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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 4 May 2015

Public universities to get more money

The government has increased its allocation to public universities in a move aimed at matching it with student population.
In the budget estimates tabled before Parliament on Thursday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich allocated Sh52.9 billion to universities, compared to Sh34 billion given last year.
The Higher Education Loans Board will get Sh7.5 billion.
According to the Kenya Economic Survey report released on Wednesday last week, university enrolment rose by 22.8 per cent; from 361,379 in 2013 to 443,783 in 2014.
Two weeks ago, the government said it would establish a universities funding board that will be tasked with developing transparent and fair criteria for allocation of money to the institutions.
Subsidised day secondary schooling will get Sh32.7 billion while Sh14.1 billion will go to free primary education.
In the last financial year, schools were given Sh40 billion, in which Sh28 billion went to subsidised secondary education.
The Teachers Service Commission will receive Sh2.3 billion for recruiting 5,000 tutors while Sh2.2 billion will be used for promoting teachers. The education sector faces a shortage of about 80,000 teachers.
UPGRADING INFRASTRUCTURE
The 105 national schools will get Sh60 million for upgrading infrastructure. TSC will get an additional Sh10 billion for hardship and house allowances.
Technical training institutes will receive Sh3 billion, while Sh400 million will be used to buy sanitary towels for schoolgirls. Sh1 billion will go into school feeding programmes.
The government has once again allocated Sh17.58 billion for laptops to schools, development of digital content, training of teachers and rolling out computer labs from Standard Four to Eight. A similar amount was allocated for the project last year.
In September, the High court nullified the Sh24.6 billion tender awarded to Olive Telecommunications PVT Ltd on the grounds that the company did not meet the financial requirements spelt out in the tender document and was not an original equipment manufacturer.
The tender for the supply of the laptops, projectors and printers had been awarded on February 6.
According to the government, more than Sh1.2 billion has been transferred to 21,458 schools for the construction of ICT hardware storage rooms.
More than 2,500 teachers have also undergone ICT training and 18,424 schools connected to the national power grid. The government says the remaining 3,076 schools would be connected soon.
Meanwhile, the Education sector recorded a big growth last year.
The survey says the number of students joining colleges and universities increased significantly.
Teacher to pupil ratio in primary schools was at 1:43 in 2014 compared to 1:41 in 2013, while the number of public primary school teachers increased from 199,686 to 200,697.