Schools which had exaggerated the numbers of learners are facing a financial crunch as the education ministry moved to recover over payments in its 2017/2018 and January 2019 disbursements. It is emerging that some schools have so far received zero funds from the Ministry as others got as low as Kshs 2,000.
In a move that will ensure government funds are prudently utilized, those schools who had exaggerated enrollments in the 2017/2018 financial year and ended up receiving more funds have been made to repay the excess funds. Also facing disbursement cuts are schools which declared a higher learner population and thus received more capitation during the tranche one disbursement; in January 2019. The government has already released Sh14.5 billion to all public primary and secondary schools meant for second term, 2019. Of this Sh10.8 billion is for secondary schools while Sh3.65 billion went to primary schools. According to reports from the Ministry, each learner received 15 percent of the the total capitation for the whole year. The government pays Sh22, 244 for learners in Secondary school and Sh1, 420 for those in primary schools. Reports indicate that there have been massive disparities in the disbursement of Free Day Secondary Education, FDSE, and Free Primary Education , FPE, funds this term. Some schools received full capitation, others received partial funds; in some accounts while some missed out completely.
“We find ourselves in a precarious situation. Our school has received a disbursement of Sh7, 000 only from the Ministry this term. What do we tell our suppliers? How do we run the school now?” posed a Principal who requested for anonymity. The principal notes that she is newly transferred to the institution and that she is now being made to pay for mistakes committed by her predecessor. “I reported to this school last term. The move by the Ministry to slash capitation to the school is ill advised as I will be made to repay money that I did not receive. Our suppliers are on my neck. They want their money and are not ready to listen to excuses. This is a busy term in terms of Curricular and Co-curricular activities. Where do we get the funds? Besides, we have Subordinate staff to pay!,” added the Principal.
It is emerging that the Ministry’s head office at ‘Jogoo’ in Nairobi is yet to give any explanations as to why some disbursements have been withheld.
The Ministry disburses Free Education funds via the National Education Management Information System, Nemis. Effectively, any disbursements made depend on the number of learners in Nemis; unlike in the past where some school heads could freely exaggerate numbers to get more capitation. A source at the Ministry, familiar with Nemis operations, has said some schools missed capitation due to issues related to incomplete information uploaded onto the system. In some instances, gaps such as failure in uploading of Free Education School receipts and having learners with incomplete information on Nemis must have informed the decision by the Ministry to withhold the funds.
Apart from the learners, the System is also used to capture data for staff (both teaching and non teaching) and other details about each school.