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Education Ministry absolves itself from funds delay

29 May 2012, 16:06 Oduor Omondi

The Ministry of Education has distanced itself from the delay cause in the disbursement of free education funds to both primary and secondary schools across the country. The Ministry is instead putting the blame squarely on the Ministry of Finance.

Education Assistant Ministers, Ayiecho Olweny and Calistus Mwatela have castigated the Treasury for failing to remit the funds to the ministry’s account.

Speaking at different functions within Kisumu County, Olweny and Mwatela absolved the ministry from any blame saying that it is the duty of the Finance Ministry to disburse the funds while the Ministry of Education is only meant to wire the money directly to the schools.

Speaking during the opening of the Annual Central Province Secondary Schools Heads Association at the Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu, Mwatela said, “the Ministry of Education always distributes the funds immediately after disbursement, but we can’t do that if the money has not been disbursed by the ministry of finance”.

He added that his ministry is proposing different channels to see the fund disbursed into school accounts before the commencement of another term in order to provide for adequate budgeting period for schools.

However, the school heads demanded for the settlement of outstanding disbursements before the ministry can talk of plans to disburse the funds in time.

Mwatela also divulged that the Education Ministry will soon present to the cabinet a paper dealing with concerns of retired teachers, adding that if passed, the new bill will draw a clear line on how retired teachers will be issued with cheques immediately after surrendering their chalks.

Mwatela’s sentiments were echoed by his counterpart, Olweny who acknowledged the various headways in the Kenyan educational sector in terms of information technology, e-learning and steps made by the free primary and secondary program.

Speaking in his Muhoroni constituency when he commissioned the construction of a CDF office worth KES. 6 million, Olweny appealed to school heads to be patient, noting that this is not the first time funds are delaying for disbursement.

Olweny is optimistic that the delay will not result into any school being closed down.

The delay in disbursing the funds, which are meant for second term, has sparked hue and cry from school heads with fears that some schools might be forced to send students home.

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