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Teachers’ strike looms over school cash delay

Teachers have issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to release free primary education funds or face a nationwide strike.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) chairman Mudzo Nzili on Wednesday said most schools across the country had not received the cash since the start of second term.

“We are giving the government up to June 15 to release the funds which are meant for purchase of learning materials and support of other activities in schools,” Mr Nzili told the Daily Nation.

Kisumu County Director of Education Sylvester Mulambe admitted that most schools had not received the funds but the ministry was addressing the matter.

“The funds have delayed but the Ministry of Education is addressing the issue,” Mr Mulambe said.

Mr Nzili said learning had been paralysed in some schools because of the delay in the disbursement of funds.

Headteachers who spoke to the Daily Nation said they had not received any money from the government since the beginning of second term.

DISBURSING FUNDS

Kisumu’s Rabuor Primary School headteacher Charles Odida said most activities in the institution had stopped because of the funds delay.

“A number of projects have stalled. We have six classrooms which were condemned and are beyond repair. We need money to construct new ones so that all children are able to learn inside the classrooms.

Ms Monica Aluoch, the headteacher of Rae Primary School in Kisumu County, said she had to stop the feeding programme in her school because of the delay in disbursing funds.

“It’s a big crisis. Most of our support staff have not been paid their dues. We are also not able to participate in co-curricular activities, which require travelling and food,” Ms Aluoch said.

Kenya National Association of Parents national Secretary-General Musau Ndunda asked the government to make financing education a priority.

“Most schools have been running without money for over a month and this has affected the key projects in institutions. We call upon the government to take matters education seriously,” Mr Ndunda said.