President Ruto to Abolish HELB and Set Up A New Funding Body
Ruto promised to do away with the High Education Loans Board (HELB) and the Technical and Vocational Education Training centers (TVETs) and come up with national skills and funding council in order to connect the two levels to provide a credit transfer framework and facilitate the development of the education sector.
President William Ruto has revealed that over the last four months of his presidency he has been working on a way to build the framework for a revolution in the education sector.
To pay non-tuition costs, the National Education Fund (NEF) will seek grants, bursaries, and scholarships from private and public donors.
“To bridge the current higher education funding gap of up to 45 percent, the government will establish the National Skill and Funding Council that amalgamates HELB, TVET, and the University Funding Board.
“This immediately doubles the current Higher Education Loans Board funding from Kshs. 11 billion to Kshs. 22 billion and eliminates interest on HELB Loans,” said President Ruto.
The Head of State had revealed during the New Year’s Eve celebrations held at State House in Mombasa that his administration is set to invest more money in the sector in order to revitalize it.
He also said that 30,000 more basic education teachers and a further 3,000 TVET tutors are set to be recruited this year to enable a smooth transition into the pioneer junior secondary school class.
“We are intending to use our education system to develop world-class human capital. This is why in January, we set out to hire more teachers to ensure that our primary to junior secondary transition is flawless,” said President Ruto.
The Head of State also stated that the government will recruit part of the projected 58,000 teachers per year for Kshs. 25 Billion over the next two years. This is expected to solve the sector’s existing shortage of 116,000.
“We promise to ensure government-initiated in-service training, including teacher continuing professional development,” he added.
President Ruto also said that his administration is intending to spend Kshs. 15 billion to equip 70 TVET colleges to help to train learners and prepare them for the labor market.
President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance also promised through its Education Charter to finish the development of vocational training centers in every ward in order to ensure that every constituency has its own Technical and Vocational Educational Training Institution (TVET).
“Within the first two years, we will establish and fully equip a TVET institution in each of the remaining 52 constituencies.
“We will also hire tutors to look after our TVET institutions, because TVET has the best human capital that is tailored towards Science, Technical, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and areas that will lead us to engineer, because that is the future we seek,” read part of the Charter.
On the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms, Ruto said that they will inform the government on how to streamline human capital and sharpen and solve challenges in the education sector.
“We know many universities are facing numerous challenges and signification debts as a result of the program’s length. We will focus on ensuring our universities receive adequate attention to providing quality education” he said.
The Head of State also proposed the establishment of a public university and increasing the number of technical universities from three to eight across the eight regions.
This means that Universities will be forced to focus on their comparative advantage in education.
“For example, the universities in Mombasa should have courses that focus on the blue economy while those in Turkana will focus on mining,” he added.