Nairobi 16th, March 2021.
Nairobi City County Government Deputy Governor and Acting Governor H.E Ann Kananu Mwenda, today launched the Free Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) funds 2020 amounting to 80,233,600 Million Shillings which will benefit over 30,000 pupils enrolled in 232 ECDE centers across the City. Each child will receive 3, 200/- shillings and those with special needs Kshs 3,300/-.
Said H. E the Deputy Governor and Ag. Governor, “Today marks 3 years since Nairobi City County Government took a bold step to abolish all the levies in public pre-schools in Nairobi. During that period, we have witnessed steady growth in enrollment from 13000 to over 25000. The goal is to double the number of children enrolled ECDEs in Nairobi to 50,000 by 2022. My administration will continue investment on ECDEs.”
H.E Ann Kananu mentioned that the County has set aside 116 million for the financial year 2021/2022 for free ECDEs, building of new classrooms and construction of more schools in order to reach out to as many children as possible.
Added H. E, “This launch of Free ECDE Fund Program could not be more timely especially after the unprecedented closure of schools and subsequent re-opening with comprehensive measures to contain the Covi-19 Pandemic. These funds will go a long way in improving the physical facilities of our schools hence ensuring access and quality of education in our public ECDEs.
The constitution 2010 stipulates that basic education (ECDE included) is free and compulsory. The Education Act 2013 mandates respective counties to implement the right of every child to Free and Compulsory Pre School Education. This is a mandate the county government of Nairobi has taken.
The County Government of Nairobi recognizes that a child’s most important steps happen before they set foot in a Primary School. However, I want to reiterate that these funds must be spent prudently to benefit pupils. Therefore, my Government will take stern action on any officer that misappropriates these funds”.
Continued H.E Ann Kananu, “I am also happy to note that the Education sector seeks to change the financing model of constructing ECDE Centres from Central procurement to decentralize at Board of Management level. This will solve the challenge of procurement and fast track improvement of infrastructure.
The Education Department has issued a new Vote Head guidelines to be used by all the pre-Schools. These guidelines put emphasis on renovation of classrooms, toilets, repairs, fencing and general improvement of physical facilities. I urge the Boards of Management to ensure strict adherence to the Vote Head guidelines”.
H.E Deputy Governor and Ag Governor emphasized that the county is in the process of recruiting 520 competent ECDE teachers and later adopt a continual replacement for those who leave the service through natural attrition.
Speaking at the Same event, Dr. Sarah Ruto the Chief Administrative Secretary, State Department of Education lauded Nairobi County Government for the progress it has made saying it as the most robust child care development plans and most compliance in terms of registration of ECDEs centers. Said Dr. Ruto, “Education is a journey which starts at early childhood education. 85% of a child’s growth happen at the age of 5 years. Hence I recognize the Nairobi County Assembly’s efforts for ensuring education sector has a budget for ECDEs”.
Nairobi County Executive Committee Member in charge of Education sector Mrs. Janet Ouko praised the Center Managers for good management of the free ECDE funds. Said Ouko, “I am happy to report that since inception of these funds there has been no single case of embezzlement. The Board of Managements and Centre Managers have done exemplary well. All audit reports are unqualified”.
Hon. Michael Ogada, Leader of the Minority and Member of the Nairobi county Assembly ( MCA)for Embakasi West Ward and Hon. Patrick Karani MCA Utawala commended the Deputy Governor and Ag Governor and her cabinet for cooperation and action oriented leadership. They pledged maximum political support to the county.
Present were representatives from Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA), Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary Nairobi Branch, County Secretary and County Executives.
H.E Ann Kananu thanked education stakeholders for their immense contribution to Education in Nairobi. She called upon Partners to join hands with her Administration with an aim of increasing financing of ECDE.