Ksh.7B for private schools as uncertainty persists over reopening


Ksh.7B for private schools as uncertainty persists over reopening
Education CS George Magoha in Kisumu on August 9, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The last four months have been challenging for private schools as they have been starved of their main source of income: school fees.
  • Jobless teachers have even taken up odd jobs, farming and businesses to make ends meet.
  • At Mwea Brethren School for example, the proprietor Joseph Maina has been forced to explore other income-generating activities after trying in vain to pay his teachers.

3000 private schools are set to benefit from a Ksh.7billion concessional loan from the government to support infrastructural development in readiness for schools reopening in January.

Also Read: Private schools in Kirinyaga turn to chicken farming to stay afloat

The loan is to be availed at an interest rate of between 2.5 and 3.5% will support areas like installation of ICT systems to ensure learning continues during the phased reopening of schools.

“We understand the situation that they are in and that’s why the government has provided a Ksh7 billion shillings in concessional loan for private schools,” Education CS George Magoha said.

The loan will be availed at an interest rate of between 2.5 and 3.5% and will be dependent on the absorption rate of an institution.

To ensure social distancing during learning, schools will be expected to construct extra classrooms with the availed funds.

Schools that will get the money will also be expected procure sanitary and hand-washing stations to ensure the highest levels of hygiene.

With schools expected to reopen in January, the government funds are also expected to cater for ICT infrastructure in readiness for a phased reopening.

The last four months have been challenging for private schools as they have been starved of their main source of income: school fees.

Jobless teachers have even taken up odd jobs, farming and businesses to make ends meet.

At Mwea Brethren School for example, the proprietor Joseph Maina has been forced to explore other income-generating activities after trying in vain to pay his teachers.

“We are rearing chicken in our classrooms so that i can earn something for my family upkeep,” he told Citizen TV.

The funds from the Government are to be availed to such institutions following a request by private schools for provision of a credit facility to help them during this period.

On schools reopening dates, CS Magoha stated that plans for January are not permanent but dependent on flattening the infections curve.

“With guidance from the ministry of health if we see that the numbers have gone down then we can allow schools to open even sooner than the set date,” he said.

He added that public schools have the capacity to take learners from private schools.

“Who said that pupils must go to private schools, we have space in public schools and we can take all the students like yesterday. It is optional for parents to take their children to private schools,” the CS added.

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Story By Faizal Ahmed
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