The Star (Kenya)

MPS de­mand au­dit of Sh31bn ed­u­ca­tion cash

CS re­jects calls to build class­rooms with last fi­nan­cial year’s funds

- MOSES ODHIAMBO @ali­wamoses Business · Metropolitan Police Service · National Assembly of South Korea

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.

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