If the government fails to disburse the full capitation money, public schools may face early closures.
The issue arose in the 2021/22 financial year when the government did not provide the complete capitation amount, resulting in schools missing out on approximately Sh5,000.
The situation may repeat in the current academic year (2022/2023), with the government still owing Sh4,300 per student.
This shortfall has raised concerns among education authorities, including the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman, Indimuli Kahi who warned that schools might experience a second consecutive year of reduced funding for free primary education and free day secondary education.
Indimuli emphasized that these funds should have been deposited before the end of the term, as schools are scheduled to close on August 12 for a three-week break ending on August 27.
The timely release of funds is crucial for school principals to effectively plan their activities, including two weeks of teaching, learning, and conducting end-of-term examinations.
Johnson Nzioka, the Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association chairman, expressed that the ongoing underfunding of schools by the government is making it challenging for schools to meet their day-to-day operational needs.
In light of the financial constraints, some Public schools heads are considering early closures as a measure to save on operational costs.
“We did not receive the full capitation amount in the 2021/22 financial year and we are yet to receive the full amount of the current 2022/23 financial year,” Indimuli said.
Indimuli mentioned that the schools received only Sh4,150 per student on June 12, falling short of the required capitation amount.
This situation has created a ripple effect, pushing schools into debt and straining their limited resources in catering to the entire student population’s needs.
Indimuli highlighted the urgency of the situation, with schools heading towards end-of-term exams while facing financial challenges, including the need to pay non-teaching staff.
Contrary to the concerns raised by education authorities, the Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang asserted that all the money had been sent to schools.
Ps Belio made the announcement during the closure of an international curriculum conference at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in Nairobi.
In June, Education CS Ezekiel Mochogu acknowledged the delay in the disbursement of funds, promising to release the capitation funds following pressure from school heads.