum demands that we cater for every child. Sh8500 is the minimum amount we are asking for to maintain the children,” he said.
The school heads also decried delays in the funding of free education.
Mr Gathemia said schools sometimes go weeks without chalk and this that forces individuals to make their own purchases.