, on behalf of
, asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- (a) whether he is aware that on 5th January, 2007, Koibatek Police Officers brutally dispersed residents of Noiwet Trading Centre; (b) what action has been taken against the officers who used excessive force against unarmed citizens; and, (c) whether the Minister could meet the medical costs of those injured and compensate them for injuries sustained.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that on 5th January, 2007, Koibatek police officers dispersed rioting members of the public who had blocked the Nakuru-Marigat Road at Noiwet Trading Centre. (b) The police officers used reasonable force in dispersing the unruly members of the public who were armed with stones and logs and had barricaded a public road. The Government does not therefore, contemplate taking disciplinary action against the officers. (c) The Government cannot meet the medical costs of those injured nor compensate those who were injured because it is unlawful for any person or persons to take part in an unlawful assembly or riot.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the injured members of the public were innocent Kenyans who were in their homes. When the police could not be able to combat what was happening on the road which was unlawful, even if it is not within the books of the police--- The public had a reason to block the road because of a complaint which the Government decided not to act upon. Could the Assistant Minister tell us why the police went to the homes of the injured victims since they were innocent? They were not even part of the riot.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not aware of any police officers going to anybody's home. The police used teargas to disperse that crowd that had blocked the main road that is used by many motorists. You can imagine the danger that motorists are exposed to when they come across a road that has been blocked, all of a sudden. So, it is the responsibility of the police to 2606 clear the road for the safety of those who are there and even for the motorists.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, cases of misuse of force by the police as well as extra-judicial killings are rampant in this country. Two years ago when we discussed these issues in this House, the Government told us that the police will be retrained in the way they handle suspects and in aspects of human rights. Could the Assistant Minister tell this House whether there has been any retraining of police officers so that they behave a little more humanely and professionally?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have not admitted any misuse of police force in this instant. I have already explained that the law empowers the police to intervene in situations like this, where members of the public decide to take the law into their hands by blockading public roads. There are channels of presenting those complaints so that they can be sorted out. Taking the law into your hands, carrying weapons and blockading a public road is unlawful and therefore, the police were doing what they are employed to do by the taxpayers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Noiwet Trading Centre is on the road which is a bypass now that services transport to Kitale. Could this Assistant Minister tell us the reason why those people took the law into their hands? What was the reason for their riot before the police came?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the allegation was that accidents had been taking place along that road because of lack of bumps. They were therefore, demanding that bumps be erected. When they were told that, that message would be communicated to the relevant Government department to do the same, they did not want to end their riot and go home. They wanted to block the road for as long as they could be there. The police had no choice but to disperse them. It is important to know, especially for hon. Members who believe that rioting is lawful, that it is wrong. Members of the public are allowed by the Constitution to demonstrate but within the confines of the law. There are limitations. For instance, you cannot blockade a main highway where innocent people who are not aware that the road is blocked can come, cause an accident and lives get lost. For public safety, and this is stated in the Constitution, your rights to demonstrate are limited by the need for the public and the rioters to be safe.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was no riot. I also use that road and there was nobody with any arms. People were just mourning. Actually, they were mourning for people who had been killed the previous day. The police in that area and the Provincial Works Officer in Nakuru knew and had known. Why does the Government not respond in situations where vehicles cause accidents? Why does it take that much time? When the police are on a road block looking for money---
Order! Mr. Assistant Minister, could you answer now?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as much as I understand the motivation behind the riots, that accidents had been taking place there and the Government had not responded by putting up bumps, that is not a good excuse to allow villagers to block the main highway. It can cause problems for everybody. In fact, it can cause more accidents than the ones they were protesting against. So, that is why the police did what they are empowered to do under the law, to safeguard the security of the general public by opening up the road. The police only used teargas to disperse the crowd and open the road. If they had demonstrated elsewhere without blocking the road, the police would have even given them security in that direction. Once they block a public road, then they cross the limits of their rights that are provided in the Constitution.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a clear admission on the inability of the Government to respond to public outcry. Six months before the people rioted on that road, we went on a demonstration with the District Commissioner, protesting against illicit brew. If the District Commissioner can also demonstrate with us against illicit brew, this means that this Government is July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2607 not responsive to anything. We do not know who will address this issue. The Assistant Minister should admit failure of this Government and failure to listen to the outcries of the people. I wish the Assistant Minster could have visited the road. It is a very long stretch of a straight road which actually gives---
Ask your question.
This road gives vehicles a high speed. So, could the Assistant Minister order that bumps be erected on that road because up to now, this has not been done?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will communicate the concerns of the hon. Member to the Minister for Roads and Public Works and the Minister for Transport so that proper assessment---
He is here!
The Minister for Roads and Public Works is already here and he is hearing the concerns.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member and the Assistant Minister in order to drag the Minister for Roads and Public Works into this matter? The preparation of bumps is recommended by the Traffic Department and the District Roads Committee out there. It is not done by the Minister for Roads and Public Works! Is it in order for them to refer to the Minister?
The Question does not refer to bumps. It, however, refers to other matters. So, Mr. Assistant Minister, address yourself to issues raised in the Question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have addressed myself to the issues in the Question. It is the Questioner who was veering into other issues. I said that I will communicate to the relevant department on those particular concerns he was raising that were not part of the Question.
Next Question by the Member for Butula, Prof. Mango!
asked the Minister for Health:- (a) if she is aware that cervical cancer is becoming a serious life-threatening problem to the women population; and, (b) what measures she is putting in place to protect young women from this danger.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that cervical cancer has a devastating impact on women's health not only in Kenya, but around the world. It is the third-most common cancer worldwide and the leading cause of death from cancer among women in developing countries. It is estimated that 466,000 new cases of cervical cancer occur every year with 232,000 dying from the disease annually. (b) My Ministry has developed a Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme whose aim is to increase awareness of cervical cancer, timely detection and treatment and preventive health-seeking behaviour amongst clients of health facilities and the community, including men. We also screen women aged between 30 and 49 years, at least, once every five years. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have continued to train our health care workers to ensure that they not only create awareness, but also check on women who visit our facilities and test them. At the moment, we have not developed a policy of vaccination, but we now have, at least, a vaccine that can help prevent cervical cancer. 2608 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am grateful to Madam Minister for her answer. However, this disease can be prevented by vaccination. There is, already, a very effective vaccine in the market. We know that prevention is better than cure. Could the Minister tell us what the Ministry is planning to do in order to institute this vaccination to prevent deaths of young girls and women?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that prevention is better than cure. That is why I want to assure the hon. Member that a vaccine has already been developed. It is ready and we have now got to develop a policy. We also have got to test it in this country. However, I know that, that is the way we are going to take to ensure that our women are safe.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it would be, indeed, gratifying if there is a vaccine against cervical cancer. However, be that as it may, could the Minister consider giving free health care or treatment to the young women, who are at the height of their fertility cycle?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a policy of what people should pay when they get sick. However, I appreciate the feeling of the hon. Member that such cases should be treated. I know that most people who get this kind of disease are, sometimes, unable to afford treatment. They have no medical insurance cover, but I am sure that very soon we are going to have an insurance cover in place.
Ask your last question, Prof. Mango!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Minister consider establishing screening and vaccination mechanisms at every health centre in order to protect young girls and women from this menace before it reaches the epidemic level?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes, that is what we are actually creating awareness about so that when women visit our facilities, they should be screened so that it can be detected early. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have also been told by Dr. Kibunguchy, and this is true by all doctors, that actually cervical cancer is usually passed on to women from men. It is really men who should be vaccinated more than women.
Order, Members! Order, Members! I will only give one point of order to Dr. Khalwale.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Minister has been advised by Dr. Kibunguchy who is using his medical knowledge. Is Dr. Kibunguchy in order to mislead his Minister thereby resulting into the Minister misleading this House that he has discovered the cause of cervical cancer when we know that it is caused by many factors, least of them, the role played by men?
So, we play a role?
Order, hon. Members! First of all, what Dr. Kibunguchy is purported to have advised the Minister on was not heard by the House. So, we are not going to allow Dr. Kibunguchy to say anything, but the Minister may say something.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, quite honestly, I know that when we will start doing vaccination, even young men need to be vaccinated. I know that one!
Next Question by the Member for Kitutu Masaba, Mr. Okioma!
Order, Members! We are already on Question No.275. July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2609
asked the Attorney-General:- (a) if he is aware that there is a huge backlog of pending cases at the Advocates Complaints Commission; and, (b) what steps he is taking to ensure that the cases are resolved speedily.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that there is a backlog of pending cases at the Advocates Complaints Commission. (b) The Attorney-General has taken and is taking several steps, amongst which are:- 1. From a manual record management system, the computerisation of the Commission's Registry has commenced. A data clean-up has been finalised in preparation for automation of the Commission's services under the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector (GJLOS) Reform Programme. The proposed project will cost Kshs4,850,000 to fully implement the computerisation at the Advocates Commission Registry. (ii) The shortage of staff to cope with the increasing number of complaints against advocates is being addressed by hiring additional staff. As I speak, interviews are taking place to hire eight more staff. (iii) Plans are under way to decentralise the services of the Commission to Mombasa and Eldoret. Other offices will later be opened in Kisumu, Kakamega, Nakuru, Nyeri, Meru, Machakos and Kisii. (iv) The Disciplinary Committee is now sitting twice a week. I can report that in the last two years, 11 advocates have been suspended and 42 advocates have been struck off the role. In other words, they are no longer advocates. We are continuing with this exercise. (v) Staff at the Commission are undergoing training in investigations, customer care, team building, Information Technology and record management to improve on service delivery.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy to note from the Attorney-General's answer that quite a lot is being done to ensure a speedy resolution of the complaints. However, people are maimed in accidents and are condemned to wheel chairs, which they can hardly afford to buy. They can hardly pay school fees for their children because they cannot work any more. It takes very long for them to get their compensation cheques from the advocates. Once an accident case is finalised and the court has awarded a complainant compensation, how long will it take for the victims to get their money? After the court has awarded a certain amount of money to a complainant, the cheque has been written by the insurance company and it has gone to the advocate, how long should it take for the complainant to be paid? Currently, it is taking too long.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member has raised a very important issue. It is highly unprofessional, immoral and, in fact, criminal for an advocate not to account for the amount of money he has received to the client, particularly in cases where the complainant has been disabled as a result of an accident. In addition to being struck off, we are undertaking prosecutions for theft of clients' money. I have approved very many such cases. However, to answer the hon. Member's question, if an advocate receives money, he should account to his client within 14 days. There are cases where an advocate does not receive the money because the person against whom the judgement has been given is not insured and has no money to compensate the victim. Therefore, the process of executing the decree can take quite some time. 2610 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
Bw. Naibu Spika, mawakili wananyanyasa watu sana. Tumekuwa na hii Advocates Complaints Commission kwa miaka mingi lakini hii ni taratibu ya kuwafanya watu waridhike kwamba kuna hatua ambayo inachukuliwa. Kulingana na majibu ya Mkuu wa Sheria, kwa muda wa miaka miwili, ni mawakili 11 tu ambao wametolewa kwa orodha ya mawakili. Ukiangalia madhambi ambayo yamefanywa na mawakili kwa muda wa miaka miwili, utapata kwamba ni mengi sana. Ningetaka kumuuliza Mkuu wa Sheria ambaye ndiye mshauri wa Serikali kwa maswala haya, kama ameridhika kwamba hii Advocates Complaints Commission ni njia muafaka ya kusuluhisha matatizo kama haya.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Complaints Commission and the Disciplinary Committee are working efficiently, this problem can be dealt with. They have now began doing so and we are clearing the backlog. We shall deal with all these advocates, not only through the Disciplinary Committee, but also the criminal process will be used to charge them with theft of clients' money, so that they are my guests in prison.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the explanation given by the Attorney-General is very intellectual. We know for a fact that so many people are languishing in poverty because of these rogue lawyers, and they are still practising. Some of them are even hon. Members of this House. When will the Attorney-General take charge and save Kenyans from these rogue lawyers?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! You cannot come in-between a question. The hon. Member has asked a question, which must be answered and then you can stand on a point of order. Unless there is something the hon. Member has said which is out of order.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is hon. Gitau in order to impute improper motives against some hon. Members, including the Speaker, that some of these lawyers are even in this House? Is he in order? Could he name them or withdraw?
Indeed, that is a valid point of order. The hon. Member has said that some of the lawyers who have made Kenyans poor are hon. Members of this House. Mr. Gitau, you said that?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a simple question. If we look at the Attorney- General's list of advocates in this House, we will find that some of them have been banned from---
Order, Mr. Gitau! You have no access to the list. You do not know what the Attorney-General has, but you seem to have seen it. You have said that you had that information. If you really do, you should tell us. If you do not, simply withdraw the statement and go back to your question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not have it here with me, but I can bring it later. I apologise for now.
Mr. Gitau, you withdraw!
I withdraw for now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The Attorney-General can address the question, less the issue of hon. Members.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to the extent that there could be advocates who have stolen clients' money and are still practising, I do not want to deny that. That is a possibility. However, I can assure the House that once a report is received by the Complaints Commission, it is processed and if it is true, it leads to a disciplinary action. Those are the type of examples I was giving to the House. I was saying that the Advocates Complaints Commission and the Disciplinary Committee are now working double. We are now getting more advocates either suspended or struck off the roll. If those advocates who had been suspended or struck off the roll continue to practice, this is an offence under our laws. If this is brought to my attention, I will definitely prosecute them. July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2611
Hon. Members, today is the Committee of Supply, 4th Allotted Day and 3.30 p.m is the end of Question Time. We have to go to the last question by Mr. Mwancha.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you can see from the hon. Members' reaction, this is a Question that touches many people. I believe that the answer lies in the Attorney-General's promise to open offices in Mombasa, Eldoret, Nyeri, Kisumu, Kakamega, Meru, Machakos and Kisii. How much money has been allocated for opening those offices and when will this be finalised?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the programme for opening the offices is in our strategic plan. As far as Kisii is concerned, the offices will be opened during the next financial year. This has been programmed. The offices that will be opened during this financial year are in Mombasa and Eldoret. All the others will be opened the following financial year.
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) whether he is aware that there is no sewerage plant in Kerugoya Town; and, (b) what plans he has to construct the plant.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware. (b) My Ministry is in the process of selecting a consulting firm to undertake a feasibility study for the water supply and sanitation for Kerugoya and six other towns in Kenya. The study is being funded through a grant from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, BADEA. Once the study is completed and the cost of implementation established, my Ministry will include the project in its forward budget.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Minister for that answer. However, it is important for this House to note that a similar Question was asked on 6th November, 2003, and a similar answer was given then. I am wondering whether the answer which was given in 2003 still holds. A similar promise was made in 2003 and nothing has happened so far. About Kshs5 million was set aside for designs and nothing has happened. What is the present state of affairs for Kerugoya Town? This is wrong!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am aware of the situation. The Kshs5 million was set aside and when tenders were floated, the lowest bidder quoted about Kshs7 million. Therefore, the project could not have been undertaken. Now we have got Kshs26 million to undertake this project, which will not only cover Kerugoya Town, but also other towns like Oloitokitok, Namanga, Kajiado and others.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when Mr. Katuku was appointed to that Ministry, given that he comes from an area which does not have a lot of water and even sewage, we thought that he would be very effective. The Government has taken five years to address an issue which is so important. Could the Minister confirm that by the beginning of next month, the works will have commenced and the same will be done in other towns including Keroka, Gucha and Nyamira?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of effectiveness is subjective. According to Mr. Angwenyi, it might be otherwise. According to me, I am a very effective Minister in this country. I want to assure the hon. Member that I am in the final stages of awarding this tender. 2612 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 Once the tender is awarded, the works will start henceforth.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to be given a definite answer to this Question. Twenty years down the line, similar promises have been made in this House and nothing has been forthcoming. What firm assurance is there that this will happen; the date, month and year?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would want to assure the hon. Member that, as I said, I have already gotten the money. A sum of Kshs26 million is available. I am now in the process of tendering. Once that process is through, the tender will be awarded. I hope the work will be completed within the current financial year. We will be able to do the works in the next financial year.
Thank you, Mr. Minister. The next Question by the Member for Mbita will be asked by Prof. Olweny.
, on behalf of
, asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works:- (a) when the Government will tender for the construction to bitumen standard of Road C19 from Kendu-Bay to Mbita; and, (b) what has caused the delay in starting the project which has been in the Annual Estimates since 2003.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) My Ministry will tender to upgrade Kendu-Bay-Mbita Road, Road C19, to bitumen standard in this financial year, 2007/2008. (b) The construction works for the road could not commence as initially envisaged due to the delays in completing the design. Construction of the road will commence in this financial year as the design of the road has now been completed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Minister for that good answer. However, could he indicate how much money he has set aside for this road?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would have wished that the hon. Member, who may have seen the Order Paper, waits until Tuesday, when he will see the amount of money I will have allocated to that road.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no secret about the amount of money that has been allocated to that road, because it is already in the Printed Estimates. There is only Kshs50 million for this road. Two years ago, when His Excellency the President went to launch the works on Katitu-Kendu-Bay Road, it was agreed that there would be an extension of that construction at the same rate, and that the same contractor would continue to Homa Bay and Mbita. The Minister is now talking about going to tendering. What happened to the undertaking that was given by the President at that time, when we went there to open the other road? Secondly, does he consider Kshs50 million adequate to do this work?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this work will take more than one financial year, because the road is 42 kilometres long. Mr. Raila was the Minister for Roads and Public Works when the President is alleged to have given the undertaking. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am working on the basis of the report I have from the consultant, who was working on the road. I have no record from the Office of the President, telling me: "This is the undertaking that the President gave". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, so, maybe, Mr. Raila, and the hon. Member who is connected with that road, could give me the factual information. There is one thing we have been doing in that July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2613 Ministry. Whenever we receive communication of any undertaking given by the President, we, immediately communicate with the Treasury and tell them: "This must be given priority". I am not in school so as to be informed here. I need to get information from records.
Order! Order, Mr. Raila! Order, Mr. Ojode! Of course, we do not want that exchange! I am constrained by time. Last question, Prof. Olweny!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. With your permission, could I give this chance to Mr. Ojode, who uses that road every week?
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir---
Order! Order! Prof. Olweny, you have forfeited your right to ask the question. That is it!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Order! We are in Parliament! Now, will you sit down? Next Question by the Member for Kajiado Central!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Ojode, why do you want to have trouble with the Chair again? Proceed, Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry!
asked the Minister for Energy when he will provide rural electrification to the following areas as recommended by Kajiado District Development Committee:- (a) Masimba Centre and its environs; (b) Emali Centre; (c) Oloontulungum and Ngatu; (d) Sajiloni/Enkorika; (e) KMQ/ Elengatawuas; (f) Maparasha; (g) Enkaroni; (h) Olobelibel/Orinie; and, (i) Inkiwanjani/ Shepashina.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. Electricity supply to Enkaroni Market has already been approved for implementation at a cost of Kshs9.7 million. The project is currently at the tendering stage, and the construction work is scheduled for completion by December, 2007. However, electricity supply to the remaining areas will be considered along with others for funding during the next two financial years.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in 2004, I visited the Ministry of Energy and saw the hon. Minister then, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko, who called his team - and the Assistant 2614 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 Minister was there. In 2005, I visited the Ministry and had an audience with the then Minister for Energy, Mr. Nyachae, who called his Permanent Secretary and the Assistant Minister and their team. They promised that they would send a survey team to Masimba Centre and Emali. That team was sent, and the survey report taken to the Ministry. We have been waiting since 2004/2005, for these centres to be provided with electricity. What is the problem? What is holding that supply, which was promised by the Ministry?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the promise was made. He also admits that the surveyors and designers went there and carried out their work. What is now left is implementation. One of the projects is already on-going. We are going to implement the remaining projects.
Last question, Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in his answer, the Assistant Minister said that consideration is going to be given in the next two financial years. I want a commitment from him. Do I understand that the supply of electricity to these centres will be undertaken during the current financial year and completed in the next financial year, 2008/2009?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish the hon. Member could make it back to the next Parliament. However, I want to inform the House that we shall do, at least, half of those projects in the current financial year. The other half will be considered in the next financial year, because this Government will still be in place.
Next Question by the Member for Amagoro!
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he is aware that Ojaamong and Akobwait Primary Schools in Teso District have not received their disbursement of Free Primary Education (FPE) funds for the financial year 2005/2006; (b) what urgent measures the Ministry is taking to remit the funds and to ensure that schools receive their disbursements on time; and, (c) whether he could table the list of primary schools in Teso District, indicating their enrolments and amounts received in respect of Accounts I and II since the Ministry started disbursing funds under the Free Primary Education Programme.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that Ojaamong Primary School has not received FPE funds during the 2005/2006 Financial Year. I am, however, aware that Akobwait Primary School has not received FPE funds in Account II for the first disbursement in the 2005/2006 Financial Year. The reason for this scenario is that wrong school bank details were submitted to the Ministry of Education. (b) The mistake has been rectified, and a sum of Kshs136,900 will be credited to the school's Account II, No.130114216, at Kenya Commercial Bank, Busia Satellite Branch, through electronic funds transfer by or before 30th July, 2007. (c) The list of primary schools in Teso District, indicating their enrolments and amounts received in respect of Accounts 1 and II from April, 2003 to May, 2007 is herewith attached, and I table it.
July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2615
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have a letter from the education office, Teso District, to the Permanent Secretary indicating that Ojaamong Primary School has not yet got the funds. I wish to table it, just for the perusal of the Assistant Minister, so that she is aware.
What is the letter saying? What is your question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the letter dated 15th December, 2006, says that there was late payment of free primary eduction funds to accounts No.1 and No.2 for Ojaamong Primary School. It totals to over Kshs200,000. There is also another school called Matumbai, which has not got free primary education funds. There has been communication between the DEO's office in Teso and the Ministry. That also applies to Akobwait Primary School. There is fraud in the Ministry! Funds meant for free primary education in various districts are either deducted, sent in small bits and some is retained. Now that the Assistant Minister is aware that Ojaamong, Matumbai and Akobwait primary schools have not got that money, when will she disburse those funds?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, I have a document here showing all the funds that have been transmitted to those schools. I have said that, maybe, there were some errors in some numbers and figures of accounts in the past. But that has been corrected. Apart from this particular amount which I stated here, this record shows that the rest of the money has been transmitted to those schools. But I will check again, according to this letter. But we normally use this document for transmitting funds to the schools.
Last question, Mr. Ojaamong!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to find out from the Assistant Minister why it takes so long for her Ministry to communicate with its officials on the ground? This money is for the last financial year!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know what the hon. Member means. We communicate with our staff on the ground. We do not take that long, unless there is some breakdown in telecommunication equipment.
Hon. Members, that marks the end of Question Time. I have a Communication from the Chair. Order, hon. Members! Order, Mr. Marende! Prof. Saitoti and other hon. Members who are walking into the Chamber, you can come in and sit down!
Hon. Members, on Wednesday, 9th May, 2007, Question No.232 by the hon. Member for Mumias Constituency, Mr. Osundwa, was slotted in the Order Paper for answering by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. The Question read as follows:- (a) What led to the cancellation of the swearing-in ceremony at State House, Nairobi, on 6th December, 2006, of Mr. Aggrey Muchelule, Ms. Florence Muchemi and Ms. Abida Ali-Aroni as judges? (b) Could she confirm whether the names of judges-designate had been entered into the register of judges, in keeping with the tradition established by the High Court 2616 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 since Independence? On his part, the Assistant Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mr. Mungatana, sought the indulgence of the House to have the Question deferred to Thursday, 17th May, 2007, to give him more time to finalise some information necessary to provide a proper answer. The Chair conceded to the request by Mr. Mungatana on that day. Hon. Members, on Thursday, 17th May, 2007, the Assistant Minister declined to answer the Question stating that, by doing so, he would contravene Section 68(2) of the Constitution. The assertions by the Assistant Minister necessitated the Question to be further deferred to allow examination of the merit of the claims and enable the Chair to guide the House accordingly. Hon. Members, the responsibility of this House to hold the Executive to account is provided by Section 17(3) of the Constitution, which states as follows, and I quote:- "The Cabinet shall be collectively responsible to the National Assembly for all things done by or under the authority of the President or the Vice-President or any other Minister in execution of his office." This position is amplified in Standing Order No.35(1) and No.35(2). Standing Order No.35(1) states:- "Questions may be put to a Minister relating to public affairs with which he is officially connected to proceedings in the House or to any matter of administration for which he is responsible." Standing Order No.35(2) says:- "A Question shall be of a genuinely interrogative character and its purpose shall be limited to seeking information or pressing for action." Hon. Members, part (a) of the Question by Mr. Osundwa is asking: What led to the cancellation of the swearing-in ceremony of the mentioned judges-designate? The question is not disputing the power of the Executive to appoint judges. It is seeking information pursuant to Standing Order No.35(1). Part (b) of the Question is asking for confirmation, whether the names of the judges designate were entered into the register. That is also seeking information and does not, in any way, amount to giving any directive. Hon. Members, I, therefore, rule that this is a legitimate Question and it is properly before the House. I thank you, hon. Members! Next Order!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
On what, Mr. Raila?
Last week, I requested a Ministerial Statement---
Actually, the Ministerial Statement is ready! I was informed so by Mr. Munya. But there is no time. I told him that we shall try to create time tomorrow afternoon. We are just about to start the Committee of Supply, which must be done right now. Therefore, your Ministerial Statement will be given at five minutes to 3.30 p.m. tomorrow. That is at 2.25 p.m.
Most obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
Mr. Nyachae was on the Floor when debate on this Motion was interrupted. He has three minutes to finalise his contribution.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me three minutes to finalise my contribution. As a follow-up of my contribution yesterday, I was left with two points to make. In order to support our education system to be more effective and reach our young people, there is need for us to improve the morale of teachers. One of the things that is needed to improve the morale of teachers is housing. It is extremely important that we think seriously on how we are going to build houses for teachers. In some places in the rural areas, teachers are not housed within their schools. They have to walk long distances to look for accommodation. Some are forced to live behind the shops. In front of those shops, there are bars. When does the teacher get the opportunity to prepare for the following day's teaching? We need to help not only through the Ministry of Education allocations, but also the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). We should put aside a portion of the millions of shillings that go to the CDF, for building teachers houses in the rural areas. This is one point that I wanted to slot in. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the second one is with regard to facilitating young people to do their home work at night. This needs lighting. It should be the Government's and leaders' policy that in rural electrification, priority should be given to schools, particulary boarding schools. Young people can then get the opportunity to do their home work at night. Those are the two points I was left with and I have done it within the two minutes. Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to contribute on this Vote. I would, first of all, like to congratulate the Minister for Education for the manner in which he moved the Vote. Looking at all the Ministries and the way they work, I think you can single out the Ministry of Education as one of those that are working Ministries. They have tried to deliver. We have seen quite big strides in this sector and we welcome most of them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, service delivery in this Ministry is something we need to talk about. I would expect that the Ministry be in the forefront of, at least, replying letters. This is something that is not coming from this Ministry. Even if we, as hon. Members of Parliament, write letters to this Ministry nobody acknowledges even the receipt of the letters. This is particulary pertaining to some complaints in some schools in our constituencies. Occasionally, we write directly to the Minister and the Permanent Secretary, but we never get responses. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at one stage in this House, when the Minister was in some sort of "leave" before he came back, we agreed that when teachers in whatever category; primary or secondary, retire, die or resign, there should be immediate replacement. However, it appears as if it was just rhetoric. It was an answer to please this House and nothing happens. Teachers retire, die or 2618 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 resign. However, it takes a long time before you hear the Government employing 6,000 or 7,000 teachers. They call them "new", but effectively, it is just replacement of teachers who have gone away through retirement, resignation or death. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing I would like to say about the distribution of new teachers who are normally employed, we require fair distribution. I normally sit in the District Education Board (DEB) in my district. We make resolutions. Unfortunately, for the last one year, the resolutions made in our DEB were completely ignored by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). What did we see? Unfair interference. By the end of the day, we got names from the TSC of teachers who were not from Kakamega District. That was something we complained about, but it just died. Somebody needs to check and find out exactly what happened. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in districts, we have constituencies and divisions. There are unemployed qualified teachers in these divisions and districts. It is unfair to get teachers from only one constituency and district being posted to all four constituencies in a district. These are some of the criteria which the DEB looks at. We say that, "this constituency has its own qualified unemployed teachers." They need to take some of the teachers and have them teach in that particular constituency, division, et cetera . But what happens? The TSC says; "No! That is not the criteria. The criteria is, anybody in that district who qualifies--- You will find one division producing teachers for the entire district. That is unfair because we are also dealing with unemployment. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to take this opportunity also to commend the Ministry for paying teachers their arrears well before the agreed date. This is commendable to the Ministry. We trust that teachers will now put in more effort to do their work well. I want to request the Government, "let us not commit ourselves to things that we cannot be able to achieve." This is a problem carried forward. I believe it was unnecessary and we should be able to let whatever commission it is that will be doing exactly what we can be able to do. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to comment on management of high schools. There is high handedness of chairmen of Board of Governors (BOGs) in some schools that are in our jurisdiction. In my constituency, there are few cases where chairmen of BOGs literally refuse to accept teachers transferred to their schools. This is because they would prefer teachers being transferred away from the station to remain. The reasons are very well known to them. They literally go ahead and even refuse to hold meetings of Board of Governors (BoGs), until a school comes to a halt while the Government watches. Those influential chairmen of BoGs have literally compromised District Education Officers (DEOs) and Provincial Directors of education (PDEs) in their endeavour to frustrate teachers. I wonder why the Ministry should not intervene immediately and make sure that such things do not happen in our schools. It is wrong and immoral for a teacher who has been transferred to a school to be subjected to frustrations for no mistake of his or her own. The Ministry should check that and make sure that it does not occur. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, lastly, because of time, I want to thank the Ministry for introducing free tuition in our secondary schools. However, I would have thought that, perhaps, those funds could have been used well to streamline our primary education, where we do not have enough teachers, classrooms, etcetera . One would want to understand that, perhaps, this is an election year and that is why we are jumping on doing things nusu nusu - half half - before we refine what is already there. Otherwise, I would have thought that we could have used those funds to refine our free primary education. With those few remarks, I beg to support this Vote.
Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to speak in support of this Motion. From the outset, the Minister stated that they are in the business of providing equal July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2619 opportunity to all Kenyan children. That is a commendable phrase. I wish it was so. I hope the Minister will try to make it so. I say that because, as we all know by now, education is a right of every child. In Kenya, we pronounce so many policies to that effect. But in reality, we know what is happening on the ground. The education that we are providing to our children is declining in quality every day. That is simply because there are not enough teachers to teach our children. That point has been known to the Ministry of Education for a long time. If you look at the number of teachers in the country, you will see that, at one time, we had 260,000 teachers. Now, we have 235,000 teachers. But the enrolment, as rightly pointed out by the Minister, has gone from 5 million children to 8 million children. Why has the number of teachers not been increased and yet, we have an increase in enrolment by almost 40 per cent?
I have a single stream school in my constituency which has an enrolment of 169. It means that it is a fully enroled single stream school, but with only one Teachers Service Commission (TSC) teacher. How do you expect those students to learn and compete with those from well equipped, well staffed and well housed schools? So, as we talk about equality--- The question of equity must be looked into and seriously addressed. Even in secondary schools, we have national schools which are well equipped, well staffed and have everything. Some are even overstaffed. But those schools do not number more than 20. Then, we have provincial schools which are like national schools, but they are slightly different. Those schools number about a few hundreds. Then, we have close to over 3,000 district schools. That is where the majority of Kenyan children are. The ordinary wananchi's children are in those district schools. Close to over 900,000 children are in those schools. But they are poorly equipped, poorly staffed and poorly housed. Yet, we are talking about providing equal opportunity to all children. It is not fair to talk about equal opportunities, when more than three quarters of the children in this country are not properly being taught. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to touch on the quality of education at the university level. All of us now know that lecture rooms at the universities are full. There are lecture rooms containing over 400, 500 and even 1000 students. Those cannot be considered as lecture theatres or lecture rooms. Those are, maybe, public barazas . I see Mr. Munya is smiling because he used to teach in those public barazas . Our universities are also supposed to do research, as one of their primary functions. I see the allocation to the universities has remained the same. I think the University of Nairobi has always been allocated Kshs3.3 billion for very many years. I even see that in the forward planning, there is no intention to increase that amount. So, what do our universities do? They go and recruit those parallel degree students. They fill up the classrooms and lower the quality of education. That way, they rake in some money in order to survive. In doing so, they forget research and quality. Those universities - because some of us went to those universities - are devaluing our degrees. Tomorrow, if I went to the University of Nairobi, I would say that I came from the University of Nairobi, and yet the quality has gone down. So, everybody will assume that the education that I received is the same as the one they are receiving. That is what is coming out from the market. I feel something should be done. With regard to opening of campuses, you find that a university like Moi University has a campus in Athi River, Mt. Elgon and Mt. Kenya. I really do not know how that can be done. I think even though the universities are autonomous, where matters of policy are concerned, the Ministry 2620 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 should look into that and make sure that we do not have a campus in every village. If there is a need to provide university education around Nairobi, universities around Nairobi can do that. Those ones around Eldoret can provide university courses around Eldoret and so forth. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister alluded to Vision 2030. We have not seen Vision 2030! Is it available in writing? Has it been tabled in this House? Where is Vision 2030? We want to read it. What does it say about education? We also need to harmonise the various policies, so that we do not talk about Vision 2030, Kenya Education Sector Support Programme, Ten-Year Programme and then the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) of 2015. The Education for All Initiative is talking about 2015 and so forth. So, there is no clear policy. There is no clear policy pursued by the Ministry of Education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, because of time, let me touch on financing of education again, particularly about secondary education. The Minister mentioned that the Ministry will provide Kshs3,000 as tuition fees. I think the problem here is that certain schools in Kenya charge exorbitantly high fees, up to Kshs70,000. So, if you are going to provide Kshs3,000, while the fees required is Kshs70,000, is that really of any help? For the information of the Minister, we in ODM(K) will provide free secondary education.
Wacha! You were a Minister in that Ministry, but you did nothing!
Order, Mr. Wanjala! Let Mr. Kosgey make his point and when you catch my eye, you will make yours.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Mr. Wanjala, I have overruled you. Please, sit down! Proceed, Mr. Kosgey!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have one more point. I want to touch on the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). The HELB has been given Kshs800 million for the last so many years. I urge the Minister, in future, to allocate it more resources. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to congratulate the Minister for the way he moved his Vote. But more so, I really want to congratulate him and his team for the way that he has overseen the implementation of the Free Primary Education Programme (FPEP). It is special in the whole of Africa and many other developing countries. I know the FPEP has brought about a lot of challenges. One of them as mentioned by the immediate speaker is an addition of 2 million pupils in our primary schools.
Order, Your Excellency. Mr. Kosgey, I thought you had finished your bit when you were contributing here. I would like you to give His Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs time to make his contribution.
It is Mr. Wanjala!
Order! Proceed, Mr. Vice-President!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was stating that the FPEP has brought challenges which the Ministry is addressing. We know that classrooms in many schools are accommodating between 70 and 100 children. This is a clear demonstration that our children have a hunger for education. However, I know this July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2621 challenge is being addressed by the Ministry and the communities. Through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), communities are increasing the number of classrooms in their schools. The Government also will recruit 11,000 teachers to solve this problem. Over the weekend, the District Education Officer (DEO) in my district informed me that 280 teachers will be recruited there. The personal attention of these pupils will be addressed through this recruitment of additional teachers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have very few observations in respect of two groups in this country. The first group are the disabled. These observations are really for the future. We have come a long way to recognise that people with disabilities are also citizens of this country. Just before Independence, they had been totally ignored. We then started with special schools. However, by the mid 1980s, we realised that we were still discriminating against people with disabilities through special schools for the disabled. We, therefore, adopted the system of integration. Integration has continued to do fairly well. Then the Ministry started special units. Over a period of time, a sum of Kshs140,000 or Kshs145,000 has been allocated to schools with special units. However, what we have not realised is that we are, therefore, going right back to where we had started and yet, we had agreed to stop discriminating against people with disabilities. I know that we are building special units within the primary schools. When we do so, we will be keeping disabled children from able children. That is discrimination. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in 2003, we passed a Bill here for people with disabilities. We asserted that people with disabilities have got all the rights to education, health and other human rights. What we need to do now for the future is not to have special units in primary schools or secondary schools, but to create an environment where we mix both the able and disabled children in the same classroom. We do not want children with disabilities to be learning in a unit which is 100 yards away from the able children. We do not want them to be in separate classrooms. This creates an inferiority complex. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the second point that I would like to state is that people with disabilities as of now are not actually receiving free primary education. When a child with hearing impairments goes to a primary school, that child must buy hearing aids. If a child is visually impaired, then he or she must have equipment to help him or her to be equal with the others. Such children must do that on their own and, therefore, we cannot say that such children are, indeed, getting free primary education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, three days ago, I was among those who launched the survey to establish the number of the disabled persons and then classify them. Once we have got this data, I am urging the Ministry of Education to factor in statistics on them. For instance, the Ministry will show us that they need braille equipment for a certain number of children who are visually impaired. The same should apply to children with hearing difficulties who need to be given hearing equipment. Children with physical disabilities need to be given wheelchairs. All these have to be factored in order to equalise these children and then, indeed, they will be getting free primary education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other group that I would like to talk about are people who are incarcerated behind bars. These are prisoners. They should not lose their human or constitutional rights. If they want to have education, then they must be given all the equipment necessary. We would like, in future, the Ministry to make available funds, so that we have teachers in the prisons to impart education to the prisoners. There should be books, a syllabus and even laboratories in prisons. We know even without this assistance, but with very rudimentary facilities, prisoners are now getting some education. They are sitting for examinations and they are equipping themselves quite well. With those few remarks, I beg to support. 2622 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to support the Vote of the Ministry of Education. I would like to congratulate the Minister and his team for truly taking on very well this challenging Ministry. As we talk about education, I would like to say that anybody who does not complain about education is not a Kenyan. We all complain about education. We do so because we believe that it can be made better. We want it to be better. So, the Minister should take up the complaints in that context. I will start my contribution with the issue of university education. Whereas we are able to monitor what is going on in the primary and secondary levels, there is not much we do at the university level. I just had lunch with a student from one of our public universities, where parallel degree programmes go on and where there is discrimination. The discrimination is against regular students in favour of students taking the parallel degree programmes. I would like to urge the Minister to carry out an inspection and set up some guidelines on how we can maintain quality, equatability and fair play in our public universities. Even as Members of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology, we have visited some of the engineering laboratories in our public universities. It is amazing to know that some of the departments which take some of our best brains have nothing to offer our students. They use archaic equipment and that is really deplorable. We would like to see some funds allocated to our public universities, which train most of the very brilliant Kenyans so that we can continue to compete internationally. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to touch on the Free Primary Education (FPE) Programme. We laud it because it got many children to go to school. But as we speak, there are schools which have 200 students squeezed in one classroom with one teacher. Even as we embark to recruit 11,000 teachers out of the required 55,000, we are not going to solve the problem in the near future. Something else one sees as you go into the classrooms is a 60 year old person in the same classroom with pupils who are 10 years old. Surely, that is not acceptable. I hope that the Minister will address this issue. We have to harmonise, look at the age structure and make sure that we do not have adults and children in the same class. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, something else concerning the FPE Programme is that we are not sure if it is compulsory or not. We are aware that there are many children who stay at home. We are aware that there are teachers who send away students for lack of school uniforms. So, we want to know if it is compulsory or not. If the FPE Programme is for all, then the Minister has to make sure that all children go to school. Something else which I want to touch on, and which is very close to my heart, is the issue of school nutrition and sanitation. We are aware that we have young girls who look like grown up women because they reach puberty when they are still in primary schools. I am not sure that, that is well taken care of and that it is given the sensitivity it requires in primary schools. We are also aware that the school feeding programme retains children in schools. I know that the Minister is already thinking about introducing school feeding programmes in primary schools. This will go a long way in enhancing the FPE Programme and at the same time ensure that children stay in school when they are alert and enjoy their stay. Something else which I want to touch on, while I still have the time, is about the children who are talented. These are children who are not served by our educational and examination systems. Such children may be artists, singers and so on. They may have all kinds of talents, but may score "Ds" or "Es" and fail. We need to look at our examination system and make sure that it identifies talents in our children. It is those talents that will built this country. That way, we can then start talking about equitable access to opportunities that are available. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the last issue I want to touch on is e-learning. This has to do with the use of computers. We have not been having computers in schools. Right now, we July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2623 have computers in certain schools and not in others. We are, actually, going to discriminate against students, based on technological advancement. We have students sitting for the same examinations. I would like to urge the Minister to make sure that all schools have access to computers and that children have equal opportunities in terms of aspects and performance. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to support this Motion. In doing so, I would like, first, to commend my good friend the Minister for Education and his team for the good work they are doing. This House has raised its concern on a very important matter of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) certificates that are held illegally by board of governors of schools for many years.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I moved a Motion in this House, which was passed unanimously in 2002, calling on the Government to have the certificates released. Three weeks ago, 145 hon. Members; two-thirds of hon. Members in this House, signed a petition to His Excellency the President, again making an attempt to have the certificates released. On Monday, the President gave some indication that this was possible, although he did not give an order to have the certificates, some of which have been held for over 15 years, be released. I appeal to the Minister, this time round, as he comes to respond to this Motion, to give an unequivocal undertaking that the Government will release the certificates so that this House, as it winds up its business this Session, will have resolved this problem which has been in this country for many years.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of FPE Programme has been talked about. We all thank the Government for it. We welcome the waiver of secondary school tuition fees from 2008. I want to remind the Minister, through you, that in a Sessional Paper that he brought to this House and which was passed, it was stated and agreed that pre-primary education would be supported by the Government as well. Somehow, this matter seems to have been left in abeyance. The Pre-Primary Education Programme, as the experts know, and most of them are here, is the foundation of education. We cannot have quality education in both primary and secondary schools unless we form a good foundation, which is pre-primary education. These schools are run by parents and their standards differ. I would like to ask the Minister to ensure that if the FPE Programme and secondary education will have any meaning, we must start with the foundation. We must also ensure that pre-primary schools are given priority and supported by the Government all over the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me take this opportunity to commend the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for the work they are doing in managing teachers. Yes, they have a shortage of teachers, but I want to say that the shortage of teachers has continued to negatively affect the quality of education, as previous speakers have said. We have primary school classes with 150 to 200 pupils, with one teacher! There is no way--- Forty years ago, I used to teach! I cannot imagine how a teacher can teach 100 children. Therefore, while agreeing that the Government is going to employ 11,000 teachers, that is a drop in the ocean. The Minister must do everything possible to look for funds to increase the number of teachers, so that we can improve the quality of education in our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to give an example of my own Mwingi 2624 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 District. It has a shortage of over 700 teachers. The TSC has allocated us 151 teachers. I am sure by the time the 151 teachers are recruited, others would have either died or retired. So, that shortage is going to persist and there is no way we are going to improve learning in our institutions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, even for secondary education, the situation is the same. We have a shortage of over 100 teachers in our secondary schools and yet, we were asked to recruit 36. How can we go on with that kind of thing? I want to ask the Minister to look into that matter critically, and ensure that some equitable filling of vacancies is done. I do not see how a shortage of 700 vacancies was only allocated 151 slots. I do not expect that is going to make any dent in the shortage. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other area is on the intake in teacher training colleges. I know that in the last two years, the Ministry has tried to ensure that all districts are given equal opportunities in teachers training colleges. But I still find that there are some districts which are getting more vacancies. I want to suggest to the Minister, through you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the intake to colleges, both for primary and secondary teachers training, must be pegged to existing vacancies of teachers. If, for example, we have a shortage of 800 teachers in our district, our allocation of teacher training positions must be pegged to the vacancies so that, in the end, our areas will have adequate teachers. That will avoid a situation where some districts are being forced to recruit teachers from other districts, not because they do not have people who are qualified to go to teachers training colleges, but because some district over-train while others are not given equal opportunities. This is a matter that should be given a very serious thought. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue is on the quality of education and inspection of schools. I want to tell the Minister - and I want his officers to hear - that in my district, there are schools which have never seen an inspector coming to inspect them. Why is that? Is it because they are very few? It is because there are hardly one or two to inspect hundreds of primary schools and yet, we expect those schools to do well! I always feel very bad when, at the end of examination time, the Minister receives the results and announces that this district was number one, another was number two; this school was number one, that school was number two and another one was number three! At the end, the Minister cannot say how many teachers were in the school that became number one. How many teachers were in the school that became last. If the announcement of the results, which appears to be a competition by the Minister, is to have any meaning, then he must ensure that schools are inspected alike. They are provided with teachers alike. That is only when there will be fair competition. Finally, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister and the Government has done well to increase salaries of teachers. Once again, I would like to remind the Minister, through you, that this House passed the Pensions Amendment Bill several years ago. The Bill, which I had the honour to sponsor, guaranteed that when civil servants, including teachers retire, they will go home with their pension cheques. But I am sorry to say that the mainstream Public Service has not complied with that requirement of the law. But since we are addressing the matter of teachers and the Ministry of Education, let me also say that the TSC is, again, not following the law when it comes to giving teachers their pensions on retirement. I say that because the law also requires that where pension is not paid, those people must be given interest on the money retained by the Ministry or the Government at bank rates. That law has been ignored. I want to urge the Minister for Education to provide an example and ensure that all teachers who retire, in accordance with the law, receive their pensions before they retire. The law says that where the pension is not ready, the employee should be retained in the payroll until a time when the pension will be ready.
July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2625 I just wonder why the Ministry of Education flouts the law and gets away with it? I want the Ministry to follow the law. I want it to retain teachers who are due for retirement, if it has not been able to prepare their pensions. That way, teachers will not waste time after retirement coming to the TSC to look for their pensions. That is desirable and the Minister must, along with the other things that he is doing well, do that one so that everything---
I do not know why hon. Members want to chase me, but with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Education is a very important Ministry. It has been properly lauded for the initiative of providing basic primary education. It should also be lauded for adopting the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Kenya policy of providing free secondary school education. They have not "footnetised"(?) it since we pronounced it. But I commend them for seeing the light and doing what the people of Kenya really need. There is an important issue that I would like to bring to the attention of the Ministry; that is the issue of early childhood development, or what is normally called "nursery school education". A long time ago, when the Ministry of Education was working, just after colonialism, and many institutions which were run by local authorities were then working, early childhood education was the responsibility of local authorities! Indeed, it worked! But after the mushrooming of Harambee schools after Independence, and the multiplication of school facilities by various private sector entrepreneurs, early childhood education, as an important aspect of the Ministry of Education, somehow disappeared. Local authorities, although positing themselves as being competent to run early childhood education, failed miserably. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we speak today, early childhood education, or nursery school education, is somehow in limbo. One is not sure whether it is the responsibility of local authorities or it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. Where it exists, it usually comes under the initiative of sponsors of schools like the churches, the Anglican or Catholic church, boards of governors or parents-teachers associations (PTAs) of various schools. If, indeed, we are going to provide free primary school and free secondary school education - let us not call it free but compulsory - then we must, indeed, pay attention to early childhood education. It is the foundation of education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I, myself, enjoyed the benefits of early childhood education provided by the Anglican Church. I think it is very useful at that point in time, because it gives you the foundation of education. I think that if, indeed, the Ministry of Education is going to propel Kenya into the 21st Century, as a First World economy, we cannot avoid budgeting for early childhood education, as a compulsory step towards primary schooling. You know that in the private schools, they do not accept children into Standard One unless they can demonstrate having graduated from early childhood educational institutions. This, I think, is a good point to the Ministry of Education, the importance of early childhood education. Secondly, I am glad that the Ministry of Education has announced - I have heard my friend, the Assistant Minister for Education speaking about this very vehemently - that we should down- grade or disengage from boarding schools, and try and concentrate our investments on day schools. This is a good development! We could leave boarding schools for national and provincial schools, and make sure that they admit students equitably across the Republic. But because of the number of 2626 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 schools coming up, and the cost effectiveness of day schooling, provided we have adequate facilities in schools, and provided schools are within reach of children walking from their homes to the school, and provided there are school-feeding programmes that can make sure that when children go to school they are fed, I think the trend for the future should be for day schooling. Having understood that the trend for the future is for day schooling, then, I think, the distinction between primary school and secondary school should also disappear. It is counter-productive to invest in students to go up to Standard Seven or Eight and then when they go to Form I, 60 per cent of them fall out; especially when we say that we are also going to provide compulsory education at the secondary level. Primary and secondary schooling should be synchronised into one and, like happens in private schools like Rusinga and others, once a child goes to Standard One, it should be guaranteed that this child will go up to Form IV. This will ensure that there is no distinction, whatsoever, between a primary and a secondary school. What we should do is to say we have elementary or basic schooling or, like was said in colonial days, sector schooling. Whatever language we use, primary schools and secondary schools should be synchronised into one. Children should be able to go from Standard One to Form IV and complete the basic schooling in one institution. The time when we competed for a few secondary school places when we were in Standard Eight and we had only Maseno, Kakamega, Kamusinga and Alliance schools, and people travelled long distances to go to secondary schools and it was known all over that the child of so-and-so has gone to a secondary school, is long gone. Now, in my village we have four primary schools and two secondary schools. The other two primary schools, which are not secondary schools, should be made into secondary schools. Basic education should be for everybody, and maneno kwisha ! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is what I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Education, that in this trend for the future, let us finish the distinction between primary schools and secondary schools, and have one system of basic schooling from Standard One to Form IV, so that, that foundational schooling is given to everybody from nursery, or early childhood education, to Form IV. Having said that, I want to go to the sad issue in the Ministry of Education which, unfortunately, is now divided between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and I do not know what else. It is the issue of polytechnics and tertiary education. I do not understand why polytechnics should be under the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and the Ministry that takes care of culture, sports, women, and I do not know what else is there. Polytechnics are an educational issue. Technical training is an educational issue.
Making polytechnics to be "nomads" all the time is not going to help this country. polytechnics have been under all kinds of Ministries since I came to this Parliament. The Ministry of Technical Training, the Ministry of Youth, Women and Sports, Ministry of Labour or the Ministry of Vocational Training. The Ministry of Education is the right home for polytechnics and all tertiary educational institutions.
That is true!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us put these institutions where they belong and budget for them accordingly, and make life easier for the Minister for Education and his staff. For example, when we are given bursaries for students and we are told that these bursaries should also go to people in tertiary institutions, we have to get data from the Ministry of Education. Then we realise that the polytechnics are under the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs. When you go to the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs, it was just created the other July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2627 day, and so they do not know where their data is. They are still constructing it, yet the Ministry of Education, which is an old Ministry, has this information. So, why do you have to create this funny Ministries to give sinecures to the boys and the girls? They are just a burden to the Budget. They make learning very complicated. They drain the energies of civil servants, who have to switch their brains from one Ministry to the other. They create too many bosses. I think we would make life very easy for the Ministry of Education if all educational institutions came under that Ministry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also important that we invest in tertiary education. In Germany, for example, it is known that not everybody goes to the university. In fact, the majority of people from high schools go to polytechnics and get tertiary education. That is why the German industry is so successful, because you get these people when they are fresh and sharp and you train them. They can still continue in the evenings to take lessons, university classes and get their undergraduate degrees. However, they do that because they already have a profession and they are already living their lives. Life is not a dress rehearsal! We live it here and now. To postpone life for other people, because we have not made up our minds where our students should go when they leave Form IV, is very cruel. I would, therefore, expect that, as we plan for the future, I hear there is something called "Vision 2030", which is only a vision in the Government and not in the rest of the society. That Vision, I hope, should include some of these things. It should also consult some of us to make sure that the vision is complete, otherwise it will be myopic, and will only reflect the confused vision of how the Cabinet is organised that is reflected in that Government. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for recognising the hon. Member for Turkana Central. At the risk of forming a mutual admiration society and celebrating the success of the hon. Minister for Education, the one Prof. Saitoti--- If all our Cabinet Ministers took their jobs very seriously, then this country would realise its stated objective, of being a first class world. The Vision 2030 is not just a myth. It is a realistic commitment, not just by this administration, which is just a caretaker for now but a commitment by the Kenyan people to seek and desire a prosperous nation. I serve in the Ministry of Planning and National Development as an Assistant Minister and we invited the hon. Members to our meeting at the Grand Regency Hotel so that they could actually interrogate what had been proposed and make suggestions. They did not show up. Whom do they blame? That includes the man I admire, my predecessor in the Ministry, Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me go back to education. I am extremely happy to get this opportunity to contribute to this Motion because when we talk of free and compulsory education, it is a reality that we have experienced in this nation. We have seen enrolment increasing. We have seen pupils in schools like Turkana, where people would hardly have gone to school because they were asked to go and bring chalks, exercise books and so on. Nobody is asking for those things now because the Government is allocating money per child, irrespective of where you come from. Is that not free primary education? Let us talk of visions that have realised not those that are proposed when you are unveiling your personal vision. We should not use the Floor of the House to talk of visions that do not exist in proper documentation. Those are just wishes. Even ODM(K) has not given us a presidential candidate for us to know that this is a very serious alternative. We are talking about free and compulsory education. What negates compulsory education is not the Government. It is the attitude of some of our communities who do not want to take their kids and, particularly, the girl-child to school. We have a specific Act of Parliament here that compels every parent, and every parent is liable and can go to prison if they do not take their children to school. Those are statutes of the land. It is not a matter of personal preference or choice. It is the law. Since these are our parents and voters, we cannot really jail all of them. We have to 2628 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 develop a national consensus. We have to continue creating awareness and preach the importance of education so that each and every Kenya child can access the free and compulsory education that this Government has given. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having commended the efforts of the Government, of course there is room for improvement, we still need to improve the administration of education at the district level. We need to make sure that the District Education Boards are functioning regularly and properly. We have demonstrated the functioning of the DEBs through the employment of teachers. We gave it a specific mandate and it works. But sometimes, the Ministry of Education brings us officers that are not competent enough. I have had occasion where the minutes of the DEB disappear. I have had occasion where as a DEB we decide that this particular institution does not seem to cover the institutional requirement of an institution of higher learning and the office of the DEO takes ages to take action; after children have gone through high school for four years, after they have been duped into learning for two years, believing that they are going to get some certificates which are bogus. It is completely unfair for Ministry officials to sit there and wait for children to go through four years of education and have not closed down an institution that has not met the requirements by the Ministry. That is an area which requires adequate improvement. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come from an area where there is a problem of refugees. Refugees have gone into our schools because our school system is good and we encourage them. But when it comes to the few slots that you allocate at the national schools, you find that the refugee children have taken the share of Turkana children. We are in the same Government and we are providing advice for free. As I said, we need to improve and I know that these people are listening and will make serious improvements. My recommendations to the Ministry--- I know that they are tied with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), but let us deal with our reality. The environmentalists have told us to think globally but act locally. We have made provisions for centres of examinations within the refugee camps. Let the refugee children write their exams in their centres so that they do not compete for slots, so that a Turkana child can get the rightful place to go to Alliance, Mang'u or any other national school. The very purpose of education is to forge unity. How else do you forge unity if you do not access children to national schools, unless you are forging unity with Southern Sudan? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am also going to make another plea to the Ministry of Education. The national schools will ask for Kshs26 million or the Ministry will give fees guidelines of Kshs26,000 per annum per child but the reality is different. It is high time that the good Minister for Education brought this to light and exposed it. That national schools are charging Kshs70,000 per annum so that parents and the school bursary committees know and they allocate money properly. But when you advise like that and the practice is different--- We all know the truth because Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and hon. Members' kids go to those schools. I have one in a national school. I wrote a cheque for one term and I thought I will be writing it once and for all, only to realise the following term that I had to write a cheque of a similar amount. Surely, we cannot be living a white lie that we all know. Let us agree, that is they need Kshs100,000 let it be known that Alliance High School requires that much. What is the big deal? One important thing in my place is called the School Feeding Programme supported by World Food Programme (WFP). This is a very important programme. Sometimes, they threaten that they will withdraw it. The only way to ensure that these children, particularly, the pastoralists' children, can retain and remain in school and improve the rates from primary to secondary, is to make sure that there is adequate food in the boarding schools. The Minister has done it and will continue to do it. We are just emphasizing, so that we make sure that the pastoralist child can get July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2629 an equal opportunity just like the children of my good friend from Taita. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me talk about bursaries. You will find that Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) areas get limited allocation because of population. I have no quarrel with population. Put the formulation but you need to add another variable in that formula known as the ASAL factor. However, 1 per cent or even 10 per cent will be good for us. Why few of us go to school is because we cannot afford it. Then you use the results of our poverty that reduces our chances of being in school against us when allocating bursary. You are condemning us to poverty for ever and the Minister comes here and reads to us that education is one of those pro-poor policies that the Government wants to make sure that Kenyans are in a position to prosper economically. Those are just some specific recommendations for the ASAL areas. I believe that these areas are the potential growth of this nation. Do not concentrate things where Dr. Murungaru comes from. With those remarks, I support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to join my colleagues in complimenting the Minister and his team of officers for the way in which they have worked to implement this free primary education. I think they have done a magnificent job, and we need to say how grateful we are. Having said that, there is a lot more to be done. The area which, really, concerns me is management of education in the districts. I go round the schools in my constituency and check the visitors' books. Not a single officer from the Ministry of Education visits those schools for the whole year. For me, that is the only way to know whether they have visited those schools. We did a research in the districts to try and find out what has contributed to the decline in the education standards. We found out that 80 per cent of the reasons were attributed to the Ministry of Education. So, I think there is a need for the Ministry to try and ensure that its officers frequently visit schools and keep the teachers on check. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I visited a secondary school at lunch time. There were only two teachers in the school. At 2.00 p.m., there was no teacher there, including the headmaster and deputy headmaster. At 2.30 p.m., that was when teachers started strolling in, yet classes were meant to start at 2.00 p.m. I wonder who is really responsible for trying to make sure that teachers really take up their responsibilities seriously. I also do not know what needs to be done about the headmasters. Many times, the headmasters have lessons to conduct, but they also have to attend various meetings in a week. As a result, nobody takes over their lessons. What do we expect from the students who miss their lessons? When the performance of schools in examinations goes down and you ask the teachers to explain why this happened, they say: "We did not complete our syllabus." Who is responsible for ensuring that the syllabus is completed? I think it is important that the Ministry has its own system of ensuring that the syllabus is properly completed. This is because it is unfair to present students for examination, when they have not been able to complete their syllabus. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have also spoken about the need for teachers in every school to be able to meet the needs of the various subjects. I do not agree that we do not have enough teachers. I think, really, the Ministry needs to have an adequate provision in its budget and establishments, to be able to employ the teachers. There are many teachers who cannot be employed, simply because we do not have the funds. Maybe, the Ministry needs to look at this particular area, to ensure that, in the future, we do have adequate teachers to be able to cover the various lessons. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if a school is headed by a headmaster for ten years, and it has consistently performed poorly, I think something needs to be done. Equally, if a teacher teaches in a high school for ten years and the students continue to perform poorly in a particular 2630 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 subject which is taught by that teacher, again, I think something needs to be done. This is because we cannot always say that the children are the ones who are not bright. I think something needs to done, to try and ensure that we do give students a fair chance, to be able to get the right tuition.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Since we have had this debate for the last two days, would I be in order to request that the Mover be now called upon to reply?
No, Mr. Lesrima! This is a timed debate! I will call upon the Minister to reply at 5.00 p.m. Maj. Madoka, continue!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thought the hon. Member had been in the House long enough to appreciate that. The issue of staffing of teachers has been mentioned. I think it, certainly, needs to be looked into. This is because you will find that teachers are not properly housed, in some cases. Some of them are housed in poor structures. As a result, they are not able to do their work properly. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of free primary education, again, has been stated. I would also like to re-state that there is a need for the Ministry to take it very seriously. The issue of school leaving certificates has also been mentioned. It is another area that, I believe, needs to be addressed. I think there is a necessity for Quality Assurance Officers in each district. In my own constituency, for example, for one whole year, there was not a single Quality Assurance Officer. Obviously, it becomes very difficult for the District Education Officer (DEO) and the other officers to ensure that the standards and quality of education are maintained. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to endorse the various recommendations made by the various speakers. But I do not want to repeat them. Again, I would like to commend the Minister for a job well done. I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for granting me the time to support this very important Motion.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order to request you to use your sole discretion in order to allow the speaker to speak for five minutes and give a chance to this side again for five minutes, so that, at least, we are able to contribute to this very important Vote that concerns all of us?
Order! You needed to raise that point when we started the debate. You cannot do it midstream!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will try to be brief, so that other hon. Members can also get a chance to speak. First, I want to commend the Minister and his team for a job-well-done. The Minister has conducted the affairs of this Ministry in a very professional manner. I want to commend him, especially, for dealing with the teachers' strike, which was almost affecting the education of our children. Because of time, I want to raise a red flag. In this case, the Ministry will employ about 11,000 teachers this year. But I would like to say that in Baringo, we were only given 21 teachers, while in East Pokot, which is a new district, the rate of under-staffing is about 100 teachers. So, this means that in the entire East Pokot District, no learning is, actually, going to take place. This is because the staffing rate is about three teachers in almost every school. The 21 teachers will be taken by Baringo District. East Pokot District will not have any teacher. So, this issue should be addressed as a matter of priority. If it is not going to be addressed, I think we will just have to demonstrate to the office of the Provincial Director of Education (PDE) in order to send the July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2631 message home. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, I would like to thank the Ministry for actually setting aside Kshs60 million for the volunteers. The volunteers have done a good job in the Ministry. They have actually been missionaries in that Ministry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to talk about learning in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) districts just to buttress or support what hon. Ethuro was saying. In ASAL districts, without food in the schools, actually, learning is not going to take place. So, the School Feeding Programme (SFP) should actually get extra funding. I would also like to advise the Ministry, because it is pursuing the policy of free and compulsory education. It should combine efforts with the Office of the President together with other relevant bodies to make sure that all children in the ASAL districts are sent to school by force. I know hon. Prof. Saitoti has the guts to do that because he is a performer. This issue should be taken seriously because usually it is treated casually. I do not know whether the Ministry of State for Administration and National Security actually wants to enforce the Children's Act because it is being flouted in the ASAL districts. We want the standards of education to improve in those areas. We want these children to be taken to school by force by both the Ministry of State for Administration and National Security and the Ministry of Education. This is because most of the boys in those areas are now participating in cattle rustling and those other things. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another issue is the exodus of Kenyan students to Uganda. Some Ugandan high schools are actually admitting students who scored "D" and "D" plus in their KCSE Examinations to Form V and Form VI. I think this matter has not been taken seriously. So, these high schools should be advised not to take students who attained Grade "D-" (Minus) to Form V. What kind of education are we going to get from those kind of students? Lastly, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, because of lack of time, I would like to thank the Ministry for actually waiving tuition fees for secondary school education from next year. That is a Presidential directive and we are happy about it. It is not an ODM(K) policy the way Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o put it. That is the policy of His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki. I also think that is the policy of NARC(K), which is going to be the next ruling party. Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the time.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will be very quick. This is a Ministry that is very well run and it is run by two professors who have proven to be excellent. They are supported by directors who are accomplished. They have a strategic plan, which is very clear and efficient. However, structurally, there is still a problem. One of the problem is that of equalisation. This entails making sure that the areas which are left behind are brought into line with those who have advanced. If you look at teacher training colleges, they use computers and they train students from those areas which have already benefitted. They have also already trained many other students to become teachers and they are now teaching in their own areas. So, there will be areas which will be perpetually condemned to receiving teachers from somewhere else and so nothing will move. With regard to admissions to secondary schools, the quota system which used to exist in the admission of students to secondary schools is gradually being eroded. Again, that will bring disparity in education. If such a thing is not arrested, it will, again, marginalise other areas. Otherwise, I would like to congratulate the President and the Ministry for supporting the Free Primary Education (FPE). However, we would like it to be full and not partial. The Government should not only waive the tuition fees. The support should be 100 per cent so that the age of the children, and especially the girl children, is extended to, at least, 16 years or 17 years. That way, when they come out, they will not be vulnerable as they are at the moment. They leave school at Standard Eight when they are still at the tender age of 13 years or 14 years. That is a very good 2632 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 thing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other point which was mentioned by Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o is the technical education. If you look at the kind of population which builds the country, it is the blue collar one. It is the technical training that is critical in the development of a country. Today, we have contractors from India and other countries because we do not have technicians. We abandoned what was built during the colonial days, that is, the training institutions like Kabete Technical Training Institute and others, where students were diverted, if they were not good academically. Today, we are pursuing academic education par excellence and yet those ones are white-collar job-seekers, who are still found in this country today looking for jobs. There are those with degrees up to the Masters level, but they still cannot get jobs. So, there is a mismatch. If you train somebody, you raise the expectations, and if you cannot fulfil those expectations by getting jobs, you then create disgruntled elements. Therefore, I would suggest that wherever the teacher training colleges are located, they should take into account, first of all, students from those areas and the other areas which have not benefited. Secondly, if we must have free education, as a policy, then we must have the other side of the coin, that is, to provide enough teachers to fulfil that function. You should also create facilities so as to provide a fully integrated programme. There is no point of putting in place half measures where you have Free Primary Education (FPE) and idle classes or an inefficient way of fulfilling the obligation of teaching. The other point I would like to stress is that the teachers who are currently being employed are very few. In fact, in my own district, Keiyo, we are short of about 300 teachers. So, we will not be able to fulfil the FPE unless we have those teachers. If you look at the students who are admitted at Tambach High School, they are barely seven out of a large number. So, it means that there is a problem. If you rely on sending these students elsewhere, you will come across another problem which is caused by poverty. This is because many students who are admitted to secondary schools elsewhere cannot travel. This is simply because they do not have the resources and their places will be taken by others. The problem is a vicious cycle and so it continues. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to congratulate the Minister and his staff for ensuring that education days are conducted in the districts to address the issue of quality of education and also provide an opportunity for those areas to raise whatever issues that they have. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to support.
Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry, you have been very consistent, but I can see there is only one minute left. Probably, courtesy of the Minister, you could make a few comments, and then we will call upon the Minister to reply.
Order, Members! Order!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this very important Vote. Let me also thank the Minister and his team - the technocrats of the Ministry of Education - for running the Ministry in the most efficient way. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have only three points, which I want to highlight. The first one is in line with the Vision 2030. If we are going to achieve any important progress, the Ministry should approach the issue---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is a very serious debate but it seems that there is no quorum in the House.
It is true. Can the Division Bell be rung?
Order! Order, hon. Members! We now have a quorum. Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry, there are still minutes for you but we are already deep into the Minister's time to reply. I want you to just conclude, so that you can give the Minister time to reply to this debate.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will try to be very fast. I was saying that in line with Vision 2030, the Ministry should look into the possibility of ensuring that we have constituent university colleges in every district, so that each district will be able to access higher education. The other very critical point is the issue of ICT. We needed all secondary schools to be provided with computers, so that they be at par with the rest of the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, for the sake of children from poor families, the Government should come up with a policy of pooling together all the
bursaries provided to secondary school students by local authorities, the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) and the Ministry of Education, so that we can fund free education for all children, right from primary to secondary school levels.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Very well, Mr. Minister!
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Just before I respond to this debate, with your permission, I would like to donate two minutes to Mr. Kingi and another two minutes to Mr. Muchiri.
Ahsante sana, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa nafasi hii ambayo nimepatiwa. Yangu yatakuwa machache. Kwanza, ningependa kuipongeza Wizara ya Elimu kwa jinsi inavyoendesha shughuli zake kuanzia wakati Waziri, pamoja na wenzake, walipopewa usukani wa kuiendesha Wizara hii. Ninawapongeza haswa kwa vile Wizara hii iliichukulia ile shughuli ya nyongeza ya mishahara ya waalimu, ambayo ilikuwa imeleta matatizo mengi kwa taifa hili katika miaka michache iliyopita. Ningependa kusisitiza kwamba kila wakati kunapokuwa na matatizo, inafaa kuwe na mawasiliano kati ya waalimu na mwajiri wao, kwa sababu mawasiliano "huzaa" mapatano na kuondoa mapambano. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, pia ningependa kuzungumza kuhusu shule za kibinafsi, ambazo zimejitokeza kila mahali nchini. Ukitembelea sehemu yoyote humu nchini, utaona kwamba kuna shule za kibinafsi. Nyingi za shule hizo hazina vifaa vinavyohitajika. Shule hizo hazina viwanja vya kutosha, madarasa, hata madawati. Nyakati nyingi, shule hizo huwa hazina waalimu wa kutosheleza mahitaji ya wanafunzi wote, lakini unapata zinaendeshwa tu kinyume cha sheria. Ningependa kuiomba Wizara iwatumie maafisa walioko, pamoja na mawasiliano mazuri 2634 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 katika Utawala wa Mikoa, ili tuhakikishe kwamba tumeacha tu zile shule za kibinafsi ambazo zinaweza kuyakidhi kikamilifu maslahi ya wanafunzi. Ningependa kuona kwamba zile shule za kibinafsi ambazo hazina vifaa vya kutosha zimefungwa na wanafunzi kutoka shule hizo wamehamishiwa kwingineko. Pia, ningependa kuzungumzia swala la kuwapandisha vyeo waalimu. Kuna waalimu wengi ambao mpaka sasa bado hawajapandishwa vyeo licha ya kwamba wamefanya kazi katika kiwango kimoja kwa miaka mingi. Kwa wale wachache ambao wamesalia, inafaa Serikali ifanye mpango wa haraka ili waweze kupandishwa vyeo, ndiyo wapate motisha ya kuifanya kazi hiyo ya ualimu kwa bidii zaidi. Kwa hayo machache, ninaiunga mkono Hoja hii.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to support this particular Vote of the Ministry of Education. I only have two points that I would like to emphasise. First, is the issue of construction of classrooms. I want the Ministry to take a little bit of interest in this regard. Previously, classrooms were being constructed without any technical support. It is not right to construct classrooms which later start cracking because the foundations are poor or the construction practices were not right. The other point that I would like to make is on supervision of private schools. The Ministry should supervise those schools because many private schools are mushrooming all over the country. The Ministry should take it upon itself to supervise those schools, so that parents can get value for their money. We know that some private schools are performing very well academically. But we do not want parents to be over-exploited. Sometimes, I wonder whether the fee structure in those schools is right. But since it is an issue of supply and demand, perhaps, the Ministry cannot do much about it. But I think it is important to supervise private schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, I would like to say that education is a long- term economic investment. It is the best investment that any parent or country can give to its people. Human resource is all about education. Let us try to make education relevant to the job market. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me begin by thanking all hon. Members for the various observations that they have made on the Vote of the Ministry of Education. I also want to assure them that, indeed, the Ministry will take very seriously the various comments that have been made. I also want to assure hon. Members that, in all our programmes and resource utilization, I shall continue to ensure equitable distribution across all the existing learning institutions. For the primary school money, it is allocated on capitation basis, with all the children getting equal allocation. For the infrastructure in primary schools, resources are allocated on the basis of assessment and working of school infrastructure. While I am on this, it is important that I mention here that in the initial stages of the implementation of free primary education, due to lack of resources, we were not able to intervene in terms of addressing the infrastructure. But in the beginning of last year and, of course, in this financial year, we will ensure that we intervene in the infrastructural rehabilitation and build classrooms where they are not available. That will be done because we take into account the various observations that are made by hon. Members. We have a number of classrooms that are dilapidated in nature. Other classes are just too small for children. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another thing that has been raised concerns the promotion of teachers. The promotion of teachers is guided by the scheme of service for teachers. First, there is a scheme of service for graduate teachers. They are in their own category all together. Then we have the scheme of service for non-graduate teachers. We also have a scheme of service July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2635 for technical teachers and lecturers. Vacant positions for teachers are normally advertised in the print media. Teachers are promoted after interviews by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). There is also a provision for primary school teachers at grade P2 and AT3 to undergo a teacher proficiency test administered by the Ministry. Such teachers are promoted after they pass the examination at the end of the course. Let me also state here that we are very concerned over the fact that, we require to have as many teachers as possible, undoubtedly. That has not been possible because of resource constraints. I noted, and one hon. Member said it here that, apparently, the impression created here about the shortage of teachers is something that has been created by free primary education. That it is the cause of quality education. We have aimed, as much as possible, to ensure that teachers who leave the service because of one reason or the other - or what is globally called natural attrition - are replaced immediately. That was not the case prior to 2003. It is important, and it should be noted that in this particular budget, we have factored in resources to ensure that 11,000 teachers are going to be recruited. Out of that number, 7,000 teachers will clearly replace those who have left the service because of one reason or the other. For the first time, 4,000 new teachers are going to be employed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have also done something which you may not have noted. We have provided a sum of about Kshs240 million to ensure that teachers who are employed by the board of governors and school committees on voluntary basis are given some token of some kind, especially where there are vacancies up to about three. In other words, it is not only the new additional 4,000 teachers that we are employing. We are also taking into account those teachers who are teaching in primary and secondary schools on voluntary basis. We are trying to take off the load from parents. This, I feel, is something which is very important. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue concerns quality assurance and standards. I stated in my opening remarks that we take issues on quality assurance and standards very seriously. Indeed, our position has always been that we do not want quantity to compromise quality. Our commitment to the children of this country is to ensure that we offer quality education. Towards that end, the Ministry has been addressing the issue of quality, especially through the quality assurance body. We have recruited 240 Quality Assurance officers who are being deployed to various stations. We have also approached the Public Service Commission (PSC) to ensure that we are able to recruit an additional 420 officers. Further, I would like to assure hon. Members that the Ministry considers internal quality assurance as key in the strengthening of institutional management and curriculum delivery as stipulated in Sessional Paper No.1 of 2005. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is one thing that should be noted. Although students in secondary schools were fewer by 2 million prior to the implementation of free primary education, the teachers were already very much de-motivated. The higher salaries that had been promised to them had not been honoured. When you have demoralised teachers, you do not expect them to teach properly. That is something which was happening. Another important thing that was happening prior to the implementation of free primary education is that text books were not available. Parents were being asked to purchase text books and to give funds for the buildings and yet, the text books were there. It has been universally demonstrated that if students do not have text books, there is no way quality can be guaranteed. It has also been empirically demonstrated, and we have evidence, that since the implementation of the free primary education, the scores in national examinations, both for Standard VIII and Form IV have gone up. We have even seen better quality and performance, especially in Mathematics. This is a subject which is extremely difficult. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another important area that I want to talk about is 2636 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 universities. Yes, we agree that there is a shortage of places at universities. This is what has warranted a very large number of our students seek to pursue higher education in other countries of the world. The Government is fully committed to ensure that it expands access to our universities. That is the reason that four university colleges have already been opened. They will begin offering courses in the next academic year. In addition, several campuses have been added to our universities. We believe that this will expand access to public universities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a policy, we have decided that admission to public universities will no longer be pegged on availability of bed capacity. I also agree with those who said we need to address the issue of access and skill improvement at our two public polytechnics; Kenya Polytechnic here in Nairobi and Mombasa Polytechnic. They will also start offering degree courses in the technological fields. A point was also made here about the fact that we should offer incentives to the private sector for those who want to establish private universities. In the financial statement that was presented here by the Minister for Finance, a spectrum of incentives to those who want to establish private universities was announced. One of them will be in the form of taxation. The removal of Value Added Tax (VAT), is a subject which will come before this House when we discuss the Finance Bill. Secondly, some other infrastructural facilities will be provided such as roads, electricity and water, so as to make it much cheaper for those who want to set up universities here. This is extremely important. We will be moving in that direction to ensure that it happens. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another thing that I want to say very quickly has to do with quality as far as our universities are concerned. I stated when moving the Vote that the Education Act is being re-looked very carefully. One of the things that will be done in order to fulfil the promise we made, is to come up with a Sessional Paper with the aim of restructuring the Commission for Higher Education to broaden its mandate. Apart from giving certification for private universities to be chartered, it will have an extra responsibility to over-see the quality offered by both public and private universities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will also promote internal mechanisms of ensuring that quality education is provided at the universities. On that note, it is false to keep on telling Kenyans that the quality of university education being provided in this country is inferior. There is evidence. Not too long ago, there was a competition of students drawn from all public universities in East Africa. This was televised. What was very clear is that students from our own universities performed much better than students from universities in Uganda, Tanzania and some other places. I do not know why we keep on mourning all the time that our universities are not doing better and yet, when our students are put to test, they do well. Not even that alone, those who graduate with undergraduate degree and go abroad for Masters and research degrees, end up doing extremely well. Finally, on research funds, when I joined the Ministry in 2003, I introduced in the Budget a line-item of research fund. That particular research fund is within the Ministry of Science and Technology. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, special education is an important area. The Vice President and Minister for Home Affairs dwelt on it at great length. It is an area that we attach a great deal of importance. All students with disabilities receive capitation grants like all other students. In addition, each of them get an additional Kshs2,000. We also intervene by providing substantial amount of grants to all the institutions both at primary and technical level to ensure they are able to provide education at a lower cost. This we believe is important because we have to provide education pegged on equity. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also want to provide education which provides for July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2637 access for all. We also want to provide an inclusive education when we provide quality education. We have put into place an array of measures to boost quality in our secondary schools, primary schools and in early childhood development. We pronounce ourselves that we will be part of basic education. That is in the Sessional Paper. However, it will start in the 2010. In the meantime, we have continued to train teachers in early childhood schools because we believe that it is an important foundation. I wish to end by assuring hon. Members that we have taken a bold step to make secondary education affordable. We believe it is important to broaden access to secondary education. Secondary education is the bridge between primary, higher and tertiary education. Indeed, it is the foundation of science and technology we so badly need to make this country competitive. For that reason, a sum of Ksh4.3 billion that is being given in the calender year 2008, is substantial. We have a task force that is looking thoroughly at all the charges at secondary schools. We will move on that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I have one minute remaining. There is the issue of certificates that are held by schools. We are looking at it very clearly. I want to assure hon. Members that in no too distant future, we are ready to bite the bullet. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, a sum not exceeding Kshs 55,965,706,233 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th, June, 2008 in respect of:- Vote 31 - Ministry of Education
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, just a small item on Head 834 on page 1133. That is on the--- 2638 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
It is Sub-Head 0002 - Information Communication Technology Unit. My concern here is that, in view of the Government's stated policy on Information Communication and Technology and the importance thereof, I wonder whether the Minister is really satisfied that, in fact, this paltry sum of Kshs29 million for that section is really adequate, given the fact that, you need to actually put information technology at the forefront of education, so that you are not left behind? Are you satisfied or shall we give you more money?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, first of all, I would like to inform hon. Members that when it comes to ICT in our secondary schools, we are going to provide Kshs1.5 million to two secondary schools for each district, in order to build up a laboratory for ICT. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, in the initial stages, I am satisfied. Of course, I would have liked to have more money but, at the same time, we are also able to mobilise a number of hardware such as computers from several donors, civic organisations and parastatals. That is something that we have started. It was never there.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I am looking at page 1132, Head 834, Sub-Head 0002, Item 2210800 - Hospitality Supplies and Services. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, in this item last year, Kshs5.5 million was allocated. This year, the figure is Kshs3.5 million. It is my impression that, indeed, if it has to do with tea cups - taking tea and coffee--- To purchase them every year at a figure of Kshs5.5 million--- Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, may I seek some clarification from the Minister! What did you spend the Kshs5.5 million on last year and Kshs3.5 million this year on hospitality at the headquarters alone?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, while tea is also part of hospitality, the hospitality also entails giving reception when we have certain important meetings. There is quite a lot of it which goes into all that. Also, there are some materials which are used.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, there is another item; Head 845 at page 1137. I am talking about the School Audit Unit. This is just the Head itself---
That is on page 1137. The Head is 845. It is called School Audit Unit. Generally speaking, I am just concerned about the total expenditure on that Unit. In view of the fact that we are now building so many classrooms using the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), I think this ought to have been strengthened more. That is because the money allocated to it seems to be very small, indeed.
Order, Mr. Sungu! The Minister is not very clear! Could you repeat your question, please?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, with respect to that particular Head---
He is talking about the entire Vote Head 845.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, my concern is for the good of this country. You are spending so much money-- Just like the Government is spending so much money on education, even Members of Parliament are spending a lot of money on education through CDF, particularly to construct classrooms. We need to ensure that the Audit Unit is strong enough to take care of that money. That is because the money has now been expanded. It is not the usual money that we used to have. Could you comment on that, please?
Mr. Temporary Deputy "Speaker," Sir, that is an area that we pay a great deal of attention. It is an issue that I highlighted during the presentation July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2639 of this budget. It is an area that we know we can save a substantial amount of money which can be used properly. So, I agree with the hon. Member.
Mr. Minister, the Speaker left the Chair. It is now the Temporary Deputy Chairman.
Under Head 847 - Primary Teachers Training Colleges - Headquarters - the last item there is on scholarships and other educational benefits. This is at the level of primary teacher training colleges. Last year, it is clear on that Item that there was an allocation of Kshs20 million. If you are talking about scholarships, could the Minister explain why that figure has come down by half? This year, you have proposed to allocate only Kshs10 million!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I would have wished that this money was more than what is reflected here. However, because of constraints of the budget, this is the only money we could put into that particular Item. I also wish to inform the hon. Member that, indeed, in the beginning of the last financial year, it was actually Kshs10 million. But in the middle of the financial year, we were able to get other resources and the sum went up to Kshs20 million. We have certain resources which have already been promised for certain items in education by external partners. However, we have not committed those resources until they are received in the Treasury. We have had to commit our own resources to that Item. However, when we receive that money, we will have to come back here through the Supplementary Estimates before we commit it. This is one of the areas that will get additional resources.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, on page 1142, Head 848, Item 2630100, Current Grants to Government Agencies and other Levels of Government, there is a sum of Kshs200 million. Could the Minister explain why the grant is being treated under Recurrent Expenditure and not under Development Expenditure? Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, in the Development Expenditure, there is a sum of Kshs466 million under a similar title. Could he tell us why these grants are both in Recurrent and Development Votes?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the issue highlighted in the Recurrent Expenditure is essentially meant to state the title under which the money is sourced. Now, the other bit of Current Grants to Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies, in the Development Expenditure is actually the way the money has been applied. The sum of Kshs200 million is actually the Government grant to the institutions which teach special education.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I am not satisfied. Could the Minister explain as to why it is not under the Development Vote? A grant under such circumstances normally is under the Development Vote and not the Recurrent Vote?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I hope 2640 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 we do understand each other. It has been said that this is a grant which is given for the operation costs of those institutions which offer special education. These are running costs. This is not for development purposes.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, on Page 1144, Head 836, Item 2210700 is on Training Expenses. Yesterday, I described this item as terribly wanting. You can see last year, this year, next year and the year after, it is proposed that Kshs50 million will be spend on training expenses. However, the Minister has spent a lot of time explaining the importance of quality assurance and standards. Could he explain who it is proposed to train with this meagre sum of Kshs50 million? Where will this training take place?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, well, that sum of money is to train those who are already entrenched in the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards. At the same time, there are also others that we will recruit. As I said much earlier, we do have an institution where the staff are actually trained. That is the former Highridge Teachers Training College.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, again on page 1144, that is now Board of Governors Maintained schools, I want to raise an issue on Item 2510100, Subsidies to Non- Financial Public Enterprises. Last year, there was no provision. This year there is a provisional sum of Kshs2.9 billion. Next year, it is proposed to be Kshs4.3 billion and the year after, Kshs6.5 billion. Could the Minister explain what this huge provision is all about? If, indeed, this is part of the payment for the certificates which are being held by schools, we need to go home singing halleluya. What is this money for on a progressive basis?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, that is the amount of money which is going to be used to waive the tuition fees in our secondary schools.
The explanation from the Minister is very clear, unless you want to do a follow-up, Mr. Muturi.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I will be brief, but we must know how our money is being used. I would like to compare the item on page 1146, Head 827, Commission for Higher Education, which has a provision of this year of Kshs155 million, with Head 835, July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2641 Directorate of Higher Education, which has a provision of Kshs194,782,135 on page 1147. I would like to know from the Minister whether there is any duplication between Commission for Higher Education and the Directorate of Higher Education and why the two Heads cannot be combined so that we can reduce the expenses.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the Directorate of Higher Education is an autonomous body within the headquarters of the Ministry of Education. The Commission for Higher Education is an external institution on its own, although it falls under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, on page 1145, Head 827, there is a sub-vote on the Public Universities Inspection Board. I think it requires slightly younger people to see the figures which are in a very thin print. I want the Minister to explain whether the Public Universities Inspection Board has been abolished. Why is it that there is no provision for it during this financial year, or the years to come? I just want to have that clarified.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman Sir, that Board has already carried out its work. It presented its report to His Excellency the President a few months ago.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, let me turn to page 1146, Head 832, if I see it correctly.
The last one?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir. It is under the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). I think it is Sub-Vote 832 also, the third item--- as the Minister was giving his reply, he indicated his desire to assist more children who qualify. That item is Domestic Loans to Individuals and Households. There is an allocation of Kshs867,902,862 which even in the years to come, is projected to remain constant. Is the Minister satisfied that with this provision, which is similar to last year's, he will be able to capture more needy and qualified students that he promised eloquently in his reply? Unless he is assuming that there will be greater recoveries by the HELB, yet we have been urging that there should be more allocation to the HELB.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman Sir, this is the amount of grant that has been extended to the HELB so that it can be on-lend money to the students. At the same time, it is important to point out that through the now improved recovery programmes by the HELB, there will be more resources. But in addition to that, we are hoping that within the financial year, we will get more resources to boost that.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, just a quick one. Let me ask it as a general heading, because it covers several items. The current grants---
It is on pages 1146, 1147, 1148, 1149--- So, let me see the heading so that we can refer to all of them. It is on the Current Grants to Government Agencies and Other Levels of Government. I presume this is what is given to the universities to run their recurrent costs. The total figure is about Kshs8 billion. That particular heading in all those pages adds up to Kshs8 billion. Let me be specific. On page 1146, Item 2630100, there is an allocation of Kshs1.5 billion. This is the estimated allocation for the financial year 2007/2008. I have simply added the figures of all the items that occur under that same title. That comes to almost Kshs8 billion, Bw. Waziri . I would like to be assured by the Minister that, indeed, the allocation of these grants is being done on some systematic method. For example, there are some names of universities I do not see here, such as the Maseno University. There are some names of some universities I can see here. I would like some assurance that the allocations to those universities are not being granted on some 2642 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 level of "correctness." Whatever that means.
(Mr. Khamasi); Mr. Odoyo, you made your point. Mr. Minister, I do not know whether you followed what he said so that you can respond. I would like to close that issue.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I tried very much, indeed, to follow him, but he was not specific. I suppose the hon. Member was trying to ask why the figures are different for each university. We should take into account the fact that the enrolments for each university are different. All the universities have different on-going projects at different stages. Some of them started much earlier. So, some of them are in the process of completion while some are new. That is why there is a variation in terms of the amount of money that has been allocated to different universities.
I will be very fast, Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman Sir. I want to address only one item, which is on page 1147, on the Directorate of Higher Education, Head 835. It is the last item on that page, Item 3111400 - Research, Feasibility Studies, Project Preparation and Design, Project Supervision. Last year, there was an allocation of Kshs81 million. This year and the following year, there is no allocation. Is the Ministry moving forward or not? Could the Minister explain that because he said that he would make sure that there would be more funds for research work?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, as I said much earlier, the research fund will appear under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, on page 768, Head 841, Teachers Service Commission--- No, no, no! I have no issue with that one. I fully support that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, but the issue I wanted to raise is on Training Field Services. That is---
Which is a different Vote Head. Not the one which has been read!
Not Head 836? I thought Head 836 is part of what has been read? July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2643
No! We have read three Vote Heads - Heads 839, 841 and 863.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, as a matter of concern, is it now proposed that with the allocation on Construction of Building this year and next year, the headquarters of TSC will be complete? Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I raised this issue of "construction of building" last week, when we were debating the Vote for the Ministry in charge of internal security. You will go on and you will see that it appears as "Construction of Building" and not "buildings". Even when you go to various universities, there will be an item called "construction of building". I think it is in order for us to play proper oversight, we need to be told that, when they write "building", that also includes buildings. That is what hon. Michuki explained last week. That is what he did! When we go to universities and they have said "construction of building", we will want to go and ask: "Which building?" We do not want to be told: "We also build a kitchen, some toilets and all manner of things!" So, Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the Minister could respond because I know that is an area where he is an expert.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir. I believe the clarification that the hon. Member is seeking is the very reason why we are going item by item in the Committee. So, it is only one building that TSC is constructing. That is its own headquarters. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the hon. Member will recall that I did actually highlight in my statement that, that money will go towards the construction of the headquarters of TSC. It is going to save us a substantial amount of money.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I seek your indulgence about Head 863, Kenya Institute of Education (KIE), Item No.2210700 - Training Expenses, on page 768. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, last year, the Minister allocated Kshs500,000 to KIE. This year, he has opted not to allocate anything. Is it that KIE has ceased to train? Has he changed the policy of KIE? There is not a single cent under the Training Expenses Item. Is there any particular reason so that we are fully in the know?
You have made your point! Proceed, Mr. Minister!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the Kshs500,000 was actually a grant from UNICEF. Those development partners are still coming up and they will produce more of those resources. So, the Kshs500,000 was not really money from the Government of Kenya.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, Item No.2630200 - Capital Grants to Government Agencies and Other Levels of Government. It is the only item there. Last year, there was an allocation of Kshs300 million. This year, it is proposed to give it only Kshs28 million and, the year after, Kshs14 million. Could the Minister explain what this is all about? Why this drastic reduction and yet, we are talking about training field services? 2644 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, once again, I do agree here that the funding has actually come down. We would have wished, indeed, that this funding would have remained at its own level. But, unfortunately, the Budget has made it what it is. But as I said earlier, we do hope that we will be able to continue with training, which is extremely important for field personnel out there. It is our hope that in the process, when we are able to mobilize more resources, funding on that item will go up. It will be reflected in the Supplementary Estimates.
Yes, Mr. Muturi. Do you want to follow it up?
No, it is on something else.
Yes, Mr. Sungu!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir. Mine is just about a small item, indeed, Bw. Waziri . I am concerned about the Item on Refurbishment of Buildings in both Heads. You note that last year, the Minister had some amount of money; about Kshs19 million or so, which was allocated for those buildings to be refurbished. But I note that this year and the following year, there is no provision whatsoever. I am concerned that there are some buildings which could even fall during an emergency and, therefore, there should have, at least, some provision for that item. Could the Minister explain?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the buildings that were to be constructed in the last financial year were completed. I agree that there is still need to build more houses as far as special education is concerned but again, we must live within our means.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir. I am sure you appreciate that we take our time to stand here---
Order! You cannot lecture the Chair!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, may I put a question on page 769, Item No.2210700, Head 844, the Directorate of Basic Education. The Minister has answered some questions on training expenses, but I see that, again, he is not intending to undertake any further training. Last year he allocated Kshs129 million but this year is nil. Could the Minister just clarify whether he, indeed, has decided to stop all training of teachers?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, it will be observed that this was a grant from UNICEF. We have already put a similar request to them, and we are hoping that the training will continue. However, until that sum of money from UNICEF comes to the Exchequer, we do not wish to reflect it here.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, again, I will attempt to be very brief. Mine is a general concern that I must raise with the Minister. All these relate to higher education, particularly monies allocated to universities. You know I went to Maseno, not as a university but as a high school. I am very concerned that Maseno - this is in general - is getting a paltry Kshs50 million, and it is a relatively new university compared to, for example, Kenyatta University at page 770, Head 829, which is getting Kshs171 million. The doctrine of equity, as established under affirmative action, is very important. Maseno is a relatively new university while Kenyatta was a university a long time back and has got more buildings. Why would you give more money to Kenyatta University than to Maseno University and Masinde Muliro University in general?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, it is, indeed, true that there is a big margin between the two institutions but, again, that is inherent in the size of the two institutions. It is, indeed, true that Maseno is a new university, but at the same time, at this particular time we had to make sure that we allocated money very prudently and the KU has several thousands of students. Another more important thing is that the KU, which the hon. Member referred to, has inherited two new undeveloped campuses, that are Kitui and Kilifi, especially this year. It will be appreciated that Kilifi is going to become a university college of Pwani, while Kitui is going to become a campus of the KU. This is all done in order to expand access to university education. That may explain clearly why there is such a big margin.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, my Committee visited Maseno University and they were shocked to see the kind of structures that have been put up there. Could the Minister ensure that he visits that university and sees how the structures are coming up? I think it is like a village. There is no plan at all!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, not only have I visited Maseno University several times but I have also visited the hotel that they run in Kisumu, which is first class. I am aware of the difficulties that are being faced by other institutions. But let me say that under what we call "the Kenya Institute of Support Programme", where we are having substantial resources committed by our development partners, in the initial stages, it was only primary education that was recognised for funding. Fortunately, now secondary and university education has been recognised, and it is from here that we expect to get more resources.
Yes, Mr. Muturi! We must mind our time.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, as you heard the Minister explain, before I go to the particular Head, I want to ask about--- You heard the Minister explaining about the KU acquiring Kitui and Kilifi colleges, yet the heading here is "construction of building". So, if they have acquired those two institutions, then the heading should properly be "construction of buildings" because the two of them will be in different places. In fact, that is why I raised this issue even last week. Be that as it may, I hope the Minister will respond appropriately. On page 771, Moi University, Head 867, the Item is "Domestic Loans to Non-Financial Public Enterprises". I hope the Minister can see it. There are only two Items; one is "Construction of Building", which gets Kshs40 million, but the other one is "Domestic Loans to Non-Financial Public Enterprises", which will get a whooping Kshs290 million. Could the Minister explain what this is? It appears to be a one-off provision.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the university is going to be buying some two new facilities, one being M/s Rivatex. We all appreciate 2646 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 the fact that their own faculty of technology will now go beyond theory into actualization of what is being learnt. There is another facility called "Kagoche". That is basically why we have given that.
. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, on page 771, the Minister is giving Kshs60 million to an unknown entity called---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, on page 771, there is Head 868, Western University College (WEUCO). It is an unknown entity!
That is Masinde Muliro University!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, an Act of Parliament was passed by this House a long time ago, and the Minister moved that particular Bill. What exactly is happening? An unknown entity is getting Kshs60 million! Where is this money going to?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Resolution that a sum not exceeding Kshs55,965,706,233 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2008 in respect of Vote 31 - Ministry of Education and approved the same without amendments.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.
(Dr. Mwiria) seconded. July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2647
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in very few words, I would like to congratulate the Minister and his capable team from the Ministry headquarters for successfully passing this Vote on the Floor of the House. Education is of great importance. In fact, Kenya is above all other countries in this area in terms of human resource development. You only need to go to the neighbouring countries and see how many qualified Kenyans are working there. That is because of our educational achievement. Therefore, I would like to encourage the Minister and his staff to continue working harder and to take note that there are new developments. For example, Information Technology (IT) which is becoming the in-thing. They must train teachers in this field because computers will be provided to schools. Some of us are already doing that using the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) but we do not have enough teachers who can actually successfully teach those children in that field. It is important also to take note of research, like the Minister agrees, to ensure transparency and accountability, because a lot of Government funds are going to this Ministry. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to congratulate this Ministry for the way it has handled its assignment. I think it stands out as a shining example. But I would like the Ministry to do even better by, perhaps, looking into the issue of audits in schools. If the Ministry is able to do that perfectly and make sure that the resources are utilized properly, I have no doubt that, it will, with a lot of ease - hands-down- be able to provide free secondary education. Finally, I would like the Minster to look into the issue of teachers in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), and review the mode of determining shortage in those areas. The shortage is not common across the board, because the basis is quite different, for it to be effectively seen on the ground. That is why we tend to have a less number of teachers who are recruited or vacancies declared in ASALs. Once, again, I want to congratulate the Ministry.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also want to congratulate the Ministry for doing very well. I hope that it will continue doing so in future. But I would like the Ministry to pay more attention to the concept of model schools. Very little is done about the model schools. In as much as it was agreed that two schools in every district should get that status, we have not seen much in terms of this development. I also hope that the Ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Energy, so that power is supplied to those schools which do not have power. This will ensure that those schools continue teaching computer education. I would also like to talk about roads.
Mr. Karaba, we do not have much time left!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do hope that the Minister has seen the interest of hon. Members in this particular Vote, taking into account the number of them who could not contribute because there was not enough time. This is the seriousness with which the hon. Members take this Ministry. I do believe that the payback the Minister can give is to make sure that the resources which we have allocated to the Ministry, are properly utilised. At least, your officers in the field need to take care of that. Make sure that the resources are well-utilized for the betterment of the education standards in this country. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Members, it is now time for the interruption of business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until Thursday, 19th July, 2007 at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 6.30 p.m.