The Star (Kenya)
MPS demand audit of Sh31bn education cash
CS rejects calls to build classrooms with last financial year’s funds
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has rejected calls by MPS that the ministry uses unspent capitation on construction of classrooms.
Lawmakers have at the same time demanded an audit of Sh31 billion the ministry says it disbursed to schools in term one of 2020.
Magoha, in a statement to the National Assembly on Thursday, revealed that the ministry is yet to spend Sh983 million which were allocated for co-curricular activities.
MPS want the money used to expand infrastructure of public learning institutions to accommodate learners in line with measures to contain spread of Covid-19.
But the CS, in a statement read by Education committee chairperson Florence Mutua (Busia Woman Representative), said it was not possible to spend the money as sought.
He said the funds which were budgeted in the last financial year were almost exhausted and the ministry only retained the co-curricular activities cash.
The CS said the underutilised funds lapsed with the end of the last financial year and that the ministry is now implementing the 2020-21 budget.
“Last year’s funds cannot be used for infrastructure development. The current financial years’ capitation funds are being used by schools to settle water, electricity, medical insurance and personnel emoluments,” Magoha’s statement reads.
The CS said the funds for this financial year that are yet to be disbursed will be released when schools reopen as this falls in the current year.
MPS, however, want the ministry subjected to audit, citing grounds school activities were cut short due to the virus.
Apart from the Sh31 billion, the ministry disbursed Sh672 million; Sh300 million for CBC training, and
Sh767 million for co-curricular activities. In second term of last year, the ministry disbursed Sh12 billion, part of which was deficit for 2018-19 whereas Sh20 billion was released in the third term.
The ministry had a budget of Sh59 billion — of which the contentious Sh983 million is part — to cater to free secondary education in 2019-20.
Magoha said the funds were meant to cater for co-curricular activities which were suspended in March due to the pandemic.
He further revealed that ministry used Sh606 million to procure 2,808,096 textbooks for secondary schools.
But Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe expressed dissatisfaction with the response saying the statement “lacked mathematical realities”. “We are aware that so much has not been paid in terms of home teachers, KPLC bills, administrative and security costs,” he said.
“Let him come and explain how the money is going to be used or the amounts be disbursed to constituencies to build classrooms.”
Endebess’ Robert Pukose asked the ministry not to purchase books for the coming year but use the money on infrastructural development.