The Ministry of Education is this week expected to push for acquisition of title deeds by thousands of public schools following years of inaction among relevant government institutions.
Two different audits have revealed that more than half of schools do not have titles for the land upon which they stand.
Emboldened by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order last week that the Education CS Amina Mohamed addresses the mess involving title deeds for Catholic-sponsored schools, Ms Mohammed is expected to step up a process she started last month.
The Nation has learnt that the President's order, issued when he addressed a conference for teachers of Catholic-sponsored school principals in Nairobi, coincided with the release of the two reports that have exposed the full extent of the titles crisis affecting public-owned institutions.
The report, titled Status of School Land for Primary and Secondary Schools in Nairobi County, terms the land titling issue in the city a big challenge.
The report recommends a multi-sectoral intervention involving Nairobi County government, National Land Commission and the Land ministry to fast-track the process.
“All cases on encroachment should be addressed and concluded and title deeds issued,” the report recommends.
Nairobi County has 2,005 public primary schools while secondary schools add up to 95.
Of the 95 secondary schools, only 44 have title deeds or have reported their title deeds being in the custody of their sponsors.
Among those listed as having no titles include the controversial Ruaraka High school, which has 660 students, Precious Blood, Nembu Girls, Dagoretti High, Kabete Vet Lab, St Ann’s Girls, and High Ridge Secondary.
The crisis is worse at the primary level where nearly all schools do not own title deeds.
Some of the schools that don't have titles are the populous Ayany Primary in Kibera and Bahati and Buru Buru primary schools in Eastlands.
Well-performing Busara primary in Umoja II and Baba Dogo in Ruaraka are some of the schools that are yet to receive title deeds.
Some of the secondary schools that have title deeds are Lenana, Nairobi School, Jamhuri, Pangani, Buruburu Girls, Kenya High, Starehe, Ngara, and State House Girls. Others are Highway, Huruma and Hospital Hill.
The report says Catholic-sponsored institutions do not either have titles or have titles not in the name of the sponsor while some have double titles.
Based on the findings, the President issued a directive for the issuing of title deeds to all education institutions built and managed by faith-based organisations, including the Catholic Church.
“I have prioritised the titling of primary and secondary schools built by the church and other faith-based institutions,” said the President.
Rev Paul Kariuki Njiru, the chairman of the Commission for Education and Religious Education in the Catholic Church, thanked the government for the ongoing reforms in the sector and assured the President that churches will continue to partner with the government in the provision of quality education in the country.
Issuance of title deeds to schools is meant to protect them from land grabbers and encroachers, he said.
In some cases, schools belonging to the Catholic Church have been registered as under the sponsorship of other sponsors. Ms Mohamed said she was determined to put in place measures to ensure every school has a title deed.