Government urged to deliver JSS books as President Ruto dismisses reports of HELB being broke
The government has been urged to deliver JSS books as President Ruto dismisses reports of HELB being broke.
The government has been implored to urgently deliver all textbooks that will are required in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) to ensure smooth running in those institutions.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Executive Secretary for Tharaka Nithi branch Mr Njeru Mutani regretted that only three test books including English, Life Skills and Integrated Science out of the mandatory 14 have been delivered to schools so far.
According to him, 11 test books have not been delivered and challenged the suppliers to hasten their efforts and ensure that they deliver the books as soon as possible.
Mutani was speaking to teachers in Marima market in Igambang’ombe Constituency when said that failure to deliver the books on time has affected learning in schools.
“The most challenging and biting issue we have right now is the lack of enough test books in JSS. There are only three test books in JSS which have so far reached the JSS including English, Life Skills and Integrated Science. We have 14 learning areas. They have only delivered three meaning eleven (11) test books are not yet delivered. This is the time the children need the books most to enable them to study. The book suppliers should up their game to ensure they reach in time,” said Mutani.
Mutani warned the suppliers not to deliver the books to the Sub-County headquarters because of the cost implications of picking a few books from the sub-county headquarters.
He said that headteachers are not yet ready to waste money and time travelling to and from sub-county headquarters just to pick one or two textbooks.
“They should bring all the test books together instead of delivering them in portions. The teachers are anxiously waiting for the books to teach while the students want to learn. The suppliers are sleeping on their job. This is because the learning process is being derailed by lack of books,” said Mutani.
The KNUT representative said that they do not want the JSS to fail because of the amount of work that the government had invested in ensuring its success.
He lauded parents and teachers for ensuring a 99% transition rate to JSS from the upper primary school level.
He also lauded the government for managing to post a teacher in every JSS but challenged them to employ even more teachers.
On capitation fees, he urged the government to immediately release capitation fees for the JSS in order to give an easy time to headteachers.
President Ruto Addresses Claims of HELB Being Broke
President William Ruto has assured students and parents alike that the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) is not broke.
The Head of State visited Kisii National Polytechnic when he said that HELB had been given enough funds over the past two weeks to execute its mandate.
His sentiments come a few days after HELB Chief Executive Officer Charles Ringera informed the Parliamentary Committee that around 14,000 public universities and TVET students had missed out on government loans in the current financial year.
Ringera had told the National Assembly Public Investments Committee on Education and Governance (PICEG) that the loans board had exhausted its cash reserves and that learners have to wait for the treasury to release Kes. 5.7 billion.
“Currently, we have 140,000 students in TVETs and universities that we have not been able to fund to the tune of Kes. 5.7 billion because we have run out of the budget that we had presented to the Treasury of Kes. 4.5 billion,” said Ringera to the PICEG.
Ringera also revealed that the government had not released funds that HELB had requested to cover the shortage of funds.
HELB received Kes. 14.8 billion in the current financial year for public university student’s tuition fees and upkeep.
Usually, students are allocated between Kes. 35,000 and Kes. 60,000 per year. Out of the total amount, Kes. 8,000 is automatically sent to the student’s institution as tuition fees and then the balance is sent to the student’s bank account in two equal tranches to cover the first and send semesters.