Finance Bill: MoE to enforce budget cuts, Machogu tells school heads

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu during the 47th KESSHA Conference Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa today. Photo by Hilton Mwabili

The future of 46,000 intern junior school teachers, poised for permanent and pensionable terms, now teeters on the brink following the Finance Bill’s rejection, announced Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu today.

In a press briefing after the closing ceremony of the 47th Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association Annual National Conference in Mombasa, Machogu revealed that the government must reconsider its strategy.

“We need to re-evaluate our priorities and identify any expendable items in the budget. The President has outlined certain aspects for this year’s budget, but given our current situation, we must revisit our plans. While I can’t provide a definitive answer now, the 46,000 JSS teachers remain a government priority,” Machogu stated.

The 2024–25 budget had earmarked KSh13.4 billion to promote these teachers to permanent and pensionable status. Machogu highlighted that after extensive consultations by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform, the 2-6-3-3-3 structure was endorsed. This framework includes two years of pre-primary, six years of primary, three years of junior secondary, three years of senior secondary, and a minimum of three years at university.

“This structure is grounded in the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2019 and the Basic Education Curriculum Framework of 2017, both ratified by Parliament. Junior schools will remain within primary schools, leveraging on existing facilities and reducing costs, supported by 93 per cent of stakeholders,” Machogu noted.

To accommodate Grade 9 next year, the government has allocated KSh3.5 billion for 1,000 new classrooms in primary schools and an additional KSh3.9 billion through the National Government–Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) for further classroom construction.


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At the senior school level, Kenya will introduce three pathways under the Competency-Based Curriculum: STEM, Social Sciences, and Arts and Sports Science. Machogu revealed plans for categorizing schools and guiding students into these pathways based on performance and interests.

“While some schools will offer all three pathways, others will provide at least two, depending on their capacity. We are also developing a framework for resource sharing between schools and higher institutions to optimize facilities and expertise,” he added.

Emphasizing the importance of digital content and technology, including AI, Machogu urged school heads to prepare for the integration of AI in education. “AI offers the potential to make education more inclusive, streamline data management, and enhance administrative processes. It is crucial to prepare learners for an AI-driven world and incorporate AI in educational delivery,” he stressed.

However, he assured that teachers will remain central to the teaching process, with AI serving as a complementary tool rather than a replacement.

Despite concerns over delayed capitation, Machogu reassured the government’s commitment, citing a KSh656 billion allocation to the education sector for 2024/2025, nearly 30 per cent of the national budget.

Recent disbursements included KSh2.7 billion to primary schools, KSh14 billion to junior schools, and KSh18.8 billion to secondary schools.

Addressing delays in fund disbursement, Machogu attributed them to late releases from the National Treasury but affirmed continuous efforts to ensure timely availability of funds.

He also warned school heads against illegal levies and emphasized adherence to Ministry of Education policies.

“We have set maximum allowable fees and prohibited illegal levies. Schools must not withhold Kenya National Examination Council Certificates for any reason, including unpaid fees. These guidelines must be strictly enforced,” he reckoned.

By Hilton Mwabili

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