I was watching news the other day when the British High Commissioner Rob Macaire called on the government to move with speed and bring all those involved in the disappearance of Free Primary Education funds to book.And got myself thinking of how money from donors or even our own government allocations disappear just like that without any accountability. Look for example the Kazi Kwa Vijana project,how many of our young guys have we heard complaining of not having been paid after doing some jobs and the money for their payments was already allocated.
Parents and teachers are worried that more donors will suspend support for free primary education (FPE) over misappropriation of funds. This follows the United States Government’s suspension of a Sh525 million grant to the Ministry of Education. The US cited scandals in the ministry and the government’s laxity to address them as the reason for freezing the grant.
Britain was first to hold back funds after it emerged that more that Sh100 million of free learning money was either stolen or could not be accounted for. But Education permanent secretary Karega Mutahi downplayed the US move, saying it would not affect FPE.
US under-secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero on Thursday said the funds were meant for the training of Education ministry teaching staff. She said the funds were not intended to provide resources for schools. “Training for the Ministry of Education staff will be halted until the money is traced,” she said at Kenya Polytechnic University College after addressing the youth on technology.
Ms Otero called on the youth to take part in politics as they were agents of change. “The youth should participate in politics and come up with ways of making the country better.” She commended the youth for their innovations and noted in particular an invention with which one can keep track of a vehicle using a mobile phone, adding that such innovations should be patented.
Prof Mutahi told journalists that the money was to be released next year and its impact may not affect learning, particularly the FPE. The British Government is said to have donated Sh7 billion since the start of FPE.
The funds had contributed towards increased enrolment in primary schools countrywide. British High Commissioner Rob Macaire called on the government to move with speed and bring all those involved in the disappearance of funds to book.