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Expenditure on education to hit a record Sh 415 billion - Report.

Government's expenditure on education is projected to rise by Sh99.7 billion this financial year, a report has revealed.

The 2018 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics economic survey indicates that the 2017/2018 budget for the sector will rise by 31.6 per cent to Sh415.3 billion from Sh315.6 billion in the previous financial year.

Recurrent expenditure, which includes teachers' and lecturers' salaries, will increase by 30.7 per cent to Sh385.2 billion.

This is seemingly an indication that a pay rise for lecturers and teachers could be in the offing by the end of the year.

According to the report, Teachers Service Commission will take the biggest share of Sh202 billion.

The latest supplementary budget shows that the commission has been allocated Sh16 billion to hire more teachers' and award pay increases.

This will likely help reduce the 155,605 teacher deficit being experienced in the country.

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia told the education committee on education on April 10 that the commission needs to hire 68,000 intern teachers at a cost of Sh16 billion, and will need more funds to hire 12,696 trained teachers.

Read: Which way forward? Plight of varsity students as lecturers' strike bites

She said TSC is overwhelmed because it has only 312,060 teachers and the Sh5 billion governments allocate each year is not enough to hire 291,635 trained teachers.

She said the commission needs to hire 20,000 teachers each year to close the existing deficit in four years' time.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers claimed that teacher shortage has led to a teacher-student ratio that is as high as 1:50.

Expenditure on university education is expected to rise to Sh96 billion followed by basic education which will get Sh85 billion.

The supplementary budget indicates that Sh5.7 billion has been set aside for universities.

This could potentially end the strike which is now in its 58th day.

Currently, lecturers are on strike demanding a pay hike, car loans, mortgages and medical insurance to be factored into a four-year Sh38 billion collective bargaining agreement.

Some Sh30 billion of the total expenditure will go towards infrastructure development in schools.

A huge chunk of the development funds will likely be spent on building new classes in secondary schools to deal with a student influx arising from the roll out of free day secondary education.

Vocational and Technical Training education has been allocated Sh2.5 billion.

The Sh30 billion allocated for development expenditure has also been allocated across all the education sectors.

Vocational and Technical Training education has been given the highest chunk of Sh16.5 billion while Basic Education has been given Sh8 billion.

University Education has been allocated Sh5.4 billion while TSC has been allocated Sh118 million.

The survey shows that enrolment in secondary schools grew by 4.1 per cent to 2.8 million in 2017 while that for primary schools increased from 10.3 million in 2016 to 10.4 million in 2017.

Total enrolment in primary schools increased from 10.3 million in 2016 to 10.4 million in 2017

The report further says, overall, teacher trainees 'enrolment went up marginally from 41,707 in 2016 to 42,131 in 2017 while enrolment in TVET institutions increased by 35.8 per cent to 275,139 in 2017.

However, university student enrolment is expected to decline by 7.7 per cent from 564,507 in 2016/17 to 520,893 in the 2017/18 academic year.

Last year, 519 more public secondary schools were built bringing the number to 9,111 from 8,592 that existed in 2016.

Over the same year, 645 more public primary schools were built bringing the number to 23,584 in 2017.

Public teacher training schools stood at 41 last year, an increase of 15 from the 26 that existed in 2016.

The number of national polytechnics stands at 11, public Technical and Vocational Colleges were 91, while Public Youth Polytechnics stand at 1,186.

Public universities remain 31, 28 are private.

In total, Kenya has 90,587 learning institutions from pre-primary to university level.
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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Apr 27, 2018
Words:783
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