By Kevin Odera
Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu has recanted his earlier remarks on the issue of the state funding public universities and has now said that public varsities shall continue receiving capitation funds.
Speaking at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) during the ground breaking ceremony for the institute’s Industrial Mechatronics workshop today, the CS stated that despite the fact the government is working on budget cuts for other ministries, it won’t interfere with money allocated to the Ministry of Education.
“Nobody is interfering with the money. All the funds for Education are ring-fenced. Nobody ever said that university funding will be done away with. The Government is supporting universities and will continue to support them through capitation. Government will never stop funding universities,” said Machogu.
However, while speaking at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology on Saturday, Machogu is reported to have said that the government would stop funding public universities.
His statement caused tension among education sector stakeholders with some calling on him to withdraw the statement.
“The Government has allocated capitation of Ksh. 50 billion for University Education and Ksh 15.8 billion to the Higher Education Loans Board. I also want to assure the public that the government will continue to support university education through regular exchequer support as well as building their capacity to raise more resources through other revenue streams,” said the CS.
The mechatronics workshop is part of a programme by the government that encompasses 7 institutions in Kenya and is dubbed the ‘promotion of youth employment and vocational training in Kenya program’.
It seeks to establish centers of excellence in and outside Nairobi Region and is expected to contribute towards improved access and equity to quality, relevant education and training.
In attendance were; Ambassador Sebastian Groth of the Federal Republic of Germany, Principal Secretary for TVET, Mr. Benjamin Graedler, Senior Portfolio Manager of KfW Bank – Germany, Mr. Horst Bauernfeind, Project Manager, Promotion of Youth Employment and Vocational Training in Kenya project among other dignitaries.