Hon. Members, we will start with the Question by Private Notice.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Immigration and Registration of Persons the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that a prominent muslim scholar, Mr. Mohamed Sheik Osman Egal, holder of British Passport No.093219381 and resident in Kenya since July, 1996, was deported to the United Kingdom on 9th July, 2007, aboard a British Airways flight to London? (b) Could the Minister explain the circumstances that led to the deportation of the scholar?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that Mohamed Sheikh Osman Egal was deported on 9th July, 2007, to the United Kingdom aboard BA 064 to London. (b) Mohamed Sheikh Osman was deported from the country because his activities were a threat to the country's national security interest. On 22nd May, 2007, he was declared a prohibited immigrant in line with Sections 3(g) and 8 of the Immigration Act, following reports from various authorities which linked him to activities that are contrary to the national interest.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, deportation is now becoming the norm. So many Somalis, Muslims in particular, are being deported without due regard to the process of law. Could the Assistant Minister table the relevant deportation order which was issued by the Minister in accordance with the law? I have a letter written by an immigration officer attached to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, that was used to deport Sheikh Mohamed out of the country. 2516 This is an unfortunate incident. Could the Assistant Minister table the order that was issued by the Minister, which states the grounds why he was deported?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, unfortunately, I did not carry with me the deportation order, which is in our files. The Question was very specific. I am answering the Question the hon. Member had asked. However, if I am given time, by Thursday, I will table that order. It is in the office.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have heard the explanation from the Assistant Minister. This is a British citizen. Could the Assistant Minister tell us whether he has jurisdiction to represent British citizens on the soil of Kenya?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did not quite understand the question. However, as a country, it is within our jurisdiction to deport foreigners, if there are any adverse reports about them while they are in our country. We are entitled by law to deport such a person.
Capt. Nakitare, what do you mean?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with due respect, this is a British citizen holding a British passport. I wanted to know from the Assistant Minister whether he was a representative of the British Government that invoked the deportation of this foreigner. Could the Assistant Minister justify to the House why this man was deported? He was a religious leader.
I want to admit that even the Chair is lost. Mr. Assistant Minister, do you get the question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said, inter alia, that we acted within our jurisdiction. If a person holds a passport from a different nation, we normally deport them back to where they came from.
Bw. Naibu Spika, kumekuwa na shinikizo kutoka kwa mabeberu wa Marekani na Uingereza kuilazimisha nchi hii kuwa na sheria ya kibeberu ya ugaidi. Bunge hili limekataa jambo hilo. Jambo hili liko dhidi ya Waislamu. Je, hii ni njama ya kujaribu kuitekeleza hiyo sheria, ambayo haijapitishwa hapa, kwa mlango wa nyuma? Sheikh Mohamed amefanya kosa gani ambalo linasababisha arudishwe Uingereza?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are very clear. As a Government, we observe the law. We deport particular individuals on specific occasions. For instance, when we have adverse information against them through our intelligence machinery.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, the Assistant Minister has not given us the deportation order, which would show that, that deportation was illegal. Nonetheless, he has clarified the national interest issue. It is in the public domain that one of the reasons why Sheikh Mohamed was deported was that he consolidated muslims support against the Draft Constitution and that the Government is scared that he is going to do the same in the coming general election. Could the Assistant Minister assure the House that they will allow the Sheikh to come back to Kenya after the general election because their fear is only confined to this year?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would not like to be political. The answer that I have given is quite reasonable. However, if I could give the minute details, this Sheikh was given a Class "E" permit, which specifically allowed him to do his religious activities. However, he went beyond and formed a company called Dasani Express, which was operating a Dasani Forex Bureau. This was against the law.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is misleading the House. The forex bureau was an excuse used to charge this Sheikh in court immediately after the referendum. July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2517 The court, throughout the entire charge, was unable to prove anything against the Sheikh on that matter. Subsequently, he was given an extended three months visa and until his deportation, he had a valid visa. The fact is that the Sheikh is married to a Kenyan. He has 11 children. He has lived in this country for 11 years. He has applied for Kenyan citizenship and this application is pending. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, given the fact that Sheikh Mohamed has applied for Kenyan citizenship after having lived in Kenya for 11 years, could the Assistant Minister consider reviewing the application of this Sheikh, who has done nothing illegal, other than being involved in campaigns in this country? Could he also table the deportation order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, people of different nationalities have applied for Kenyan citizenship. Once the procedures are followed and we are satisfied that they deserve to be issued with citizenship, we will proceed and issue them with citizenship. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if Sheikh Mohamed has applied for citizenship and the same has not been approved, then there could be some information that is lacking. That could be the reason why the file is pending. These are some of the reasons that led to the deportation. We are not denying that he has stayed here for 11 years. If we had any negative attitude towards him all along, then we would have deported him from the beginning.
There was no referendum then!
asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works when he will seal potholes that have emerged on Wote-Katumani Road.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The Ministry has set aside Kshs2 million for patching of the potholes on Wote-Katumani Road, Road C99. The works will start immediately Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) for the Financial Year 2007/2008 has been issued. The authority is likely to be issued before 30th July, 2007.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Minister for that answer. He has said that he has set aside Kshs2 million to patch the potholes, although according to my estimate, Kshs2 million will not be enough. The road is wearing out because of lack of drainage. Water is forming very big gullies on the side of the road. Could the Minister look into that and correct the situation? People's farms have been turned into gullies.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will be very willing to look at the area of drainage. This is not the issue which was raised but quite clearly, the Question is relevant. I will get my officers to go and inspect the road to find out whether lack of drainage is contributing to the creation of potholes. If that is the case, we will definitely take measures to repair the drainage.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just want to understand this Question. It says: "When will the Ministry seal potholes that have emerged on Wote-Katumani Road?" Have they just emerged or have they developed?
That is a matter of language.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, potholes occur in very many forms. They can 2518 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 occur as a result of what the hon. Member mentioned. If there is no drainage and waterlogging remains in the middle of the road, that seeps inside and when vehicles pass over, potholes are created. That is one way it happens. The other depends on the life of the road; that is when it was done. The wearing out of a road starts with potholes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this phenomenon of potholes developing on our roads is not restricted to the Wote-Katumani Road. All our roads in the country, including the Nairobi-Mombasa Road, Nairobi-Nakuru-Kisumu Road and so on are replete with potholes. What urgent measures is the Minister taking to bring the situation under control? Could the Minister assure this House that he has a master plan to rehabilitate all our roads?
If the hon. Member went through the Sessional Paper which was tabled in this House and debated, he will see what we intend to do about most of our roads which are in poor condition. I would not say that all our roads are in poor condition. Roughly, 46 percent of our roads are in poor condition. We are doing what we can depending on the availability of funds, contractors, consultants and enough engineers. All this must go together in order for things to move faster. At the moment if you are asking me how long it will take, I can tell you that even if I had sufficient amount of money to do the roads in this country, with enough personnel and contractors, we will not have smooth roads for the next five years.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister is appreciating that most of our roads are dilapidated and that the only principal cause is the poor drainage pattern. What long-term and short-term measures does the Minister have to make our roads more durable than they are now?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not see very much difference between this question and the earlier one about the long-term measures that I have responded to. If we are talking about preventing damage to our roads, there are many actions that we need to take. First, we have to review our system of specifications of our roads. We have to ensure that there is some kind of discipline on road usage. You can finish a road today but if you have no control over the axle load, the new road will be damaged tomorrow again. There are so many actions that need to be taken in order to protect our roads. That must go with the specifications. If we follow the specifications, the only roads which can last longer are concrete roads.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Minister and I appreciate the answer.
asked the Minister for Health:- (a) wether she is aware that Kanja Health Centre has no ambulance; and, (b) when she will provide an ambulance to the health centre.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that Kanja Health Centre has no ambulance. (b) My Ministry provides ambulances to hospitals and health institutions which have in- patient services; that is, maternity and general in-patient. Kanja Health Centre operates out-patient service and does not have in-patient service which require the services of an ambulance. However, in case of an emergency, the officer in charge of the health centre has communication facilities to call an ambulance from Embu Provincial General Hospital which is 10 kilometres away. This system has been working without any problem. Kanja Health Centre will be considered for issuance of an ambulance among other health July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2519 centres when adequate funds for that purpose are availed and when the infrastructure for in-patient has been established.
I am a bit disappointed with the answer but I do not blame the Assistant Minister. It must be civil servants who are misleading him because Kanja Health Centre is more than 30 kilometres from Embu Provincial General Hospital. So, it is far away. Secondly, the system has not worked well because we have had emergencies and lost two lives because of the distance and lack of ambulance. With that information, could the Assistant Minister reconsider that answer, whereby he says the system has been working because it has not been working?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the biggest consideration that I put forward was that Kanja Health Centre does not have in-patient services. I would like the hon. Member who is my friend to tell me whether they have in-patient services or not.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, general issues in the health facilities are affecting the whole country. There are now many health centres which have been put up by CDF committees. Could the Assistant Minister state the Government policy on equipping health centres not only with ambulances, but even with the basic equipment like maternity equipment, laboratory equipment and other equipment that is required. What is the Government policy in equipping this newly built health facilities?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I have said this many times in this House. Once we have a health centre, it must be gazetted. Even if a health centre is not gazetted but we are assured that it has health workers, we are ready to equip it in terms of equipment, drugs and other supplies. We are doing that in virtually all the health centres and dispensaries in the country.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the local community of Kanja initiated a maternity ward and the Runyenjes CDF has already put enough money. We are completing the maternity ward this month. The European Union are equipping the maternity ward. Could the Assistant Minister assure this House that during this financial year, the health centre which will be having in-patient facilities can now have an ambulance?
Yes. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
asked the Minister for Agriculture:- (a) whether he is aware that processed tea valued at over Kshs650 million was shipped in March, 2006 to an overseas buyer without opening letters of credit or receiving cash; (b) whether he is further aware that the farmers are bound to suffer losses because one of the buyers, Lohit International Limited has declined to remit Kshs271 million; and, (c) what measures he is taking to protect the interests of the farmers.
Hon. Members, I have a request from the Minister for Agriculture that he does not have the answer ready and he requests that the Question be deferred until Thursday. Mr. Bett, is that okay?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have no objection but this is the second time that this Question is being deferred as the farmers continue to suffer.
Then it is ordered that the Question be deferred to Thursday.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I hope the Minister will reply on that day. 2520 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007
Yes, it is ordered. The Minister knows what that means.
asked the Minister for Finance:- (a) why Mrs. Anastacia Ndinda Kioko, widow of the late Mr. Obadiah Nzioka Muasya (SPN/PC.181302A) has not been paid the pension benefits due to her; and, (b) what measures he is taking to speed up the processing of pension benefits to this widow to alleviate the suffering visited on the deceased's family.
Is the Minister for Finance not here? Leader of Government Business, do we have the Minister for Finance?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am sorry I do not have any information but I have got the answer here.
All right I will skip that Question. I will come back to it in a while. Next Question.
asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- (a) wether he is aware that the newly created Trans Nzoia West District has no District Accountant, District Development Officer, Lands Officer and other Government Heads of Department; (b) whether he is further aware that the absence of the officers is hampering delivery of services to the area residents; and, (c) what urgent measures he will take to ensure that all the relevant officers are posted to the district in order to speed up delivery of services to the people of Trans Nzoia West.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware. Trans Nzoia District has all departmental heads. The intention of the Government to create Trans Nzoia West and East as new districts has not been legalised. The Government has only posted some staff to the proposed Trans Nzoia East to facilitate in convening and holding leaders' meetings to deliberate on this proposal and any other related matters. (b) I am not aware. Area residents are receiving all the necessary services from Government officers as required. (c) From the answers in "a" and "b" above, "c" does not arise.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is well aware that when the Government created new districts, the old books were closed and new books were opened. The July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2521 Assistant Minister is trying to put new wine in old wine skins. I say so because Saboti Constituency which takes care of Trans Nzoia West has not had any good service even from the previous regime. We demand to get a new formation of officers in the new district. Could the Assistant Minister tell us when he will give us new district officers and close the old books that were for Trans Nzoia District?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Trans Nzoia West and East districts were created from Trans Nzoia District. When we did this, the old district remained as Trans Nzoia West. Trans Nzoia West has all the departmental heads that it requires. Our officers on the ground have instructions to continue serving both districts until such a time that departmental heads will be sent to the other intended districts.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are aware that there are many new districts that have been formed. For the new districts to get funding from the Budget, they have to be approved by this House and gazetted. When will the Assistant Minister Table the 45 districts plus that were created recently in this House, so that they can be approved for gazettement?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will do that as soon as possible when all the work, which is going on, has been finalised. This includes survey and design works.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like the Assistant Minister to tell us why there is such a hurry to create new districts without necessarily taking services closer to the people. What does he expect to achieve by creating a district in a place where there is no District Lands Officer, District Accountant, District Development Officer and District Lands Registrar? What is the purpose, therefore, of forming new districts if the services cannot be taken closer to the people?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said that we were in the process of creating new districts and once we finalise the process, there is no district that will not have the required departmental heads in order to give services to the people.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell us whether they have informed all Government departments about the new districts? Over the weekend, I found out that recruitment of teachers was being done under the same old districts, including some which had been cancelled by the High Court. Could the Assistant Minister tell us whether they have informed all the Government departments so that they can include them in their programmes?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, we have, indeed, consulted our partner Ministries. Some of them have adopted the intended districts while some have not. Whatever the case, no district will be disadvantaged.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. When the police department was carrying out its recruitment, officers were recruited from all the new districts. However, the recruitment of teachers is not being done for the new districts. Is the Assistant Minister in order to say that there is consistency in what is going on in the Government?
Mr. Assistant Minister, did you get the question? The question is: In recruiting personnel to certain service lines, such as the police, you used the new districts, while in recruiting new teachers, you are using the old ones. There is no consistency. That is what the hon. Member is saying.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that there are some Ministries that have already adopted the new districts while others have not. However, in any case, where they have not adopted the new districts, I have already said that no district will be disadvantaged. For example, in the recruitment of teachers, they have listed the number of schools that require teachers. Therefore, no 2522 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 district will be disadvantaged.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to say that the creation of districts is selectively accepted by Government Departments such that some departments can adopt the new districts while others do not? Is he telling us that the Ministry of Education is opposed to the creation of new districts?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you heard the Assistant Minister say that some Ministries have refused to implement the issue of new districts.
Order, Mr. Bifwoli! You addressed me and told me that I heard the Assistant Minister say---
Just sit down, Mr. Bifwoli! You have addressed the Chair and said; "You have heard the Assistant Minister say that the Ministries have refused--" I did not hear that! Mr. Bifwoli, you now have the Floor.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister said that some Ministries have refused to implement the use of the new districts. Mr. Angwenyi stood on a point of order to ask whether the Ministries have refused to recognise the new districts. Up to now, the Assistant Minister has not answered that. Will the Ministry of Education implement their policies using the new districts, or will they only recognise the old districts?" Why did they post the District Education Officers, if they are not recruiting teachers?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that question is the same as the one I had answered. I said that where the Ministries have not adopted the new districts, such as the Ministry of Education, they have listed the schools that require staffing. It really does not matter if school "A" is in the new district or in the old district. It will still end up with staff until such a time when the Ministry will adopt the new system.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you can see the confusion that is there. This is the dilemma that Trans Nzoia West District is facing. The District Development Committees of the old districts cannot implement or carry out transactions in the new districts. That would be insubordinating the new District Commissioners. The Assistant Minister is aware that the District Lands Officer in the Old Trans Nzoia District has been there for 20 years. The District Accountant has been there for as long as I can remember. We would like to get new brooms in our new districts. Our people have refused to accept further corruption from the old staff of the old district. When will the Assistant Minister give us new officers to run our new district?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it appears to me as if it is the hon. Member who is in a dilemma and not the district. I said that the districts are in the process of being created and we will post staff to the districts as soon as possible.
We will now go back to Questions that had been asked previously.
NON-PAYMENT OF PENSION DUES July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2523 TO MR. MUASYA'S WIDOW
asked the Minister for Finance:- (a) why Mrs. Anastacia Ndinda Kioko, the wife of the late Mr. Obadiah Nzioka Muasya (SPN/PC.181302A), has not been paid the pension benefits due to her; and, (b) what measures he is taking to speed up the processing of pension benefits to this widow to alleviate the suffering visited on the deceased's family.
The Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs will answer the Question on behalf of the Minister for Finance.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Mrs. Anastacia Ndinda Kioko is one of the widows of the late Mr. Obadiah Nzioka Muasya. She has, to date, not been paid her pension benefits because of the long process. They came to verify names of eligible beneficiaries and ascertain the amounts payable. (b) Processing of the dependants' and the widows' benefits in respect of the late Muasya has now been finalised. The benefits will be paid through the April 2007 payroll. Arrangements are also in place for payments of the death gratuity.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to thank the Leader of Government Business for that answer. What measures is the Minister taking to remove some of the bureaucratic roadblocks that have caused this issue to last more than three years, causing untold suffering to the family of the deceased?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, where a person has more than one wife, there is need for proper investigations to be carried out so that every dependant has access to the pension. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it might be a good thing if we instituted a regulation stating that all civil servants, when they add an extra wife, should give details so that they are included in the file. That will help to reduce the bureaucracy.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to tell the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs that it is not only the widows who delay the payment of their husband's pensions. It also affects the men. Does the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs have a policy that will benefit all pensioners, and not only widows?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, all the Ministries are now carrying out the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) so that, nine months before a person retires, all the details are ready for payment of pension. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, further, very soon, all the records will be computerized. We will be able to effect payment of pension the very next month after a person has retired. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Leader of Government Business, His Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, because he also knows the problems facing pensioners. He is of the age. All the files of pensioners at the Department of Pensions, for some reason or the other, have disappeared! Could His Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs direct that office to make the pensioner's files available, so that our old men and women are paid their pensions on time?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not aware that files of pensioners have disappeared. As the hon. Member is aware, the details must come from the various Ministries to the Department of Pensions. 2524 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know a lady by the name of Mrs. Mugo, who is the Director of Pensions. I am very satisfied with the way she is doing things because, even in my constituency, I have got pensioners. I am a pensioner myself and, surely, she has really done an excellent job and she needs to be paid for it. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Last question, the hon. Member for Nakuru Town!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to appeal to the Leader of Government Business to ensure that the Retirements Benefit Authority (RBA) comes up with a Service Charter which can also spell out how long it takes for them to process pension benefits. It is not right for Kenyans and widows to continue suffering and yet, there are officers who are paid salaries which we pass in this House, and they do not do what they are supposed to do. It should not take three years to verify names of people! With all the Government machinery on the ground; that is, chiefs, DOs and DCs, they can get that done. So, I would like to urge the Leader of Government Business to ensure that, that Service Charter is brought to this House, so that we can hold those officers accountable. He should also institute penalties against lack of service delivery.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that point is seriously taken!
Hon. Members, the next Question is by the hon. Member for Kilome and I can see the Attorney-General is here. But Mr. J.M. Mutiso has sent a message that he is accompanying His Excellency the President in his constituency today. So, can we defer it, Mr. Attorney-General?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it can be deferred, but not to next week or the week following.
Is Thursday okay?
That is okay.
The Question is deferred to Thursday
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir---
You are not the one! Are you---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had been given some instructions.
Very well. You want to ask the Question on behalf of Dr. Awiti?
COMPLETION OF RURAL ELECTRIFICATION PROJECTS IN KARACHUONYO July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2525
on behalf of
, asked the Minister for Energy:- (a) when rural electrification covering Kosele District Headquarters, Gendia Mission Hospital, Kendu Bay Town and Pala Market will be completed; and, (b) when the Minister will commission the project.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Government is currently implementing various rural electrification projects in Karachuonyo Constituency at a cost of Kshs130 million. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kosele District Headquarters is already on supply and construction work is going on at Gendia Mission Hospital as we speak now. We expect to connect Kendu Bay Town and Pala Market, and the completion date is sometimes in September, 2007. (b) That project will be commissioned by the Minister immediately upon completion. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very conversant with that project. That project should have actually started--- The implementation should have started in the Financial Year 2003/2004. It has been greatly delayed. The information that I have right now is that no work is going on right now. Therefore, the Minister is misleading the House that, that work will be completed by the date he has mentioned.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member does not have the current information regarding that project. I talked to our officers today and they were busy at Kendu Mission Hospital. I challenge the hon. Member to go out and call on them, and he will find them on site!
Order! Order! I will come to you. Next question, Mr. Manoti!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are quite a number of electricity projects that started many years ago, and they have not been commissioned. Could the Minister tell us whether there is a time frame for a project to be completed and whether they have a problem with giving the contractors the required materials?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that there have been some challenges in the implementation of some of the rural electrification projects in the country, sometimes as a result of delays in procurement. But that matter has now been addressed. I had a meeting with key contractors in my office on Wednesday, last week. I have asked them to complete all the works that are now pending by September this year.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I took the route from Oyugis Town to Kendu Bay through Gendia Mission. I found the polls lying down and some "standing up" but no wires. What the Minister is talking about is not true. There is no work going on there. That is exactly what is happening in Nyatike; some poles "standing" and some lying down for weeks, months and now it is a year. When will work be done? We want the work to be done.
Mr. Minister, you have heard Mr. Ogur!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member must be aware that before the poles "stand", they must "lie down". We are taking the necessary steps to ensure that all the poles which are "lying down" will now "stand up." I will personally visit Nyatike when that has been done. So, I request the hon. Member to start preparing the nyatiti dancers.
I will give a chance to Mr. Bett and then Mr. Raila. 2526 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to ask---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This project traverses my constituency and I have very important information to give concerning the project.
That is not a point of order.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister is misleading the House. Would it be in order for the Minister to understand that this project traverses my constituency? Work is being delayed. Is he in order to mislead the House that---
Mr. Ahenda, you want to ask a question. That is not a point of order. We have to have some limited number of Members to ask questions. Let Mr. Bett ask his question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as these power lines are being constructed, I would want the Minister to tell this House when compensation is given to the farm owners. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently, contractors who were constructing a line from Ngoina Road junction in Buret District going to Kisii were passing through people's farms and yet they had not compensated them for whatever destruction that happened during construction. When is compensation expected by the land owners?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we do not have a programme for compensating land owners. What our officers are doing is to negotiate with the land owners and request them to permit them to allow the power lines to pass through their land in public interest.
Hon. Members, we have to stop at 3.30 p.m. and I still have a matter before that time. So, I am now coming to Mr. Raila.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Minister must appreciate the question from Mr. Ogur that this project has definitely been delayed. Could the Minister mention the name of the contractor and say when the project was supposed to be completed, and if it is delayed, like I know it is delayed, why they are not recalling the performance bonds which the contractors are supposed to supply to the Government?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that this project has been delayed because it was supposed to have been started way back in 2003/2004. We are making every effort to ensure that this project is completed by September this year. All the challenges that were on the ground have been addressed and I am happy to report that His Excellency the President, who also visited Kendu Bay Town, has agreed to commission this project in September this year.
That is the end of Question Time. I have a request for a Ministerial Statement from Capt. Nakitare.
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika. Ninasimama kuuliza Waziri wa Usalama wa Taifa na Waziri wa Mambo ya Ndani ya Nchi ya Kenya kuhusu---
Capt. Nakitare, unauliza Waziri gani? Umetaja Mawaziri wawili. Are you talking about the Minister of State?
Kwa sasa naomba Waziri wa Mambo ya Usalama wa Ndani wa Nchi hii, kwa sababu yale mambo ambayo yametendeka katika Saboti Constituency---
Order, hon. Members! Let us listen. July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2527
Bw. Naibu Spika, ninauliza juu ya mambo ambayo yametendeka katika Saboti Constituency, ambayo inahusu nchi mbili, usiku wa 15 Jumapili, 2007 jioni. Majangili ambao hawajulikani waliuwa watu zaidi ya kumi na wakamchinja mwalimu ambaye ni makamu wa mwalimu mkuu wa shule yetu ambaye ni mke wa diwani Wasike katika Saboti Constituency. Ilichukua muda wa masaa tisa; kutoka saa tatu jioni mpaka karibu saa kumi na mbili asubuhi, ndipo walinzi wa usalama, akiwemo Mkuu wa Wilaya, walipoenda kushuhudia hayo mauaji. Bw. Naibu Spika, ninaomba Waziri atueleze, kwa sababu hili ni lengo la kabila moja. Juzi kulikuwa na mauaji Kinyoro ya watu 11. Kukawa na mauaji mengine Matisi ya watu 12. Hiki ni kielelezo cha kusema kwamba huo mwenendo wa mwaka wa 1992 umerudi kwa lengo la kumaliza kabila moja.
Order, Capt. Nakitare! Sit down for one minute. The Chair has said many times that this House should not be used to promote tribal animosity. Would you, please, address your issues without making reference to communities?
Bw. Naibu Spika, familia ikiuawa inajulikana ni pahali gani inatoka. Siwezi kusema ya kwamba huo ni ukabila. Mauaji hayana ukabila. Tunamwomba Waziri atueleze kwa nini hajaweza kuenda kunyang'anya watu silahi katika Trans Nzoia. Kwa nini mauaji yameendelea kwa musimu usiopungua miezi sita katika sehemu moja ambapo Waziri mwenyewe hajaangazia hayo mambo? Na ikiwa yeye anatosheka kwamba watu wazidi kuchinjwa kama kuku, atueleze watu wa Trans Nzioa na Saboti.
Yametosha, Capt. Nakitare! Mr. Munya!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will give the Ministerial Statement on Tuesday next week.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair. In this respect, it is my very great pleasure to move Vote R31 and D31 for the Ministry of Education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, but before I present the details in these Estimates, I wish to reaffirm the Ministry's commitment to the full implementation of the current policy framework governing the sector whose goal is to provide equal opportunities to education for all 2528 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 children and other learners, including those with special needs. As expected, in the Estimates before this House, the consistent allocation of large sums of our national resources to the Ministry of Education, confirms the higher prioritization and commitment of the Government to the provision of quality education. Over the last four years, my Ministry has implemented various reforms in the education sector to facilitate the achievement of the goals set out in the National Economic Recovery Strategy Paper. We also remain fully committed to meeting our international development commitment, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), education for all as well as the delivery of policies set out in the Sessional Paper No.1 of 2005, on Policy Framework for Education, Training and Research. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Vision 2030 has provided our country with clear guidance for the use of science and technology, as well as our other resources in the fight against poverty and other development. In our pursuit of the goals established in the Vision 2030, education and training will play a critical role. Therefore, by providing equal opportunities for all Kenyans to acquire knowledge and skills, we shall be empowering all Kenyans to play their part in the fight against poverty and under-development. This is the reason the Government chose education as being central in its pro-poor investment. The development of quality human capital is key to sustaining our country's economic growth and the realization of Vision 2030. In addition, we, as a country, must ensure that our labour force effectively participates in the demanding global economy, by giving them relevant knowledge and skills that come with education, as such efforts are geared to be in line with the current trends of globalization of the world economy. In line with the above, the Ministry is implementing the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP) which is based on the premise that quality education and training contributes to enhanced equity, economic growth and expansion of employment opportunities, thus, reducing poverty. In addition, the KESSP provides a strong foundation for sector development and it is intended to facilitate the attaining of the MDGs and education-for-all by the year 2015. Hon. Members will recall that KESSP was designed to be implemented for five years, from July 2005 to June 2010, at an initial cost of Kshs542 billion. However, following the success in the free primary education and rapid expansion of the secondary sub-sector, we will need much more resources than was initially estimated. With this in mind, I wish to take this opportunity to appeal for more support from our partners in meeting the financing gap that exists, for us to make this very important programme a reality. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a Ministry, we are firmly committed to ensuring the consolidation of the gains that have accrued from the implementation of the free primary education, which have seen enrolment increase from 5.9 million in 2002, to about 8 million currently. This rapid growth has exerted pressure on the secondary sub-sector, while pushing transition from primary to secondary school level from 47 per cent in 2003 to 60 per cent in 2007. As a result, enrolment in our secondary schools has risen from 820,000 in 2002 to 1,030,000 in 2007. This fast growth and the high level of poverty in many households calls for increased support to the poor who cannot afford to meet the cost of secondary education. In an attempt to make education more affordable and accessible, the Government will, with effect from January, 2008, finance tuition fees chargeable in all public secondary schools on a per capita basis of Kshs3,600 per student, per year. To implement this policy, the Ministry will require Kshs4.3 billion, for the school year 2008. However, it is envisaged that this figure will rise as the number of those in transition to secondary schools increases. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Education has continued to deepen reforms to address key sectoral issues, especially, through the strengthening of the management and July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2529 delivery of education services at all levels. Further, the Ministry is in the process of revitalizing the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE), in order to strengthen its capacity to carry out research and development of a relevant and affordable curriculum. In this regard, the Government has already approved a new structure and terms and conditions of service for its employees. As hon. Members are aware, many of our students in urban slums and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), are still out of school due to inadequate number of schools. In addition, many primary school buildings are in a poor state of repair, and have inadequate classrooms and other facilities to cater for the learning needs of the increasing number of students. Some schools in far- off areas lack the necessary sanitation facilities, hence, making the learning environment unattractive, especially, for the girl-child. In addition, there is also need to address the plight of the more vulnerable children, such as the orphans, those with special needs and others, to ensure that they do enrol in school, remain there and transit to higher levels. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members are also aware that the Government has decided to fast-track the implementation of the negotiated teachers' salaries award of 1997. In this regard, the Ministry will be implementing the final phase of the agreement and has, therefore, factored in an amount of Kshs---
Order, Mr. Minister! Mr. Balala, I think you are in the wrong place. We need to follow what the Minister is saying. If you have to consult, I kindly ask you to do so quietly. If you are unable to do it quietly, withdraw from the Chamber!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. As hon. Members are aware, the Government has decided to fast-track the implementation of the negotiations of the teachers' salary award of 1997. In this regard, the Ministry will be implementing the final phase of the agreement and has, therefore, factored in an amount of Kshs7.11 billion during this financial year for this purpose. Furthermore, the Ministry will recruit 11,000 teachers, out of which 7,000 will replace those teachers who exit service through natural attrition, while an additional 4,000 teachers are to boost the current teacher work force of 235,000. This additional teachers will be distributed equitably in areas with critical shortages in public schools across the country. On quality issues, I would like to assure hon. Members that we are working hard to strengthen the delivery of the approved curriculum. In this regard, we are extending the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards through the recruitment of more officers. Indeed, recently, 240 officers were recruited by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and are expected to report to their respective stations in August. In addition, we have extended the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSES) Programme to primary teachers training colleges. From this year, trainers of primary school teachers will undergo training under the SMASSES Programme to add to and improve their training skills. It is our hope that this will lead to better Science and Mathematics teachers in our primary schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on for the last one year, a team of senior professionals and experts have reviewed all the relevant legislation which govern the education sector and are currently working on the Draft Bill for tabling before this House. I thank the members of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology for their key interest in the work of the committee. I want to assure them that we shall keep them fully informed. Indeed, when the Bills will be tabled here, passed and enacted into law, this is expected to replace the Education Act, which was established way back in 1968. Hon. Members will also recall that His Excellency the President appointed a Board to review the current status of university 2530 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 education and make appropriate recommendations. The team has finalised and submitted its report to His Excellency the President. In addition, the Ministry appointed a task force to develop a national strategy for university education whose work is in the final stages of completion. I want to assure Kenyans and hon. Members that information from this team is being put into good use. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, education and training entails heavy investment in material resources and human capital. Unfortunately, the Government's resources are not enough to finance all our national needs. For this reason, we shall continue to call for contributions from all our partners. In this regard, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the hon. Members of this august House for their continued support, particularly through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). I wish to also urge hon. Members to keep up this support for the good of the present and future generations. However, as we plan and develop new schools, let us bear in mind that we have a limited number of teachers. For this reason, more effort needs to be placed on the expansion of the existing schools and only build new ones where they are absolutely essential. For this reason, all hon. Members and all stakeholders need to consult with the Ministry before they start new schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this financial year, the Ministry has been allocated a sum of Kshs106,444,120 in the Recurrent Vote and Kshs9,350,290,245 in the Development Vote. The Recurrent Estimates reflect an additional Kshs11,585,372,100 from last year's budgetary allocation of Kshs94,858,747,900 while the Development Estimates reflect a decrease of Kshs1,142,188,950 over last year's allocation of Kshs10,492,479,195.00 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I now wish to highlight the major problems in the Ministry's budget where the above resources will be applied. In case of the Recurrent Expenditure, Vote R31, the Ministry's Recurrent Budget is made up of five Sub-Votes with an allocation of Kshs106,444,120 being distributed as follows:- Sub-Vote 310: General Administration and Planning. This Sub-Vote caters for the Ministry's administrative costs, including teachers' salaries. Under this Sub-Vote, we will require a total of Kshs80,627,125,251, which will be distributed in the following expenditure Heads: Head 730, Development Planning Services, Kshs52,562,638. The provision under this Head caters for the cost of running the Ministry's Central Planning Unit. Head 834, Headquarters Administrative Services has been allocated Kshs9,671,147. This Head caters for the expenses of the headquarters support departments, such as the administration, finance, accounts, personnel, procurement, ICT and so on. Head 838, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO and the Kenya Permanent Representative to UNESCO. This will get Kshs114,647,598. The provision under this Head will cater for the cost of maintaining our office at the Permanent Representative to the UNESCO in Paris as well as the Kenyan National Commission for UNESCO here in Nairobi. Head 839, Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), will get Kshs350 million. These are grants given to the KNEC to supplement fees collected from the candidates to run national examinations and expenses of the Council's Secretariat. Head 841, Teachers Service Commission, will receive Kshs27,391,738,709. The allocation under this Head will service both the TSC Secretariat and the payment of teachers' salaries. During the current financial year, the Government will spend Kshs79 billion on teachers' salaries which include Kshs7.118 billion, which is the final phase of the negotiated salary award between the Government and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT). Head 145, Schools Audit Unit, Kshs557,864,366. The allocation on this Head will facilitate the activities of the Schools Audit Unit, which is charged with the responsibility of auditing all public schools and public tertiary training institutions to ensure proper utilisation of resources. Head 837 and Head 862, Provincial and District Education Services, Kshs1,606,252,993. The allocation under this Head will cater for the administrative costs for the running of our provincial and district education services. This will also include inspection of schools to ensure that July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2531 quality in education is maintained, as well as audit services for the schools at the provincial and district levels. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Head 863 - Kenya Institute of Education - will require Kshs594,304,810. The Budget under this Head covers personal emoluments and other operating expenses for the Kenya Institute of Education, which is charged with the responsibility of curriculum development and the School Broadcasts Service. Sub-Vote 311, which will mainly cover basic education services, includes the funding of Free Primary Education and other core poverty alleviation programmes under the directorate of basic education. This will require a total sum of Kshs8,610,925,819 in the following areas. (1) Head 810, Post Primary School will require Kshs100 million. These funds will be utilised as grants to the special technical schools, which cater for children with special needs. (2) Head 811, Special Secondary Schools, will require Kshs80 million. These funds will be spent to give grants to special secondary schools. (3) Head 816, Training Field Services - Early Childhood Development - will require Kshs42,948,216. This allocation will mainly cater for the expenses of the in-servicing of pre-school teachers under the Early Childhood Development Programme. (4) Head 844, Directorate of Basic Education, will require Kshs7,736,807,354. Under this Head, the main costs relate to the grants for teaching and learning materials to all public primary schools under the Free Primary Education Programme, as well as the administration costs for the Directorate of Basic Education. In the current financial year, an allocation of Kshs7.4 billion will finance Free Primary Education, Kshs29 million will be utilised in the rehabilitation of primary schools, while Kshs279 million will be given as grants to low cost boarding primary schools in ASAL areas and pockets of poverty. (5) Head 846, School Feeding Programme, will need Kshs202,134,521. This allocation will cater for the cost of distribution of foodstuffs donated by the World Food Programme to schools under the School Feeding Programme in ASAL areas and pockets of poverty. (6) Head 847, Primary Teacher Training Colleges, will need Kshs178,716,000. The funds under this Head will be disbursed as grants for the running of primary teacher training colleges. (7) Head 848, Special Primary Education, will require Kshs200 million. As hon. Members are aware, we have many primary schools and special units that cater for children with special needs. The funds under this Head will be disbursed as grants to those schools and units. (8) Head 852, Kenya Institute of Special Education, will require Kshs70,319,712. The allocation to this Head is a grant to the institution to cater for its expenses. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Sub-Vote 312, Quality Assurance and Standards, will require Kshs104,000,172 to cater for the expenses of the Directorate of Quality Education and Standards. Sub-Vote 313, Higher Education, caters for the University sub-sector, Provincial and District Education Officers as well as secondary education, among others. It will require Kshs16,835,353,369. Head 800, Board of Governors-Maintained Secondary Schools, will require Kshs3,118,978,000. This allocation will be utilised to meet the cost of tuition fees in all public secondary schools for the firsts two terms. In this financial year, Kshs2.9 billion has already been put into place. Heads 802 and 807 cover Kenya Science Teachers College and Kagumo Diploma Teachers College respectively. The university sub-sector will require Kshs12,059,607. Head 835, Directorate of Higher Education, will require Kshs194,782,135. Bursaries, subsidies and support to education attaches will require Kshs418,012,788. The Directorate of Policy and Planning will require Kshs106,543,130. Under the Development Expenditure, we require a gross sum of Kshs9,350,280,000. The General Administration Sub-Vote will require Kshs610 million. The Kenya National Examinations Council will require Kshs250 million. The Basic Education Sub-Vote will require 2532 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 Kshs1,669,003,850. Sub-Vote 313, Directorate of Higher Education, will require Kshs1,213,755,340. Under the Directorate of Policy and Planning Sub-Vote, we require Kshs5,851,521,055. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to, once again, on behalf of the Government, applaud the contribution of our development partners in the development of our basic education sector and, particularly, to the on-going implementation of the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP). I would also like to assure them that, as Kenyans, we will continue to utilise the funds that they provide to us in a transparent manner and for the purposes mutually agreed upon. We appreciate the significant contribution and goodwill shown by all our development partners and stakeholders, both local and external. However, given the magnitude of the task before us, I wish to appeal for increased support from more stakeholders. A special appeal goes out to all those who are able to fund school development, because we urgently need to rehabilitate and expand many primary and secondary schools. We also need to improve the learning environment. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to emphasise the need for close co- ordination and collaboration in all that we do in education. Without strong co-ordination, collaboration and partnership we risk serious cases of unnecessary duplication and wastage of resources. On resource utilisation, I wish to inform all hon. Members that we shall remain steadfast in ensuring that available public resources are distributed equitably across the country. With those remarks, I beg to move and call upon the Minister for Finance to second the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to second this Motion, which touches on education, which is at the very heart of the Kibaki Administration, on the firm conviction that investing in education is investing in our people and in our future. I would like, at this point, to note---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Minister for Finance to second the Vote, which has actually been prepared by his Ministry?
Order, Mr. Raila! You always have surprises! I really do not know where that is prohibited in our Standing Orders. The Minister is in order to second the other Minister. Proceed, Mr. Kimunya!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for that protection of my rights. Before the interruption, I was commending hon. Members for taking education very seriously, including the many hon. Members who are now attending university education. I believe it is in the firm conviction that ignorance is not good for this country. In addition to investments in infrastructure, I believe we need competent manpower not just for Kenya and the region, but, indeed, for the whole world. Kenya has set an example in terms of providing that manpower within the entire Southern Africa, East and Central Africa, Europe and the United States of America (USA). In those regions, we have seen Kenyans contributing to a better world through the education that they received here, and which they have finalised wherever they are. It is on that firm conviction that we have put education as our major expenditure item. It is a major component of the achievement of Vision 2030, whether we are looking at it from the three pillars of development. On the economic pillar, we want to accelerate our rate of economic growth from 6 per cent to 10 per cent by the year 2012. On the social pillar, we want a social, just and cohesive society living within a clean and secure environment. It is also critical to support our political pillar, where we want to move our politics from people-centred to issue-based and democratic political systems, away from the ethnic and polarised political systems that we are July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2533 currently seeing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a firm conviction that ignorance is a major hinderance to poverty eradication. It is only education that will really open the doors of opportunities for our people, especially the very poor people who need to be moved a couple of ranks up the ladder, so that they can participate in the economic development of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we believe that ignorance is a major hinderance to democracy. I believe we can cite examples where our people, especially the youth, are constantly being paraded in political rallies and hypnotised to follow tribal leaders without asking where they are being taken to. We need to have educated Kenyans who will demand from those leaders and aspirants what programmes they have for them, what issues they stand for, and not just to be told that the singular intention is to remove the incumbent, whether we are talking about a councillor, an hon. Member of Parliament or a President. It is only by investing in education that we will actually liberate our people so that they can start asking those questions and looking at Kenya as Kenya, rather than Kenya made up of a few people who have no idea where they want to take us. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Kibaki Government is committed to ensuring that all the children in this country achieve their full potential, regardless of their economic background. Through the free primary education programme, we have seen the number of students increase substantially. We now have an extension where the Government will pay tuition fees in secondary schools. While we are at that, I feel I should clarify some misunderstanding brought about by some people who have been claiming credit for having initiated that programme. This is not in response to any promises made by an aspirant whether at the councillor, parliamentary or presidential levels, that they will actually provide free secondary education. That was actually part of a Government plan that was contained in a Sessional Paper that was debated in this House long before some of those aspirants declared their intentions to seek office. It is all part of a clearly articulated policy that says that, no child shall be denied their right to achieve their full potential on account of their parents being poor or not being able to support them. It is on that basis that bursaries have continued to be granted. Regulations are being sorted out to make sure that education is affordable. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we all know that the future of this country will come when we kick ignorance out of the window. The poor will become richer without thinking that richness is wrong to seek. We can only do this when we have affordable education, both in public and private schools. There are incentives, even within the wider Finance Bill--- We will debate it later in this House. Those will ensure that private universities are assisted to make education facilities affordable. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need provision of facilities through Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). I would like to reiterate what the Minister has said. He has called upon hon. Members to synchronize the schools that they are putting up with the number of teachers that are available. That way, we will not have schools in every village with teachers scattered across, with some schools having classes of ten pupils. That is not conducive for learning because those children need to be provided with skills at an early point. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is committed and we are providing teachers. I believe the recruitment of 11,000 teachers is only the first batch. If, with hon. Members support, we are able to raise more taxes, we will be happy to increase those numbers, so that we can have the very best being given to our children at their formative stages. I also believe that this will call for political support in terms of oversight in our schools, organisations, parents associations, school boards and so on. I would like to thank hon. Members who have been very active in that. It is a collective duty for all of us, whether in terms of teachers, the Government providing the facilities, the parents providing the oversight and, at the political level, providing the political support that is required to motivate those children to take education seriously knowing 2534 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 that, it is only through that education that they will liberate themselves and prepare themselves as active participants within this new and emerging economy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said before, we are all supporters of education. In this House, we have seen the investments through CDF. We have seen the support and even the interest that hon. Members have on matters to do with education, whenever they come to the Floor of this House. I believe we shall equally support this Motion, bring out the very best and also raise the issues that need to be addressed, so that we can start taking those issues seriously. We know that education is a major expenditure item for this Government now, and in the future. Any lesson that we can pick up from this august House will help us to allocate resources even better, for the wider benefit of the future of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to second.
(Mr. ole Metito)
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Sir, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Motion. First of all, it is commendable that the Government raised the expenditure on education by 11 per cent, as the Minister for Finance mentioned during his Budget Speech. In distributing the specific allocations for the Ministry of Education, the Minister gave Kshs8.1 billion to free primary education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to point out the following areas that the Minister, in his allocation of resources, seems to have forgotten. One area that has consistently been mentioned is the early childhood development. In the policy document - the National Action Plan on Education for All - and Sessional Paper No.1 of 2005, the Government has stated specific policy measures that it intends to take with respect to early childhood education. One of them is the harmonisation of the curriculum. The other one is to make early childhood education an integral part of the entire education system in this country. The other policy statement is about the development of terms of service for teachers in that sector. As you read the Budget and listen to the Minister, he is completely silent on matters that were stated in the policy paper. I want to state that early childhood education is an important element of our educational process. It lays the foundation for a child to develop all the way to become a professor that the Minister for Education is. If we do not take into account the serious development of early childhood education, then we would be missing a point on that matter. The other area that I would like to comment on is the secondary school education. Currently, while there are a lot of efforts being made by the Ministry of Education to improve the quality of secondary and primary school education, I would like to say that a lot of attention has, indeed, been paid to primary education, although the quality of education is still very low. That is simply because the quality assurance department is still very weak. The Minister has told us that they have employed 240 members of staff in the quality assurance department. But I want to observe that those are very few considering that checking quality at the grassroots level is, indeed, a very hectic task. While the Ministry is trying to train high level quality assurance inspectors, I would like to say that it should encourage internal training within institutions. That may, in fact, help to improve checking of quality assurance within the schools themselves. The traditional habit of taking teachers out of classrooms and promoting them to inspectors needs to be revisited. They should try to improve quality by using internal mechanisms that can be built in the institutions themselves. I expect the Minister to encourage creativity in terms of ensuring that quality education is offered in our schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a lot of expansion in secondary schools. My colleagues and the Minister himself mentioned that there are several schools that have been built through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). Some of the problems we are experiencing are largely to do with the shortage and distribution of teachers. I had hoped that the Minister for Education would tell us exactly how he intends to distribute teachers fairly and improve our educational management. The other area concerns quality in the university sector. We have raised questions concerning quality assurance in universities over and over again. The Ministry has promised this House continuously that it intends to strengthen the Commission for Higher Education. We expected an equivalent measure of funding and, perhaps, legislation to improve the Commission for Higher Education. There is mushrooming of private universities which purport to offer higher education. But very many of them are not properly checked. I expected the Minister for Education to give us direction in that area, to improve and check quality assurance in the university education sector. But I noted, while looking at the funding for universities, that most of the money is going to recurrent expenditure. We have asked the Ministry of Education, over and over again, to enhance July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2537 funding for research activities in our universities. Our universities are supposed to be production centres for knowledge and not consumption centres only. The tradition that we have developed over time, is to make our universities consumption centres for knowledge. Indeed, universities should be producing knowledge. One of the areas that need to strengthened, so that those institutions can be able to produce knowledge is to fund research programmes. We expect the Ministry of Education to set aside substantial amounts of money for research, if they take that undertaking seriously. We also expect them to stimulate universities to look for money for research. The trend that has been going on and on is that research funding is very little. The Ministry of Education, in its budget, should think about that very seriously. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another area which I do not know if it falls under the docket of the Ministry of Education, but it is education all the same, is the adult education and life long education elements. Education is a life long process. We learn from childhood and all the way until we finally retire to our graves. Now, there should be some important effort that is put on the adult education sector. The policy document that I referred to earlier intimated that the Government would establish mobile adult literacy programmes. However, we are not seeing these programmes being developed in our villages. It also mentioned that the terms of service for the facilitators of adult education were to be priority for the NARC Government. Nothing or very little is happening in that direction. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on special needs education, this is an area that requires specialised attention. While I agree that the Ministry of Education has made a lot of effort in trying to identify children with special needs and trying to train through the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) staff that deals with children with special needs, children who are in these special needs institutions at the grassroots are experiencing a lot of problems. One of those problems is that there are very few trained teachers to deal with special needs children. You go to schools that have children whose brains are not very well developed and you notice that they do not have enough teachers. For example, I have three of them in my own constituency. One, is carrying out an integrated programme in the primary schools sector and it does not have sufficient teachers. The other one deals with deaf children. It also lacks sufficient teachers. I believe with that small sample from my constituency, every other special needs school in this Republic suffers the same. We expect the Ministry of Education to pay attention to these special needs programmes in our schools and support them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the budget of the Ministry of Education, the bulk of the money is going to be spent on Recurrent Expenditure. If you compare Recurrent Expenditure with Development Expenditure, Vote D31, you can see that the development budget is still very low. If you read through this year's budget, you will realise that what has been given to the development budget in the Ministry is very small. For example, the Minister for Finance has allocated Kshs250 million for the building of the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) building. He has also allocated another Kshs300 million for the construction of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) headquarters. In fact, what has been stated as development budget for KIE in the document looks like recurrent because all the money that was supposed to be spent on development goes to payment of salaries, allowances and that kind of stuff. Although the Minister has said that he intends to improve KIE, I do not think he is doing much. We all know that KIE is a very important institution in this country. For education to be complete, it has to provide relevant curriculum that completely serves the intellectual needs of our children. The KIE that we have here is potentially capable of providing training for the rest of Africa, south of the Sahara. However, the budget that the Minister has given to that institution is very small. The development budget, in my opinion, should be increased. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, well, some of the money that, of course, has been allocated for development purposes, he has mentioned goes to the Kenya Education Sector Support 2538 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 Programme (KESSUP) where we have seen in our secondary and primary schools, the Ministry giving those schools some support for the development of physical facilities. That, indeed, is very commendable. However, when the KESSUP was formed, one of its objectives was to improve the in-service training, which I am not sure, has been done effectively. The other goal why KESSUP was introduced was to improve on capacity building. We have seen in some of the sectors or areas some capacity building being done, but it is not sufficient. It has not been done to the level that I believe will improve educational services. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker Sir, the other area which KESSUP was supposed to deal with was the education management information system which the Ministry is trying to grapple with. Information systems are very important for collecting and processing data that is necessary for making policy in education. I expected the Minister to inject a little bit of more money and serious attention in that respect. The development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), for instance, is still wanting in our own institutions. Lastly, the Minister talked about the Education Act that is being written. I have read through that Act and there are many reservations that stakeholders in education have raised with respect to it. One of them is that it seeks to destroy the autonomy of various institutions. In other words, the Act anticipates to merge all acts that have created various educational institutions and in the process destroy their creativity and autonomy. While the Minister has allocated some money to the TSC which is an education institution that he intends to support, we would like to say that while writing the Education Act, the TSC should not be destroyed in the process. We would like to uphold the TSC. If you recall while writing the Bomas Draft, in fact, the TSC was going to be given a slot in the constitutional amendments like any other commission that was going to be established by law. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another area which I do not know if it falls under the Ministry of Education is the provision of education, particularly dealing with the terms and conditions of service of teachers and so on. While we write the Act, I would like to request the Minister to pay attention to those areas that have been mentioned. I would like to thank the Minister for Finance, in particular for recognising the Ministry of Education and allocating it the money that is required. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to raise an issue concerning educational management. If you look at the Ministry of Education, you will see that it is run basically by people from one ethnic community. The management structure consists of people from one ethnic community. That is right from the Minister to the Permanent Secretary, all the way down. In educational management, we would like to diversify. That does not mean that---
On point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to request the hon. Member to substantiate what he means by saying that the top management is from the same ethnic community. Is he saying that the top management of the Ministry of Education is from the Meru Community?
Dr. Rutto, let us steer clear of that. It is not helping us here. We should address issues here.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, ethnicity is an issue, but I will steer clear of that.
Order, Dr. Rutto! That is the ruling from the Chair. Stop discussing that issue.
You better stop doing that. Go back to the microphone and address issues.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will stop. July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2539 I appreciate the fact that the Government has allocated a lot of funds to the Ministry of Education. Indeed, education, to me, should be the greatest investment a society can make in improving the health of its people, eradicating poverty and in liberating her people from the limiting circumstances of today and tomorrow. I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate concerning the Vote of the Ministry of Education. Right from the word go, I would wish to come out very clearly in support of this Motion. Indeed, the Budget allocation for the Ministry is the biggest in the entire Government. It is, rightly so, because we give it top priority. The development of human capital is, indeed, the most critical. We know that it is the human capital which actually develops all the other resources. We are lucky that the Ministry is among the most, as my colleagues said, efficient and effective in the Government as indicated by various indicators both in primary and secondary education as well as in university education. This is also indicated by the effective usage of funds. We have also seen the enthusiasm by teachers, parents, students, donors and all other stakeholders. That shows that they are motivated because the resources are well utilised. We are happy with the better pay for teachers because they play a critical role in developing young and old minds. The supply of laboratory equipment to schools has been good. It has been successful and should continue. The increase of bursary funds to both secondary schools and universities should continue. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, I would like to pin-point six areas which the Ministry officials ought to focus on, even as they continue to do a good job. Let us look at the recruitment of teachers. A colleague of mine, earlier, said that he was happy with the method of recruitment. I will qualify that and say that the recruitment of teachers for secondary schools has been excellent. It is done at the level of the school and it addresses the immediate needs of the school at the right levels. However, some of us are very discontented with the recruitment of primary school teachers because it has discriminated against some districts. The most discriminated district is Embu, which has not had a chance to recruit teachers in the last four years, yet we have vacancies in several primary schools in the rural areas. If we were using the recruitment system used in secondary schools, we would be carrying out recruitment exercise in that district because we have vacancies in the rural schools in Embu District, and especially in my constituency, Runyenjes. However, we are told that we are over-staffed because of over-staffing in Embu Municipality, where the spouses of the Provincial officials are based. So, we have been disadvantaged for the last four years and I would like the Minister and the Permanent Secretary to look at Embu as a special case. In the last four years, we have not filled any vacancies in primary schools. The second challenge we are facing is OPEC funding. Many of us have benefited from OPEC funding, some of us with the full amount of Kshs2.1 million per project. However, we were a bit unlucky because now I cannot see that funding in the Vote of this Ministry. Having received the first phase of Kshs670,000 per project, we are now not seeing any funding in the Ministry's budget from OPEC.
It is here.
Is it here?
Order, Mr. Wambora!
I am sorry, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Bw. Waziri is just informing me that it is there.
Do not address him.
I will address you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would want that point to be clarified because I do not see the allocation of OPEC for this financial year. I think it is a very important source of funding for some of our very dilapidated facilities. 2540 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 Thirdly, I want to turn to the challenges of rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools. That project has been going on and I would like to appeal to the Ministry to continue with it, and particularly special emphasis should be put in the pockets of poverty. Those areas without adequate resources indeed, require funds of the Ministry to supplement the CDF allocations. The CDF allocation is not adequate. We need to continue getting funds for the running of primary and secondary schools, and especially primary schools which do not have permanent structures. The fourth challenge is that of teaching computer lessons. Indeed, ICT is a high priority area all over the world and Kenya should follow suit. This is a sector which has not been addressed by the Ministry because we have very few computer literate teachers. We have very few computer teachers in schools. Secondly, very few schools have computers. We know that quite a number of schools in the rural areas do not even have electricity. I hope that, at one time, as the Minister said, schools in the rural areas will be connected with electricity so that they can benefit from the ICT sector, especially now that we will get the fibre optic cables connected to all the constituencies by the end of the year. We need to be ready to benefit from that network which will connect Kenya to the world, very efficiently. There was a proposal for the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to give assistance to schools--- Two schools in my constituency, Runyenjes, were promised the assistance and up to now, we have not received any assistance at all. We hope that the NEPAD Computer Programme is still on. Number five, I want to look at the issue of free tuition in secondary schools, which is a very commendable and welcome move. But I would like to appeal to the Ministry to consider issuing free text books to students who come from poor families, so that they can benefit from that, in addition to free tuition. To give others a chance, may I go to my sixth challenge in this sector. This is the challenge of more enrolment in secondary schools by, of course, increasing educational facilities. What am I saying? I am saying that the Ministry should actually put more emphasis to more day secondary schools because they are going to help kids from poor rural families. The fees in such schools is very low. In addition, the Ministry should encourage and even give incentives for the introduction of day streams in boarding schools. That will help local students to attend those schools and also encourage higher enrolment. With those few remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to say a few words about this Ministry's Vote - Vote 31. From the outset, I would like to commend the Ministry. The Minister, in his speech today, has just raised the very issue of transition rates from primary to secondary schools. We can be proud that, within four years, we can talk about having risen from 47 per cent to 60 per cent. But connected to that improvement is the fact that, in all areas across the country, there will, obviously, be the need to have more secondary schools. As we strive to increase the transitional rate from primary to secondary to beyond 80 per cent, obviously, the need for more secondary schools will have to be addressed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in a cunning way - welcomely - I do appreciate that the Minister for Finance reduced the Development Vote of the Ministry of Education by Kshs1.142 billion in this year's Budget. I think what he has done is to take advantage of the realization that most hon. Members, through their Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) kitty, have taken up the expansion and construction of new secondary schools in a bid to address this need, which is, obviously, up-most in everybody's mind. If you have so many kids transiting from primary schools, they will need to have some good secondary schools. Therefore, I think the Minister for Finance must have toyed with the idea of where to place part of the Development Vote. Still attached to this transition, and the Minister did speak about it, is the fact that, as more July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2541 and more of our students get secondary education, more and more will, therefore, obviously qualify for admission into public universities. We now need to address this issue squarely. Is it right for us to continue saying publicly that any student who attains Grade "C+" qualifies for university education while, at the same time, we know that the reality now, in light of the many students who are qualifying, you need to have some certain form of Grade "B+" minimum, to be admitted to a public university. While on this point, the issue that I want to address is this: Many of those schools that have come up, have come up in marginal areas. Those are the areas that never used to receive enough funding. They have been addressed through the CDF. Therefore, we have a situation here where, in very many of those areas, many kids who attain Grade "C+", "B-" or "B" will not qualify for admission to public universities, merely because of what they are calling the "cut-off", which is set by the Joint Admissions Board (JAB). So, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will end up having students being admitted to public universities and accessing loans from Higher Educations Loans Board (HELB) - those who come from what you would call "academies", national and a few provincial schools. The import of that is obvious. A lot of those "regulars" in marginal areas, or what used to be called "unproductive Kenya" by the colonialists, will continue to lag behind in the area of provision of university education. Therefore, the issue I am trying to raise is this: Is there a need for us to look at the HELB Act and try to align it with the reality that we have kids who qualify for admission into public universities, but they cannot be admitted on account of the cut-off points put in place by JAB? We should look for ways--- Those kids cannot even access parallel education because their parents find it very difficult to afford it. They are the ones who are actually saying "Haleluia" because of the free tuition which is coming in January, 2008! So, we have a situation which is a little untenable. Kids will get Grade "B" out there, and they cannot be admitted to public universities. They cannot even pursue parallel degree programmes because they cannot qualify for loans under HELB. So, I want to urge the Ministry, in a holistic way, to address this issue and see how best we can, in an affirmative way, solve that problem. We have far too many kids out there who feel they are qualified because they are told that the qualifying mark is "C+". So, we actually end up creating a very, very big group of discontented pupils, students or school leavers out there, who cannot get education. Yet, there are more affluent brothers and sisters from various places whose parents are able to afford parallel education in public universities and they attained Grade "B". Therefore, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I really want to appeal to the Ministry to see how best that situation could be addressed. Even if we need to look at the HELB Act, we need to address it pragmatically without having to bury our heads in the sand, and refusing to face the reality on the ground. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I welcome the fact that Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is now getting funding to put up its new headquarters. I am aware, through the Public Investments Committee (PIC), that TSC spends close to Kshs100 million every year in paying rent for their current building. I have argued in the past that, that does not make sense to me. They continue spending so much money renting space, when they can actually get an allocation from the Government to put up their headquarters. That issue could be addressed in one, two or three financial years. Then, after that, what used to go towards rent would be a thing of the past. That is something welcome and I congratulate the Minister for that. There is the issue of the people called Quality Assurance Officers. My interaction with them is quite intense. I spend between 47.5 per cent and 49 per cent of my Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money on education sector alone. There are people called the Quality Assurance Officers. These are the people who need to be trained. I do not understand what quality some of them can actually go to assure. They need so much thorough training. Some cannot even address you or gatherings comprising of teachers whom they even go to inspect, in proper English. You wonder 2542 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 where they went to school and yet they have been given the responsibilities of Quality Assurance Officers. It is something good to have them but they should be of quality, they should be duly qualified and capable of ensuring that what happens in schools is something that is going to be of benefit to the country and to the learners themselves. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to African Development Bank (ADB) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) grants, I know that they have been coming in a very haphazard way. I hope that can be improved. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion on the Vote of the Ministry of Education. I would like to join my colleagues in congratulating the Minister and all the people who work in his Ministry because they have done such a great job. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I, particularly, would like to thank the Ministry for the way bursaries have been provided. I would like to say that although they are not enough, it has been such a relief to parents to know that some students would get a certain amount of money. I know that in my constituency, there have been so many orphans that it has been virtually impossible to support some students who are not orphans but who are very needy. I know that parents are very anticipating in the proposed free secondary education come next year. That will be the greatest gift to parents. I know that if other hon. Members are like me, most of the time, parents approach them because they want some school fees for their children. So, I want to thank the Ministry for that good work.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to raise an issue that I have raised here before but I want to emphasize it again because I think that the Ministry really needs to look into it. Going back to the colonial times, the way we were introduced into schools and into the education system, was to instil fear of teachers and authority in us. Until very recently, teachers used that approach to instil what they said was discipline into children by caning them. Now we do not cane but I must say that there is still a lot of fear in our children. I wish the Ministry would pay close attention to what is happening to our children. There is no reason why children should have fear of teachers or authority because fear kills creativity. Children need to be able to communicate and to dialogue with their teachers. But when you go to schools and see the way, for example, even governance of student bodies is organized, you can see, just like it used to be done during our times when schools were being run alongside missionary discipline, there is no encouragement despite the fact that we are talking about developing democracy in our country. There is no encouragement of democratic governance in our schools. If that institution does not instil in our children a sense of democratic system of governance, a sense of ability to dialogue, communicate and have open space, how will those children learn that you have to listen to each other, disagree and give space to each other? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have paid a lot of attention to schools in my constituency and I must say that I find the fear that these children have, whether in primary or secondary, as part of the reason why they act in mobs when they are dissatisfied, whether with food, the way they are being taught or the dormitories. Quite often, it is something that they could July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2543 have gone to their teachers and discussed about. They could have a dialogue with their teachers. But what do they do? They riot because they act like a mob. They have no capacity and they fear. So, the only time they get courage is when they act together in a mob. That is the way they react to their teachers; by rioting or doing whatever they want to do like being disobedient as a group. They are not willing to engage their teachers, the principal or the head teacher and say; "this is what we would like." I have been to some universities and some high schools in some countries where students are given an opportunity to create their government. They have an opportunity to say that this is the person who will be our class prefect. They are able to create a student government guided by their teachers, but they learn to choose their leaders. In our schools, just like the first teachers did, it is the teachers who say; "you shall be the prefect." If you go to a school and talk to a student and the student does not want to talk to you, the principal or the head teacher says; "call so-and-so," because that is the student who is able to articulate well or he is the prefect. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I find that, that kind of education system is not producing people with confidence who can provide us with the kind of people in leadership positions that we really need. I wish that the Ministry would look into it. I know that there is no feeling that something is needed, but I have personally looked at it and I really think that we need to do something about that. Maybe we have counsellors in schools, although I have not come across them, but we do need an approach. Maybe we should do a research and find out about the fear in our schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have also mentioned about the issue of environmental education. I again want to emphasize that I think that for a country like Kenya, where we are largely agricultural and, therefore, depend very much on primary natural resources like forests, water, soil or land, it does not make any sense for anybody to come out of school even at the level of high school and have no clue about environmental education. They are not able to think holistically about the environment. That person goes to the university and he or she is not exposed to environmental education. Tomorrow, that person becomes a road engineer. So, when they construct roads, they have no clue about the impact of roads on environmental destruction. They have no clue of how they can prevent soil erosion along the roads. When that person, tomorrow, becomes the Minister for Agriculture or Minister for Water and Irrigation, for example, he will have no clue about environmental issues, because he never studied environmental education from the very beginning. I really do not understand why, to us, other than the fact that we follow rather than think on our own--- What is it that we need as a country? What kind of thinking do we want in the people who govern our country? There is no reason why we, as a people who live on primary resources, should not expose our children to the need to think holistically and take care of our environment, from primary, secondary to college level. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the fact that we do not have environmental education, to me, is still a mystery. To me, it just means that we do not understand how important the environment is. In this House, I have raised the issue of environment severally. I can talk about the environment in relation to every Ministry, and be relevant. This is because the environment is a cross-cutting issue, throughout the Ministries. Especially, in the Ministry of Education, we need citizens who understand why we should take care of our forests, soils and land. Also, we need citizens who understand why it is important to manage our natural resources responsibly and accountably. If we will not do so, we will end up having decision makers who will make decisions while they are completely unaware of what those decisions will do to our environment. Before I finish, I would like to cite an example. We are now speaking a lot about a plant which is popularly known as mathenge . That plant was---
2544 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is an earthquake!
Is there an earthquake?
You did not feel that, but there was a tremor!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is amazing, but these tremors have been going on for sometime. But I was talking about---
Your time is up!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was interrupted because of the earthquake.
What do you have to say, before you finish? How do you end?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to support Vote 31, with the following comments which I hope the Minister will note. First, I would like to say that, yes, come next year, we will support the Government's move to pay tuition for students in secondary schools, at a per capita of Kshs3,600. However, if we do not control the school boards, they will still escalate the fees, to the extent that we will not feel the difference. The boards of governors, these days, are more or less out of control. With all due respect, I would like to tell the Minister that when we, as the District Education Boards (DEBs), send names of people that we nominate to the new boards - because Members of Parliament sit in the boards that nominate the boards of governors for the secondary schools - it takes not less than six months before the names are returned. This actually means that the boards, during that period, act when their terms have expired. Therefore, they act illegally. I do not want to predict, but we will find, one day, a school being sued and the board will have been found to have been acting illegally, because its term has expired and it has not been renewed. So, I would like to ask the Minister - because Cap.211 of the Education Act, at the moment, says that the Minister is the only one who should sign - to make amendments to the Education Act, in order to allow, maybe, the Permanent Secretary or any other officer to be able to sign the list of names of people who are recommended to the DEBs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Government for fast-tracking the payment of increased teachers' salaries, which were based on the 1997 agreement. However, I would like the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to be fair in terms of promotion of teachers. There is something that is seriously lacking in the TSC. I am happy that officers from the TSC are here, because I will be saying more things, again, about the TSC. The promotion of primary and secondary school teachers is not being done fairly. Therefore, even as we increase teachers' salaries, their promotion is not done equitably. Whereas I have said that, when we implement the new Act, which the Minister says that is forthcoming, the TSC should remain as the employing body for the teachers. When we were in Bomas, the views of many Kenyans were that the TSC should remain intact. Although we did not adopt the Bomas Draft, we still got the feeling of what Kenyans want. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, several areas of the Education Act require updating. Since the Bill is not published, I do not want to pre-empt debate. But I would like to say that the Ministry should go out and hear views from the stakeholders. This is because if we just make laws here without getting the stakeholders' views, we will end up making laws which do not suit Kenyans. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the Minister was moving the Vote, he mentioned something about supporting orphans and children with special needs. I would like to say that the schools for disabled, blind and deaf children should be helped 100 per cent. But you will July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2545 find that in a family where disability is inherited genetically, for example, the parents cannot even support the children. But when they take their children to schools for children with disabilities and they are asked to pay Kshs20,000 or Kshs30,000, and yet, they are also disabled, how will they support these children? We should fully support these schools for people with disabilities, so that they can accommodate the children. Where the parent, of course, has the resources and he wants to send his child to a better school, that will be up to him to do so. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) has helped Kenyans to build many schools, especially, secondary schools. In my constituency, for example, the number of schools has increased from 15 to over 40 schools. We have laboratories which have been constructed, but there is no assistance at all from the Ministry. I would like to request the Ministry, given its huge budget, to help in equipping laboratories. It is a crucial thing, because when we try to equip them using the CDF money, sometimes we do not get the right equipment, yet, we require standardised equipment, because students sit for similar examinations countrywide. Therefore, the Government should supply the laboratory equipment. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as my colleagues said earlier, universities are now turning out to be commercial institutions, and yet all the public universities; from the first ones, including University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University to the new ones, including Maseno University, were all built using Government resources. But now, they are admitting more students to undertake parallel programmes, because they have set very high cut-off points for joining regular programmes. These students do not get loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), which gives out loans. God willing, and I wish there will be time, I will bring a Motion to say that all Kenyan students who go to universities which are recognised by Kenyan law should be given loans through the HELB. Why do we have to discriminate thereby making other students remain at home and yet they passed their examinations? By simply failing to get one or two points, they cannot qualify to get the loans from HELB! We want that to be done. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, because we want to increase the number of pupils transiting from primary schools to secondary schools, we should have more day schools, as my colleagues said earlier on. What are these things called provincial schools? What do they get for being provincial schools? We build the schools. I have written to this Ministry--- My people build the schools and then they are baptised "Provincial Schools". Children are brought from outside my area to join these schools and yet we sold our cattle to build them. That is not right! This is where you go sanctioning communities. We want our schools to take as many children as possible from the local area. Let them be day schools. In Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) areas, I support the establishment of boarding schools. That is fine. What is in a boarding school, anyway? It is just about eating food in the evening and watching television. What we want is the child to get education. Education is found in the classroom and not the dormitories. In fact, many of the problems arise from the dormitories. If you are keen and you, actually, listen to the radio and watch television, you will realise that there are so many problems in boarding schools. They all arise, not from the classroom, but from the dormitories. This issue of forcing schools to be provincial schools is not right. These schools were built by our communities, so let them have the right of controlling them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Ministry because we have seen in the newspapers that they are going to employ more primary school and secondary school teachers. In secondary schools, it is okay because the schools have been listed. The problem is in the employment of primary school teachers. In my own constituency, in the last two recruitments, the TSC removed teachers from Mosop and they put in--- Because they keep on referring to some year, 1995--- This time I will go to court. This time I will wait when they are campaigning. When the Minister will be campaigning, I will say, "You have always discriminated against Mosop". And you tell us, "1995". Why? If teachers who have trained from my area graduated in 2001, why 2546 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 should you remove them from the list because somebody has come to Kapsabet Town? They come and buy identity cards and then pretend that they have been in Kapsabet all along and then you remove--- Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, out of the 17 chances that we were given last year, we shared them between two constituencies, that is, Emgwen got nine while Mosop got eight. We passed that because the Ministry conducted the interviews and we, as the District Education Board (DEB), in which my friend, hon. Tarus, the District Commissioner as Chairman and I sat, sent the names to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), but the TSC eliminated all the names of children from Mosop. When the Minister will be replying, I want him to say why these children from Mosop were eliminated. Finally, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say that when employing teachers this time, they should be employed on constituency basis. Constituency basis! Constituency basis and nothing else! I beg to support.
Ahsante, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Nashukuru Mwenyezi Mungu kwa fursa hii. Mwenyezi Mungu anatuambia---
Order, Mr. Wario! Order! What is it? Adjust your microphone!
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nashukuru Mwenyezi Mungu kwa sababu katika Kurani tukufu anatuambia, "Soma kwa jina la Mola wako aliyeumba mwanadamu kwa pande la damu. Soma, Mola wako ni mtukufu ambaye amemfunza---"
Order, Mr. Wario! Please, adjust your microphone a bit so that you do not have to strain.
Ahsante, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Mwenyezi Mungu anatuambia:- "Soma kwa jina la Mola wako aliyeumba mwanadamu kwa pande la damu. Soma, Mola wako ni mtukufu mno ambaye amemfunza kuandika kwa kalamu. Amemfunza mwanadamu asilolijua." Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, hayo si maneno yangu bali ni maneno yake Mwenyezi Mungu katika Kurani tukufu Sura 96, Aya ya kwanza hadi ya tano. Kuhusu umuhimu wa elimu, Mwenyezi Mungu ametoa mfano huu kuthibitisha kufaulu kwa mwanadamu humu duniani na ahera keshoye. Ili mwanadamu apate kutatua matatizo yake, inategemea ni elimu aina gani mwanadamu amefunzwa. Mbali na hayo, ninasimama kuunga mkono Hoja hii. Siyo kwa sababu niko upande wa kulia wa Bunge hili bali ni kwa sababu nilivukia upande wa kulia wa Bunge hili kwa minajili ya elimu bora inayotolewa kwa watoto wa nchi hii. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa uchumi unaokuwa kama wa Kenya, kutenga Kshs115 bilioni kwa ajili ya elimu ni swala ambalo halifai kusahaulika licha ya changamoto za kisiasa zilizopo. Wengi watajigamba leo eti watapeana elimu ya bure ya shule za upili. Mimi ninashangazwa kwa sababu wengine wao waliwahi kuwa Mawaziri katika Wizara ya Elimu lakini nasikitika kwamba hawakuwahi kuota ndoto hiyo walipokuwa Mawaziri. Leo ni rahisi wao kuwadanganya Wakenya eti watapeana elimu ya bure kwa shule zote za upili.
Order, Mr. Wario! You should not use unparliamentary language!
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda nitaliondoa neno hili na badala yake niseme watapotosha Wakenya kwa sababu wanaota ndoto isiyotekelezeka. Leo, elimu ya bure imetolewa kwa watoto. Watoto wafugaji wasiokuwa na tamaa ya kufika Darasa la Nane, leo wameacha kuchunga mifugo na kila mmoja anakimbia kuelekea July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2547 darasani kung'ang'ana kama watoto wengine wa Kenya. Serikali, kupitia tuition, imesema kwamba karo inayotolewa kwa ajili ya masomo itaondolewa mwaka ujao. Huo ni mzigo wa pili wa Mkenya kuondolewa. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ni vigumu mtu kuamka siku moja kujenga nyumba na kuikamilisha. Hii elimu ya bure ina matatizo mengi. Kuna ukosefu wa karakana na shida za uajiri. Maswala haya siyo ya kuamka siku moja na kuyatekeleza. Hivyo, basi, elimu bila malipo ni nyota inayong'ara katika Bara la Afrika. Imekuwa jina na picha nzuri ya Serikali hii. Hivyo, basi, mimi nachukuwa fursa hii kumshukuru Waziri, Wizara ya Elimu pamoja na Serikali kwa kuleta fikira hii na kuendeleza mazungumzo hayo. Leo, masomo katika shule za msingi ni ya bure kwa watoto wetu. Pia, tuna ndoto kwamba matatizo makubwa yanayokabili shule za upili huenda yakatatuliwa hivi karibuni. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ningependa kuomba Wizara na vile vile niwakumbushe mambo kuhusu mtoto mfugaji. Kwa nini ninawakumbusha? Ukisoma Ripoti ya Ominde ya 1973 na ile ya Koech ya 1997, ikiwa sikusahau, zimegusia maswala ya wanafunzi kujiandikisha shuleni. Baada ya kuileta sera ya elimu ya bure, maswala yale yaliondolewa. Hata hivyo, tunakotoka sisi wengine, hasa nikuzungumza kuhusu sehemu kame za nchi hii---Tutakapozungumza juu ya idadi ya walimu na mpangilio wa masomo kwa watoto wanaotoka katika jamii za wafugaji, nafikiri kwamba huenda itakuwa ndiyo chanzo cha watoto hao kufanya vizuri katika mitihani ya kitaifa. Ningependa kutoa mfano wa Wilaya ya Tana River. Wilaya hii, zaidi ya miaka 25 iliyopita, imekuwa "ikiongoza kwa nyuma". Inajulikana wazi kwamba katika mitihani ya kitaifa ya Kenya, Wilaya ya Tana River huwa mwisho. Kwa muda wa nusu karne sasa, Wilaya ya Tana River imeshikilia nafasi hiyo ya mwisho. Je, wale walio katika Idara ya Uhakiki wa Ubora na Viwango, yaani Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards wamefikiria nini kuhusu swala hili? Je, Wizara inapaswa kuleta mikakati ya aina gani? Hii ni kwa sababu wilaya moja "kuongoza" kutoka nyuma kwa miaka 25 ni swala ambalo lazima tujiulize kama taifa. Ni lazima tujue pengo liko wapi, matatizo ni gani na ni vipi tunastahili kusuluhisha shida hiyo. Aidha, ni muhimu tuelewe ikiwa ni muhimu kumfanya mwanafunzi kutoka jamii ya wafugaji kushindana na watoto wengine wa nchi hii. Kwa hivyo, ninawakumbusha kwamba hilo ni ombi tu. Ninaishukuru Wizara kwa kutenga pesa kwa minajili ya utoaji wa maziwa na chakula shuleni. Katika sehemu nyingi humu nchini, kuweko na hakikisho la kupata chakula ni tatizo kubwa. Utaona kwamba pasipokuweko na maziwa na chakula, idadi kubwa ya watoto hawataweza kwenda shuleni. Kwa hivyo, ninatoa shukurani yangu na kuipongeza Wizara kwa kuhakikisha kwamba maziwa na chakula vinatolewa kwa watoto shuleni, haswa katika shule za msingi. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, tunazungumza juu ya shule za msingi, lakini kuna "shule za msingi" zaidi kuliko zile shule za msingi tunazozungumzia. Ningependa kuiomba Wizara ifikirie jinsi itakavyoshughulikia shule za kiwango chini ya zile za msingi kwa sababu wengi wa watoto katika shule hizo wanasomeshwa kupitia michango ya wanavijiji. Wakati mwingine senti hupatikana na wakati mwingine hukosekana. Hali hii inaharibu motisha ya wale wanaofundisha watoto ambao bado hawajafikia kiwango cha shule ya msingi. Tukizungumza juu ya bursary, motisha kwa waalimu, kuboreshwa kwa karakana, na kila kitu ambacho ningegusia leo tunaona kwamba kimetengewa hela katika Bajeti. Mishahara ya waalimu imeongezwa. Kuongezeka kwa motisha ya waalimu kutaongeza motisha ya watoto wetu. Kuhusu uboreshaji wa karakana, nikichukua mfano katika sehemu ninayowakilisha Bungeni, tumejenga madarasa zaidi ya 100 kwa muda wa miaka minne. Tulifanya hivyo kwa ushirikiano wa hazina ya CDF na Wizara ya Elimu. Inasemekana kwamba chema chajiuza na kibaya--- Sitaki kuumalizia msemo huu. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ombi langu la mwisho linahusu maslahi ya wakazi katika sehemu kame za nchi hii. Sehemu kame ya nchi hii si wilaya katika Mkoa wa Kaskazini Mashariki peke yake. Sehemu kame ya nchi hii ni kubwa zaidi. Sehemu kame za humu nchini zinahitaji 2548 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 kuzingatiwa kikamilifu, kwa sababu miaka 40 iliyopita, sehemu hizo zilidhulumiwa kupita upita uwezo wa mwanadamu yeyote. Kuziinua sehemu hizo, kimaendeleo, kwa muda wa miaka minne ni vigumu. Kwa hivyo, ninaiomba Wizara ianzishe sera itakayoshughulikia maslahi ya sehemu kame kwa njia maalum zaidi kuliko sehemu nyingine nchini. Kwa nini? Kwa sababu dhuluma ya miaka 40 ni dhulumu kubwa sana. Kwa hayo machache, ninaiunga Hoja hii mkono.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to support the Ministry of Education for its very good work for the time the current Minister has been there. Members of staff in the Ministry have also done a commendable job. I would like to dispel the fears expressed by some hon. Members of this House to the effect that the Ministry's officials at Jogoo House comprise of people from one region. That is not true, because even the demographic patterns in the country are all reflected in that Ministry. So, you find people from all areas in the Ministry. Therefore, that allegation is not true. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Education is a service Ministry. As such, we should not be thinking that it has a lot of money even when it is given Kshs120 billion to run the services. As we know, without education, this country will not head anywhere. It is for that reason, therefore, that we should be supporting the Ministry of Education's expenditure, and in that way support the services that the Ministry continues to offer. We have schools, right from pre-primary to primary, secondary up to university. What we see registered at the university level is not a replica of what comes from secondary schools. You find that very many students qualify to join university after secondary school education, but they do not access the universities, just because the university admission cut-off point is too high. I am told that even Grade "B+" no longer takes one to university. One has to score a mean grade of "A-" to qualify for admission to university. To score grade "A-", particularly for students from schools in the rural areas, is a problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are, therefore, asking the Ministry of Education to consider lowering the admission grades to public universities, or start more universities in those areas, where those students come from, or provide funding, through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), to those students who score the minimum university admission qualification of mean grade "C+". If that happens, we will encourage and motivate even the teachers who teach in those schools. You will also note that students who qualify for HELB loans are only those who get admission to the regular university programmes, and not those in the parallel programme. Students who are in the parallel programme, which is referred to as "Module II", did not join those programmes out of their own choice. Some of them would like to get superior degrees but they cannot do so in public universities. So, this should not be seen to be a reason for not giving students pursuing parallel degree programmes HELB loans. I would, therefore, urge the Ministry of Education to re-consider this matter, so that those who join the parallel degree programmes are accorded loans, just like their counterparts in public and private universities. There is no difference between privately-sponsored student pursuing studies in a private university and one pursuing studies through the parallel degree programme in a public university. So, I do not understand why HELB cannot give loans to students pursuing university education through the parallel programmes in public universities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you also note that in order to join university, one must pass seven subjects. Most of those subjects are compulsory. One has to pass two science subjects out of three - Physics, Chemistry or Biology. The other compulsory subjects are Mathematics and the two language. You are left with only one applied and one humanity subject. For one to pass in those subjects, therefore, one has to have proper science equipment. Such equipment is not there in July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2549 some schools, particularly those in the rural areas. You find that some schools in the rural areas are disadvantaged compared to those in urban set-ups. You realise that those students who join the universities are from either the private academies or some very good provincial schools. That makes those students studying in the rural areas never to get admission to universities, because they cannot make it. They have to pass some of the compulsory subjects, and these cannot even be offered because their schools have no facilities. Therefore, you cannot compare somebody who is doing Physics in a school in Garbatula, or somewhere in Garissa or Marsabit, to another student who is doing the same subject in Alliance High School. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in some cases, students have to use electricity, but that electricity is not even available in the rural areas. How then do you compare a student studying under such an environment to another student who has access to all the required facilities? I would, therefore, ask the Ministry of Education to have the Kenya National Examinations Council set examinations which are suitable for the rural schools rather than favour those ones in urban centres; the current set-up is discriminatory. We have the same parents continuing to have their children dominating admission to universities and provincial schools. That is a very serious oversight. You also note that the number of our schools are increasing. Following the introduction of the Free Primary Education, the number of pupils in primary schools increased by between 1.2 and 2 million. If you divide 2 million pupils by 40, which is the ideal teacher to pupil ratio, you will realise that we require more than 60,000 teachers. We are deceiving ourselves because there was an increase of 2 million students and we have not increased the number of teachers to cope with them. That translates to poor quality of education. That means that students who will join secondary schools and universities might be raw-baked. Eventually, they might not be very useful to our country. I would like to ask the Ministry to hire more teachers. We are deceiving ourselves when we say that an increase of about two million students can be handled by 4,000 teachers. That number of teachers cannot do much. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, every other year, we recruit teachers. Most of the time, the recruited teachers are to replace those who have passed on or retired. We have only recruited about 4,000 teachers this year. Those teachers are not enough to cope with the increased number of students. When we are told to provide facilities for primary school students to join secondary schools, we put up secondary schools using our Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money. When we do that, we create another problem. We cannot get teachers until that school has 100 students. To get 100 students, a school has to run for about four years. If a class starts with only 40 students, by the time those students reach Form II, they will run away because they have no teachers. By the time they get to Form III, they will not even be there because there will be no facilities to continue with their studies. When will those schools pick up? The only thing we can do is encourage the newly built schools by providing them with teachers and science equipment. That way, students in those schools can be retained. Our retention rate, therefore, in most day schools, is negligible. We are not making it possible. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, quality education is hampered by poor supervision of teachers. The inspectorate is under-staffed. We need to increase the number of Quality Assurance Officers. In some districts, there are none. In the new districts, there is no hope of getting even half. What I am recommending is that, as much as we continue employing teachers, let us think about the headquarters. We have to increase the officers in the Inspectorate Division. Let us recruit more officers so that they are able to assess and inspect the kind of education that we are giving our children. The issue of textbooks is another problem. Every year, new books are released. Every time 2550 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 new books are released, that calls for money, which is not available. Education, therefore, becomes very expensive. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to support the Motion. First of all, in the Printed Estimates that we have been given, both the big one and the small one, I have not seen any breakdown for the districts. We are missing that this year. I really do not know what will go to my district after we approve this budget. The Ministry is hiding something there. I do not know why they have done it this way this year. May I congratulate the Ministry for the projects---
Prof. Olweny, are you sure about that?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have looked at those books and I did not see the districts---
Order, Prof. Olweny! Mr. Minister, what---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, maybe, I may have to buy new glasses. I did not see anything!
Mr. Minister, did you hear what the hon. Member said? He has said these funds have not been distributed according to districts.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I shall respond accordingly when I respond to the Motion.
I did not want him to proceed in that line unless he had a wrong thought.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is something to be noted by Parliament. We are approving what is going to be spent by this country for the whole financial year. I did not see anything for my district. Anyway, I want to congratulate the Minister and his Ministry for the project of hiring teachers. It is good. I have seen the number of vacancies that they have advertised. I am only concerned that they are too few for my district. We only have 131 vacancies for primary school teachers. My constituency alone needs over 50 teachers. But that is what the Ministry has given us. I hope that there will be fair distribution this time. Sometimes, the District Education Boards (DEBs), which hire primary school teachers, do not distribute them well. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also wish to congratulate the Minister for waiving tuition fees for secondary schools next year. That is a good move. But Kshs3,000 is not enough. Students attending day schools pay not less than Kshs12,000. We still have a lot of weight on the parents. Many parents are unemployed. We have single parents. It is a difficult thing for them to afford. I wish the Government could have gone a little further by doing a little more for the parents. As I said, Kshs3,000 is not enough. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, quite a lot of money, as indicated in the Printed Estimates, will be used for quality assurance. It has been there every now and then. But quality teaching should be reflected in good results. At least, for my province, we have been having very poor results, year in, year out. Some politicians said that politicians from that province are the ones who make their students fail. I do not know when hon. Members or councillors were employed to teach in schools. We should blame the Ministry when there are poor results, just the same way we blame the Minister of State for Adminstration and National Security when young people are recruited to join the Mungiki sect. We do not blame politicians from areas where those people are being recruited as Mungiki supporters. So, why should politicians from other parts of the country be blamed when there are poor examination results? We need value for our money. We need value for the taxpayers' money in form of good results. The Ministry has to do something about it. Nyanza Province is now well known for poor examination results, year in, year out. We have July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2551 officers and teachers there. Why are students performing poorly? The Ministry has to tell us, and not the politicians. The last time I was in class is when I was at Maseno University. When I was teaching, my students were performing very well. If there was any failure, I did not ask any politician. That is something which the Ministry officials and teachers need to address. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me touch a little on university education in this country. University education is still a little bit expensive. That is one thing the country needs to address. Maybe, we are still not in a position to support everybody who joins a university. That is in terms of scholarships by the Government. But there is the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) facility, which could be extended to everybody. After all, those students will eventually repay that money when they have some sources of income. That money should be given to students in private universities, parallel degree programmes and other colleges, so that everybody has enough money to go to universities and colleges. That needs to be addressed because we have talked about it for a long time in this House. Therefore, it is high time the Ministry paid attention to it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, looking at the Estimates, I did not see any allocations for research work. Maybe, I need to buy new glasses. Sometime back, we passed a Motion here urging the Government to allocate research institutions and universities enough funds to be able to carry out research work. I do not know whether it comes through some other source, apart from the Estimates. I think that is one thing which needs to be addressed properly. Our professors, students and lecturers need to be facilitated by our Government to do research. This should not be left to donors alone. I know that they get a bit of money from outside the country, through proposals that they write to various donors. However, we also need to allocate good amount of money to our researchers and students who need scholarships for postgraduate studies. That is something the Government needs to address. I do not think it is adequately reflected in the Estimates. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as far as I know, some young universities like Maseno University and Masinde Muliro University do not have adequate facilities for teaching. I do not know who is supposed to buy the facilities for them. If it is the Government, I do not think it is reflected in the Estimates. If the Government will provide funding, at some point, it must be done transparently. It must be approved by us in this House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, apart from that, I think the Ministry is doing very well. In fact, it is one of the Ministries we are proud of. I congratulate the Minister for his good work. With those comments, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to contribute on this very important Vote. From the outset, I would like to commend the Ministry. In fact, if Kenyans were to elect a Vice President of this Republic on the basis of performance, I believe the Minister for Education would have very easily qualified without opposition even from ODM(K).
The officers at the Ministry have also worked very hard to deliver a very important service to our people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to thank the Ministry as a representative of the people who live around the Kisii highlands, for upgrading teachers training college at Kisii to a constituent university college. I believe that university college had started business from 1st, July, 2007. If it has not, I hope it will start business by the time we pass this Vote. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Ministry consumes nearly 25 per cent of our 2552 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 budget. I know it is an important Ministry, but we also have others that are also important. For example, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Roads and Public Works. However, this Government has decided to give an overwhelming support to this Ministry. It is good that they have actually delivered on that support. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are challenges. The first challenge is that we started to give free education from primary schools to secondary schools. However, we have forgotten that before a pupil joins Standard One, he or she goes through nursery and pre-primary school. I hope the Ministry will address that issue by the time the Minister responds tomorrow. Are they going to provide free nursery and pre-primary education to our children? We need to lay the foundation at that level. If the foundation is well laid at that level, then we know that we are developing an all-rounded human being. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the same issue, I would like to say that I will bring a Motion to this House to provide for free nursery and pre-primary education. I hope that the Minister will second the Motion when it comes up either tomorrow or next week. We need to demonstrate that what has been done in primary and secondary school can be extended to the foundation of education in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have problems on policy contradictions. At one time, the Minister directed us to use our Constituencies Development Funds (CDF) to build more classrooms in secondary schools. However, once we have devoted so much resources to do so, we do not get teachers and other facilities to enable us utilise the facilities. In my constituency, about two years ago, we built six secondary schools. The schools admitted students. Each one of them has in excess of 160 students, yet to date, they have neither been registered nor provided with teachers. Therefore, the community is contributing funds to employ the so called Board of Governors (BOG) teachers. I hope the Minister will look into that issue so that resources we have devoted to create more classrooms and schools can be utilised for the benefit of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a problem at the universities. The Ministry has said that anybody with Grade C-plus and above, is eligible to join university. However, admissions to public universities have been constrained because of accommodation. Why can we not provide day universities for our students? This happens all over the world. Let a student choose to stay at the university or outside, so long as he or she can get the education. Some of us are thinking that maybe the universities have conspired to limit regular student admission so as to raise money from Module II students. That will make education in this country a rich man's service. If you have money, you will be able to push your child through university because you can pay for Module II. The poor man and woman will not be able to have a brilliant child join university because of lack of money to pay for Module II. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to increase the number of national schools throughout the country. Why do we hang on to what we were given to us by the colonial government? Why can we not build national schools - or we can call them modern schools - in all districts? Such schools should be given all the facilities to perform well. That way, we can get equitable development in education. We should also have special programmes in that Ministry. We should, for instance, have special programmes for building schools and providing facilities which are not enjoyed by the rest of Kenyans. You need to go to the Ministry to discover that it has special programmes to give facilities such as science equipment to schools. Those facilities are supposed to be distributed equitably in the entire country. So, the Ministry should address the issue of equitable distribution of those resources to support Kenyan education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a problem with Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT). Recently, a Commission gave a report that Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should be scrapped. The TSC is performing a very important task in this country. I wish to say that Parliament will not approve that TSC should be scrapped. The Kamunge Report--- July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2553 Kamunge was in education 100 years ago. He has not kept abreast with the current developments. I do not think he has really learnt what the TSC provides for this country. So, the Minister should avoid, at all cost, to recommend for the scrapping of TSC. Finally, on the issue of fees, the Ministry gives fees guidelines every year. But those guidelines are never followed. We do not know whether they will be followed this coming year! Could the Minister come up with sanctions against those teachers or schools which do not follow his guidelines, so that we can relief our parents? Imagine, for instance, a poor man's child goes to Nairobi school, Alliance Girls or Kenya High School and he or she is required to pay fees to the tune of about Kshs40,000. They are also required to buy other things to the tune of Kshs50,000. We all know that 60 per cent of Kenyans live below poverty line. How can those people who live below poverty line afford to take their children to Alliance, Kenya High or other schools that perform well? We are condemning the poor parents. We are creating two classes of people in this country through our education system. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Vote. This Vote is very important because---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy, Sir. The hon. Member is not a Front Bench sitter!
Well, if it is just him, we can allow him to continue.
This Motion is very important because we are approving funds to manage education in this country. If you want to achieve development and industrialisation in this country, and have civilised people, you have to educate your children properly. I know what retarded this country for a long time. Education activities were not addressed properly. It was only recently, when His Excellency Hon. Kibaki took over the Government, that he considered the importance of education. He has a broad vision for education. If it was my responsibility, I could have decided that most of the funds be channelled for educational development. I concur with President Kibaki's opinion of introducing free primary education. I also support him for proposing free education in our secondary schools. I know that will uplift the marginalised communities that were left behind in education. Those people are very poor and could not afford secondary education. A community like Turkana cannot afford secondary education. Parents from Turkana cannot pay for secondary education. They cannot pay for college or university education for their children. So, if the Government introduces free secondary education, our people will benefit. I wish to beg the Government to consider marginalised communities, which were left behind by colonialists and the other regime that has been there for 40 years, without considering the welfare of marginalised or poor communities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that His Excellency the President's Government is very technical and focused. That is because, recently, the Government introduced the Constituencies Development Fund. Money is going to every constituency. In my constituency, I have already put up four secondary schools through the CDF money. We are also admitting Standard VIII school leavers with even 250 marks to secondary schools. I think it is time for the Government to really consider expanding education sector. Education needs a lot of facilities to achieve success. We need more teachers. Free education will not be successful without adequate teachers in our classrooms. Having a few teachers in schools will not enhance proper learning among our children. It is not reasonable to keep children in classrooms without having quality education. Students cannot get the required standards of education without enough teachers. I think the Government should strategise and adopt ways and means of getting enough funds to employ many teachers. We should have enough teachers to handle the large number of students joining primary and secondary schools. There are many secondary schools in my constituency which suffer 2554 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 from an acute shortage of teachers. So, I think in order to make this programme reasonable and successful, more teachers must be employed to manage education in those schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing I want to talk about is inspection of schools by education officers in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) like Turkana, Samburu and some parts of Pokot and North Eastern Province (NEP). They need vehicles because these are vast areas with a lot of hardships. They do not have means of transport to go and inspect schools. I urge the Government to provide them with vehicles, so that they are able to inspect learning process in our schools. With these few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Vote. I want to associate myself with those hon. Members who have praised the Minister. He is an outstanding man. I have had the opportunity to work for and with him when he was the Vice-President and the Minister for Finance. I think he has brought his experience to bear on this Ministry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, to a large extent, I think he has been too successful. I think so, because right now, in this country in order for one to be admitted to any of our public universities, he must have scored "A"-minus grade and above in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). I think that is over-success. I would like to invite the Minister and the Government to follow up on the very important aspect of education to create a proper environment for investment in private universities. This country is spending huge amounts of money sending students to foreign universities, including Uganda. At the last count, there were more than 6,000 students in Uganda alone. I am told that a careful inspection of the United States education system, Kenya is the second largest ranking country in terms of population contribution to that country. It is fair that those of us who are involved in this very important area of our country to remember that the students we send overseas are not going there for free. We are spending large sums of money which if properly invested would be able to produce sufficient universities for this country. I say so, because I find it very strange, and I am sure the Minister will tell us, why there is no university east of Thika Town and south east of the City of Nairobi. It is not fair that the communities that are living in the greater part of the eastern part of the country all the way to the coastline do not have universities. I was gratified to hear His Excellency the President saying that with foreign aid the country will establish the first university in Coast Province. That is not enough, bearing in mind the amount of money the country is spending overseas, we can fund these universities ourselves. We should not leave it to foreign donors, grants and the rest, because they all come with strings attached. I want to remind the hon. Minister because he is a professor of Mathematics that under the arithmetic that I have heard of, and I cannot remember who said this, that if you want to invest for one year, you plant maize. If you want to invest for ten years, you plant trees, but if you really want to invest for 100 years, then you invest in people. I think the time has come for this country to seriously take the issue of education as a critical contributor to the actual elimination of poverty. I personally believe that the day this country will have a wage earner in every home or household, even problems like we are having with Mungiki will disappear. People will no longer need to go and wait at matatu bus stops to collect commissions from matatu owners because they will buy their own matatus . Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the most critical areas where I think again the hon. Minister has been over-successful is on free primary education programme. I think as soon as he established this programme, he thought the game was over, but it is not. First of all, the population continues growing and yet we have, in fact - and I stand to be corrected when he responds, not built a single primary school though public funds in the last four years. In the old July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2555 days, we used to do this using Harambees even in the Minister's constituency. Right now, that has come to a standstill because of the Government's discouragement of Harambee projects. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the time to invest in more primary schools and teachers has come. I also want to salute the fact that the Government has now advertised the recruitment of 11,000 teachers. We need to be satisfied that the recruitment will be done in a proper manner and not in a slanted manner, so that those teachers will not only be recruited from areas where the Government enjoys support, but all over because this is a public resource. We want this recruitment of teachers done properly and in a transparent manner and above board. In fact, if I were the Government, I do dare to comment that, that recruitment be focused and spread out through the 210 constituencies. We want to give each constituency an opportunity for employment. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is ridiculous for parents to educate children all the way to Form Four and then they cannot use the benefit of that education because the school leaving certificates and result slips are tied up to this phenomenal problems of so called outstanding balances in school fees. I believe the hon. Minister and the Government knows that, in fact, examinations are not conducted by the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) and the owners of those certificates are not the schools. Therefore, the schools have no right or power to withhold the issuance of certificates to students. This is because, in the end, the education that we are giving to our children, becomes dead capital. They cannot engage in employment, get jobs and pursue further investment. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to suggest, with humility, that the time for this country to invest in e-learning has come. I hope the Minister and the Government will table in this House during this Session a Sessional Paper as to how this country can start contemplating the future. This is because the future is in e-learning where teachers and students are using computers. Now that the Government, in an election year, is dropping electricity poles in every constituency for purposes of getting those votes, the time to accumulate this and see its actual effect is now. We want to encourage our professionals in information and computer technology to develop proper programmes for e-learning in schools. In fact, I believe and I say so, again very humbly, that we can even start with pilot schools; one per constituency where teaching is done through e-learning. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing that I would like to suggest and I concur with my friend who has just spoken, Mr. Achuka, is on marginal areas. I think there is got to be waiting investment in education for those areas, through no fault of their own, but by nature and by the act God. They are not capable of producing the same quantity of incomes in order to invest in education. I am talking of the pastoral areas and areas like the eastern part of the country where because, again of climatic conditions, the Government has not seen it fit to give us dams to irrigate our land. I believe students from those poor communities should access quality education in a fitting way. When I mention Eastern Province, I am not excluding other areas like Nyanza and Kisii, because the land size has diminished so much so that as much as you are a hard working farmer, you really cannot produce sufficient income to sustain the education of our children. It is again important, and I say this because it is a fact on the ground, that the teacher-pupil ratio in our schools right from secondary schools all the way down to primary schools is such that although we say we have quality Free Primary Education (FPE) Programme, and I salute it, the fact of the matter is that teachers are overwhelmed. Above all, we know that there are already complaints coming from parents that when the money is disbursed to primary schools, it is abused. There is an element of corruption creeping in the application of the monies intended for the construction of toilets and for the purchase of stationery and so on. That suggests that a Sessional Paper on Education is long overdue during this Session. We should know for sure and for certain that the statement that His Excellency the President has been expressing that he will offer free secondary education at least in tuition, is a reality and not just a political gimmick. We would like to see this in black and white; in writing. It ought to be tabled in this House so that we can debate 2556 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 17, 2007 it. This will also ensure that the enormous trade that the Government is entitled to within certain parameters on education can be merited. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that the time to establish a special technical university for this country has come. I am satisfied that as much as I want to praise the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), I think the time to select our top cream of students across the country on sciences, mathematics and the rest has come. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. As you know, I do not take a lot of time in contributing. I have stood here, first, to support the Motion of the Minister. I also want to congratulate him. When he took over this Ministry, the amount of responsibility which he was given, part of it had been feared by the previous regime. We should accept that. Everybody feared that we would not manage the Free Primary Education (FPE) Programme, but the Minister has managed it. We should appreciate this kind of challenge which has been tackled very effectively. There are certain things which we should appreciate, as Kenyans. We should not grumble on every issue. The Government has done very well, through this Ministry. For me, if it were possible, we would put more money to this Ministry so that it can do more work. Mind you, the responsibility that the Ministry is tackling is arising out of the appetite of all Kenyans for education. You have heard my good friends from Turkana South appreciating improvements in education. When I used to be the Provincial Commissioner in Rift Valley, I went to Turkana and talked about education but the people there would not listen to me. Now, they appreciate that education is a good thing. That is progress in this country and we should support it. We should give the Ministry more money for the purpose of teacher training. I have heard my colleagues talking about education so that we do not have
. For the information of this House, the Mungiki problem has not come about because of lack of education. Some of the people in the Mungiki sect, if you do not know - because Mungiki has been in existence for over ten years - are university graduates. Some of them are high school graduates and got "A" plus. So, let us not pretend that it is lack of education which has created that problem. There are other factors which should not be discussed here when we are discussing this Vote. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my contribution today is really to urge the Minister to maintain the momentum that he has created. Let him continue encouraging his staff not only at the Ministry headquarters, but even out there - the principals, headmasters of schools and all the other teachers. At the moment, if you go out--- At least, I visit some areas, particularly where I come from. I visit many schools there and the morale of teachers is very high! In fact, you find them saying: "What we want is additional staff!" Last weekend on Friday, I was somewhere in Nyamira District in Kisii. I never imagined that I could go to a high school that has an enrolment of 900 children. Can you imagine that establishment? What is needed is additional teachers. Let us support the Ministry to get more money. Teachers recruitment is there. Let us support the Ministry! Let us increase development funds, so that facilities could be increased. What is needed in most of our schools are facilities for technical education - laboratories and more libraries. Those are needed in our schools! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us look at how education has become part and parcel of the assets of Kenyans. I, personally, will not hesitate to say: Let us encourage more universities! Yes! Not only by the Government! We should not always be demanding from the Government. Let us encourage even private investors to start institutions of higher learning.
You have to stick to the microphone!
July 17, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2557
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for reminding me. But you know, as a former Provincial Commissioner, I used to talk to
everybody all round! I never looked at one direction only. But I still have to behave like a Parliamentarian!
I am sure they are recording every message that I am putting across. Let us not worry about our people who have the appetite to go and look for education outside! We have thousands of our children out there, and we want to send more. We should not say: "Kenyans should not go out! Let us just create local universities here!" They are getting more benefits. They are interacting with the rest of the world. They will come back, having understood the world better! So, we should never discourage our children from going out there! After all, if you insist that they must remain here, have you really got facilities for all of them? It is not because they merely to go out there. Some of them cannot be accommodated because we do not have the facilities! But we should be proud that they are making some progress. For my friends who do not appreciate what this Government has done, let us say one thing: What has been achieved in the recent years - and today we are talking about education - is something that had not been achieved for several years before! I do not want to talk about you. But you know very well that during those days, you could not get facilities here because of certain other factors! You had to go out to get education and here you are, sitting up there in that big Chair!
So, let us accept that we should look for education anywhere in this world. Let us do that! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me inform the Minister that we missed him last time. We wanted him to present his Vote last time because we had a lot of difficulties! Even we, in the House Business Committee, we had a lot of difficulties to table the Ministry of Education budget. We had that difficulty and I missed him that time because--- I know Mr. Muturi here will confer with me--- I was---
Order! Mr. Nyachae, you will continue for three minutes tomorrow.
Three minutes only?
Order! Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt the Business of the House. This House, therefore, stands adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, 18th July, 2007, at 9.00 a.m. The House rose at 6.30 p.m.