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Parliament sounds alarm on alleged graft in JSS capitation funds

The Budget Appropriation Committee in Parliament has highlighted concerns over significant corruption in the distribution of capitation funds to Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) nationwide.

During a public hearing session on the proposed financial budget for 2024-25 in Gilgil town, members of the committee discovered that numerous fake schools had wrongfully received funds intended for legitimate institutions, leaving registered schools at a disadvantage.

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This revelation coincides with an ongoing industrial strike by JSS teachers, who demand improved remuneration, leading to the disruption of learning in these institutions.

Gilgil MP Martha Wangari condemned the diversion of funds to “briefcase” schools, which has paralyzed education in affected institutions.

She urged the Minister of Education to take decisive action to address the situation, emphasizing that many schools are struggling to pay staff and provide essential learning materials and meals due to the impasse.

Expressing deep concern over the fraudulent allocation of capitation funds, Wangari called upon the government to swiftly hold accountable all those involved in the malpractice.

Wangari also highlighted the detrimental impact of insufficient state funding on public schools, resulting in overcrowded classrooms with inadequate infrastructure.

She advocated for increased budgetary allocation to address these pressing challenges in the education sector.

Additionally, Wangari lamented the poor state of infrastructure in the constituency caused by heavy rains, which have damaged major roads and bridges.

She urged the government to allocate emergency funds for repairs, particularly for flooded schools and those washed away by the floods.

Nyeri Women Rep Rahab Mukami announced plans by the committee to prioritize emergency funding for rain-damaged infrastructure in a supplementary budget starting next week.

She assured that flooded schools, damaged roads, and assistance for the elderly would receive immediate attention.

Baringo counterpart Florence Jematiah echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the urgent need to address education and infrastructure challenges in various counties affected by the floods. She pledged additional funds for projects, including an extra Ksh 100 million for Nakuru County.

Joshua Mutahi, Chairman of the Kenya Primary School Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) in Gilgil, acknowledged the need for infrastructure rehabilitation in public schools, underscoring the importance of urgent action to address the deficiencies.

Antony Gitonga
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