One of the major achievement of the government of former President Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki was the introduction of free primary education program commonly known as FPE.
Mwai Kibaki announced free education from standard one to standard eight in all public primary school on the first day of his swearing in the year 2002.
People sang and danced the whole night that day. People saw salvation. They believed that their kids will now be in school without having the trouble of worrying about school fees. Children from all walks of life enrolled in schools and population in our public primary schools was beyond measure.
The government played its part well. The government has been releasing billions of shillings to public primary schools in an effort to sustain the FPE program. The report that was released by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, however, gives a rather pathetic and sad story.
In the report which was handed over to the Cabinet Secretary of Education Dr. Fred Matiangí, some heads of public primary schools are using funds meant for Free primary Education program to fund their travels abroad.
Some heads are also using the funds to loan themselves soft loans and themselves as witnesses and lenders and they never pay back.
Some heads too were withdrawing large amounts of money and storing them in their lockers with no security guaranteed as most schools had no security.
The government spends more than 100 billion shillings annually on free primary education and the report that the heads are misusing the money is devastating with more than seven billions being dedicated to books but most schools had no books.
The government is currently funding part of the public secondary education fees. The government has been encouraged to put up mechanisms to check the spending in public schools in the country.
Article by Juma Fred.