It is reported that at least 13,000 pupils in Nairobi will benefit from free Early Childhood Education (ECD) after payment in all 205 public centres were withdrawn.
Governor Mike Sonko who was launching the free pre-school programme said that every child will be allocated a capitation of Sh3,815.
He said the move was meant to ensure children enjoy access to good elementary education irrespective of where they were born.
‘BIG DAY FOR EDUCATION’
“Today is a big day for education in the county of Nairobi. We come together to celebrate an important milestone when I fulfil one of my key election pledges- to improve the quality of education in the city, and make it accessible for all children,” said Governor Sonko while he was presenting cheques for the 13,848 children.
Some nursery schools charge as much as Sh10,000 per term.
In this case many parents chose to take their children to non-formal schools, some of which lack basic facilities.
The programme is expected to increase enrollment from the current 15,295 children to about 17,000 children by the close of the year.
To cater for this increase, Mr Sonko said his government has finalised plans to employ an extra 520 ECD teachers.
“With free ECD in Nairobi, the capital city is ahead of other counties in looking after the needs of our nursery school children,” he said.
THE OBSTACLE IN EDUCATION
The United Nations Agency for Education (UNESCO) has classified fees and levies as the leading barrier to education access.
Governor Sonko has, however, warned that the provision of the free ECD budget should not be an avenue for people to misuse the funds.
“I want to see strict and transparent steps taken to ensure these funds are used for the intended purpose. Make no mistake. Anyone who misuses money set aside for ECD will be arrested and prosecuted,” he urged.
He said all schools must open bank accounts with appointed centre managers as the signatories.
“Head teachers of the primary schools and a representative of the parents must also be signatories,” said Governor Sonko.