Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts Sessional Paper No.3 of 2006 on National Youth Policy for Youth Development laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 18th October, 2006.
asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- (a) whether he is aware that the police patrol vehicle for Ugunja Police Station in Ugenya Constituency was taken over to Aluor in Gem Constituency, leaving the police in Ugunja with no vehicle; (b) whether he is further aware that insecurity has increased as the police cannot rapidly respond to crime; and, (c) what action he will take to remedy the situation.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that the police patrol vehicle for Ugunja Police Patrol Base in Ugenya Constituency was taken to Aluor in Gem Constituency, leaving the police in Ugunja with no vehicle. (b) I am not aware that insecurity has increased in the area. Like any other area in the country, all incidents reported are attended to promptly. (c) The situation in the area is under control as the police patrol base has a serviceable Toyota Land Cruiser motor vehicle, registration No.GK A771F.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know what the Assistant Minister is talking about. In answer to part "a" of the Question he said that he is not aware, and then he goes on to say that he is aware that there is a Toyota vehicle. Why did they remove the vehicle which belonged to Ugunja Police Station for the patrol of the highway, leaving it without any vehicle?
Archbishop, this is not speech time. Mr. Kingi, could you respond to the question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the vehicle that the hon. Member is talking about is at the Ugunja Patrol Base. Once in a while, police vehicles may be required to perform duties elsewhere. They may be moved to perform those duties and are returned to their bases when they are through.
Archbishop, maybe, by the time you asked this Question, the vehicle was not there, but now it could be there.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the vehicle is not there. The Assistant Minister seems to be talking about his own things. He knows very well that there is a lot of insecurity in Ugenya. So far, even---
Let me give another person the chance to help you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the Assistant Minister should tell us what the policy is concerning this matter. In the case of Butere/Mumias, each division was given a vehicle. When one vehicle could not be utilised, they decided to take the one for Khwisero, which they have kept for one year. What does the Ministry intend to do to make sure that the vehicle for Khwisero is returned because I find myself in exactly the same position? It has been like that for one year.
If we go on like that, every hon. Member will say the vehicle for his/her constituency has been taken away. Mr. Kingi, could you address yourself to the vehicles in general?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, police vehicles belong to the police force, but we do send them to stations. However, should there arise a need that requires us to move a certain vehicle from one station to another for, perhaps, one or two days, we normally do that then we return the vehicle to its designated station. However, we provide money to the PPOs and OCPDs to maintain the vehicles. October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3013
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very common for the Office of the President to purport to give vehicles to stations, and yet they do not give sufficient money to run and maintain those vehicles. Could the Assistant Minister tell us how much they give per station so that we can see if the amount is sufficient? More often than not, the officers in charge ask the complainants to give them money for fuel.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we normally give money as allocated to us by Parliament. If it is the wish of the House that we bring a breakdown of the amount of money that we have sent to the various police divisions and stations countrywide, we will do that.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of lack of police vehicles is serious and Kenyans are very insecure. Could the Assistant Minister tell this House how many gazetted police stations throughout the country operate without vehicles today?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if that information is required, we will provide it if the hon. Member can file a Question to that effect.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister keeps on saying that he is not aware. Is he aware that two weeks ago, an old woman was raped in Ugenya by thugs from Uganda and up to now those culprits have not been found because there is no transport?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, If the incident was reported to the police patrol base at Ugunja, then, definitely, we will know about it. If it was not reported, then there is no way we can be aware. So, we will find out and take action.
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he could confirm when Kiboko and Mbogo Primary Schools were registered by the Ministry; (b) whether he is aware that the schools have not been issued with title deeds for their land; and, (c) if the answer to part "b" above is in the affirmative, what steps he is taking to ensure that the schools are issued with title deeds.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me borrow a written reply so that I can read it.
There is something wrong with the Ministry of Education.
Unfortunately not, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Why do you say that?
I say so because you have said that you have no written reply and that you had to borrow it from someone else.
That is allowed, Sir.
It is unusual! Proceed!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Kiboko Primary School was initially registered in 1957 and issued with registration certificate No.7579. It was then re-registered on 18th September, 1962, and issued with registration certificate No.117120. However, since this school was registered during the colonial period, there 3014 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 is need for the school to apply for fresh registration because there was an update of those kinds of records. (b) Mbogo Primary School was also registered during the colonial period and issued with a registration certificate No.26269. However, there is need for the school to seek re-registration, given the updating that took place after Independence. (c) In view of the answers to parts "a" and "b" above, the two schools do not have the current registration certificates and title deeds for their land. However, Kiboko Primary School has already been issued with an allotment letter for the school land. Individual school management committees for the two schools have been advised to immediately commence the process of acquiring title deeds for their school land. They should liaise with the District Education Officer, District Lands and Adjudication Officer and District Lands Control Board for acquisition of the land title deeds. Consequently, the two schools will be re- registered to update the current certificates.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these two schools are in Delamere's farm in Soysambu and are run by private individuals. These two schools are dilapidated. How many more schools fall under this category in the country and whatis he doing to ensure that the schools are accessible to the public? We cannot even fund the schools through the CDF.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is difficult for me to say the number of schools in the same situation. However, I would appreciate if we are given an update on the basis of what records Members of Parliament have on behalf of our District Education Officers. If the school committees apply for the title deeds and the schools are registered, then they would obviously be available to the public, as opposed to schools being run by managements of specific private farms.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what criteria is used to register schools? We have many schools which do not have title deeds.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have clear regulations as to what minimum conditions are expected for a school before registration. It is first inspected by the District Education Board (DEB) under the direction of the District Education Officer (DEO) and then it is approved by the DEB. So, there must be land, teachers and required facilities. That is clear! I think what Maj. Madoka is talking about is the length of time it takes to register. We are trying to quicken the pace because, often that requires the explicit signature and authority of the Minister. We are trying to delegate that to ensure that the process is quickened.
So, that we move faster, I will allow the last question from Mrs. Kihara.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like the Assistant Minister to tell the House whether these schools, now that they require to be re-registered, have been inspected and whether they have enough land.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said at the outset that we have already requested the schools to re-apply. The Ministry's inspection process has taken place. For the rest, it is up to the school's committee.
asked the Minister for Finance:- (a) why Domtila Auma Oripa and her co-wife have not received the pension of the late Agustina Oripa (Pension File No.00300979); and, October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3015 (b) when they will be paid the said pension.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The dependants of the late Agustina Oripa have not been paid their pension benefits because they have failed to forward bank details which will enable the Pensions Department to make the payments. (b) The said dependant's pension will be paid as soon as the widows provide the department with the name of the bank, account number and the branch. It should be noted that joint accounts are not acceptable. I hasten to add that if the hon. Member can provide those details, I can ensure they get the cheques within the next two weeks.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say that I am the one who forwarded the account particulars. My office did that for them about a month ago. I am happy that the Assistant Minister is willing to help. However, out of curiosity, may I know why joint accounts are not allowed when these people were jointly married to one person!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it should not be out of curiosity. The hon. Member is a lawyer and he knows that beneficiaries, as entered in the pension form, are paid in the same format they are entered in that form. He can give me the account details. I will be very happy to be of service to him.
Did I hear you, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko, say that you supplied the accounts details a month ago? Was it a joint account?
No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was not a joint account. I supplied the particulars about a month ago. I did it for them through my office. However, I wanted to know why joint accounts are not permissible.
Okay; now you have been informed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know a lot of pensioners suffer trying to chase these payments. It is basically because of some minor details. Why can the employer, before forwarding the file to the Treasury, not provide all those details as required? It is easier that way!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said it here before. One of the problems with the processing of pension is the fact that certain details have not even come from the line Ministries. So, by the time the Treasury is asked to pay, we find ourselves in a position where we do not even have those forms from the line Ministries. I think, sometime ago, the Pensions Department tried to release certain communication items that could help in the line Ministries. Until it comes to the Treasury fully completed, we are not able to proceed. This is the message we have passed to the line Ministries. We have tried to computerize the Pensions Department and we think that in the next six months, once we have the new software, we should be in a better position to serve the pensioners.
I believe, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko, you are all right now. Do you have any further question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have just one other last question. This Pensions Department is the area that needs performance contracting. Many Kenyans have to travel to come and collect their pensions. When will the Ministry put them under performance contracting so that they can pay Kenyans in time?
I cannot agree with you more, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you should not agree so easily when I have said that within two weeks I can process what he is talking about. I think that is the efficiency he is 3016 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 looking for. I think all our departmental heads in the Treasury are under performance contracting.
asked the Minister for Energy:- (a) whether he was aware that more than Kshs10,000,000 was paid to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) Limited by the Kangundo Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Committee to supply electricity to several projects in the 2004/2005 financial year; and, (b) when the electricity will be supplied to those projects.
The Minister for Energy had reported in the morning that he was unwell.
Where is the Assistant Minister?
I do not know about the Assistant Minister. However, the Minister contacted me personally. There were two Questions in the morning and one this afternoon. Therefore, Mr. M. Maitha, we will defer this Question till Thursday next week.
Mr. Vice-President, are you ready to answer the Question? His Excellency the Vice- President and the Minister for Home Affairs has the answer. Therefore, it will be answered.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Minister for Energy, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that a total of Kshs10,345,000 was paid to the KPLC Limited by the Kangundo CDF Committee to supply electricity to the under-mentioned five projects in 2004/2005 financial year. However, this amount is far short of the estimated cost for the projects, which stands at Kshs40,875,000. The schemes are as follows:- For Matakutha Scheme, the estimated cost is Kshs1,770,933, while the amount paid was Kshs1.9 million. So, they paid more than what they were required. For Kamiti Scheme, the estimated cost was Kshs12 million, but they paid only Kshs3.3 million. For Kyeleni, the estimated cost was Kshs4.9 million, but they only paid Kshs1.9 million. The estimated cost for Kithimani was Kshs15 million, but they paid Kshs1.6 million. For Kinyui, the estimated cost was Kshs6.6 million, but they paid Kshs1.4 million. (b) Matakutha Project, which is fully paid for, is being processed for implementation. Construction work was projected to start in August, 2006. As for Kamiti Project, only Kshs3.3 million was paid, against the estimated cost of Kshs20 million. However, the same is also being processed for implementation under the KPLC group schemes programmes. Construction works are programmed to start soon. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the implementation of the three remaining schemes are pending, awaiting full payment of the quoted amounts from the would-be beneficiaries.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Question requires the substantive Minister.
He is the Vice-President!
Order, Mr. M. Maitha! This morning, hon. Members complained and talked about collective responsibility. This is what is just being applied here now. You want to complain again? Could you, please, ask a supplementary question? As far as I am concerned, the October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3017 issue at hand has been dealt with.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am asking a relevant question. Yesterday, the Minister for Energy promised to pay some money for some towns in Mr. Munya's constituency. Therefore, in view of the fact that the Kangundo CDF Committee paid this amount of money for those projects, could the Minister pay the balance through the Rural Electrification Programme, for those programmes to be completed in Kangundo?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the contracted figure was Kshs40 million and they paid only Kshs10 million. So, let us not mix the two constituencies of Mr. Munya and Mr. M. Maitha. The Constituency Development Committee (CDC) agreed with the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) on the amount to pay, but the former has paid only a quarter of that amount. I have said that construction has started in the first scheme where there was an overpayment. On the second scheme, although they paid only Kshs3 million against Kshs12 million, the KPLC has agreed to process and deal with it.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Many of us have paid a lot of money to the KPLC under the Customer Creation Programme, and we have been promised that once we pay half of the required amount, work would commence, but one year down the line, nothing has been done on the ground.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Acting Minister for Energy has promised in this House that both the KPLC and the private contractors are doing all they can to ensure that all the contracts that have been signed are processed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the committee was paying those amounts, it did not intend that the whole area was to be surveyed for the supply of electricity. So, the surveyors were misled into surveying the whole area by the committee members who were on the ground. In fact, that money was meant to supply electricity to only those markets so that the surrounding people could get it from there. I thank the Ministry of Energy because, as I speak now, some materials have been taken to Matakutha and Kamiti, although work has been abandoned. When will the KPLC complete that work?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the first place, I would like to advise my colleague to have a smart committee which is not misled by the KPLC. I think that is very important so that it is not bluffed and just follow. Secondly, I have said that the two projects are under process. I am sure they must be the ones whose materials have been delivered. I cannot say that work has been abandoned.
asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works:- (a) whether he is aware that Road 504 connects Mandera, Wajir and Moyale districts; and, (b) when the Kenya Roads Board will upgrade this road to category "C".
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that Road 504 connects Mandera, Wajir and Moyale districts. The road 3018 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 which measures approximately 308 kilometres is the link between North Eastern Province and the upper part of Eastern Province. (b) The Kenya Roads Board (KRB) has a plan to review the classification of all roads in the country. The planned review will affect Road 504 as well. The KRB is in the process of procuring a consultancy in the next three months for the above review. The consultancy will be funded by the World Bank.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for that answer. I have asked this Question several times and every time, I am told that there will be a consultancy and the road will be reviewed by the KRB. I hope this time round, it will be done in the next three months. I have asked this Question because that road is very long; it is on a hilly stretch; it is along the border, and has a lot of gullies. All the money allocated to the District Roads Committee (DRC) has been used to repair it and build small drifts. Could the Assistant Minister be kind enough to allocate Road D504 some money so that it can be repaired to motorable standards?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are aware about the importance of that road. I request the hon. Member to liaise with the District Works Officer so that the latter can write a proposal not for the entire road, but for spot-improvement if the adequate work plans have been submitted by the officer.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Assistant Minister is not serious. He has told the hon. Member to go to the district and get a proposal, and yet a constituency like Juja has sent proposals to the Ministry for the last four years. So, will the hon.
Member wait for another four years, just as the people of Juja Constituency have waited, in order for the road which he says is very important to be repaired? The Assistant Minister is not serious. Could he commit himself that if a proposal is taken to the Ministry next week, the road will be funded next month? He is just trying to buy time.
Mr. Assistant Minister, could you confirm that you will not wait for four years after receiving the proposal?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we receive proposals from all the District Works Officers in Kenya and we cannot meet all of them. So, we look into each case on its own merit. It is not true that all the proposals from Juja Constituency have not been looked into. I asked the hon. Member to liaise with the District Works Officer because that road falls under the DRC. The DRC, of which he is a member, should meet and decide on what should be done on that road. After that, he should forward the proposal to the Ministry so that we can know that the DRC, which is composed of other hon. Members of Parliament, has decided about that road.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
No, Mr. Gitau! Yes, Mr. Kombe!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister has said that the DRCs should look into those roads. For example, Malindi District, which has two constituencies, was allocated Kshs7 million. How can the DRC take care of those roads? The Ministry should repair the roads in question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the hon. Member, first of all, tell us what they have done with that money? Could he also tell us the remaining amount so that we can see what to do?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. You have heard the Assistant Minister tell the House that they handle proposals that come from the whole country, and consider them on merit. This is the case, and yet the merit he is talking about is that you have to be a Minister or an Assistant Minister for your road to be approved! He is misleading the House.
October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3019
That is not a point of order, but a point of information!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am surprised by this Assistant Minister. Yesterday, he talked about a road I had requested---
Mr. Ndambuki, what is your point of order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister really in order to tell this House that they get proposals from the districts and look into them according to the order in which they were received? In the Question I asked yesterday, the Assistant Minister said Kshs30 million had been budgeted for it but he diverted to another project. Is he in order to say that he addresses those proposals according to priority?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said yesterday that the money that we allocated to the 2.5-kilometre road in his constituency was not enough. We re-allocate money depending on the proposals received from the District Works Officers and DRCs. That is why I told the hon. Member yesterday that we are committed to allocating enough money to construct the 2.5 kilometres in the next financial year. That is a priority and we have already made that commitment.
So, Eng. Toro, are you saying that those who have little, it will be taken away from them and given to those who have more? Is that not what you have just said?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, a verse in the Bible says that, but that is not what we are practising. If we have, for example, allocated money and we know the work will cost Kshs5 million, and the allocation is only Kshs1 million, there is no need of putting that Kshs1 million in that project because we might not achieve much. We might allocate that Kshs1 million to another project that will be completed using that Kshs1 million.
Last question, Dr. Ali!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when I asked the Question, I was well aware about the DRCs. I started by saying that the stretch of road is too long, there are a lot of gullies and we have a lot of problems on this road. My request is; can the Ministry allocate some money for this road because we have already exhausted what we had? Is the Minister able to allocate any money, even as little as Kshs3 million or Kshs5 million?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is why I said we require a work plan so that we know the amount of money to give. At this moment, I cannot promise to give Kshs1 million, Kshs2 million or Kshs3 million because I do not know what the work plan from the District Roads Engineer will look like. If we get a proposal, we will be able to see what we can do and what we cannot do.
Next Question, Mr. ole Metito!
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) if he is aware that there is an acute shortage of water in Loitokitok Town and its environs; and, (b) if the answer to (a) above is in the affirmative, if he could ensure the following measures are taken to address the problem; (i) upgrade the water system by installing two sets of new pumps and one standby both at the source and intermediate stations; (ii) build 500 cubic metre and 200 cubic metre water tanks at Loitokitok and Kikelewa, respectively. 3020 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware there is a shortage of water in Loitokitok Town and its environs, caused by an increase in water demand which has outstretched the water supply. The present water production and distribution is 900 cubic metres per day, against a water demand of 3,500 cubic metres per day. (b) My Ministry, through Athi Water Services Board (AWSB), has engaged a consultant to undertake a detailed and elaborate study for development of water and sewerage system for Loitokitok Town and its environs, among other towns in Kajiado District. The study will identify the long-term measures and determine financial resources required for rehabilitation and implementation of water and sewerage facilities. My Ministry will then make budgetary provision for undertaking these works. As a short-term measure, a new pump has been installed to replace the broken-down one. We have also taken the broken-down pump for repair and it will serve as a stand-by pump.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to confirm that the new water pump has been installed. However, it is quite unfair that Loitoktok Town supplies water to the neighbouring constituencies and districts through the Noolturesh Water Pipeline, while its residents go without water. It is laudable to know that the Ministry has engaged a consultant. I would like to know what will happen when the consultant concludes his report and forwards it to the Ministry within this financial year. Could he assure us that within this financial year, he will avail financial resources for the implementation of the recommendation of the report?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to assure the hon. Member that once the study is completed, I will be able to make provision for this project in the next financial year. If this is done before the Supplementary Estimates are brought before this House, I will deal with it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is happening in Loitoktok Town is also happening here in Nairobi. There are some areas in this City where residents are not getting water. Could the Minister tell us what is happening? Why is there water shortage in various parts of Nairobi?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the same argument can be applied to Nairobi City Council where we have systems which were put in place 30 to 40 years ago. The population has gone up. However, we are now in the process of expanding the supply of water to Nairobi residents. We have funding from donor partners and the Treasury. It will cost Kshs2.3 billion to upgrade the water system in Nairobi.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, during the allocation of funds by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation last year, Kajiado and Narok districts were allocated a meagre Kshs5 million. Nyeri and Meru districts were allocated Kshs500 million. What rationale did the Minister use in allocating these funds?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also allocated substantial amounts to other major towns like Kisumu where we are working on a project worth Kshs1.5 billion. We are also working on another project in Mombasa City Council which will cost billions of shillings. We are also conducting a study in Kajiado District. Once that study is completed, we will also allocate millions of shillings to upgrade the existing water systems.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is the point of order, Mr. Khaniri?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member is avoiding to answer the question. The question was very clear. What was the criteria used to allocate these amounts of money?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that a feasibility study has to be done. October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3021 Where these studies are complete, we allocate money to do major rehabilitation of existing water supplies in areas where demand has gone up. As far as I am concerned, once these studies are ready, we will do the same in other areas. We do not use politics or any other consideration, apart from demand. We are trying to look at the issue of demand. It does not matter where one comes from.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for Ministers to make promises in this House which they cannot keep? Last year, I was promised that Ngilinyi Dam will be allocated money and the project will be implemented. However, nothing has been done so far. What happens when Ministers promise something and nothing happens?
Which Minister are you referring to? Are you referring to this Minister?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am referring to the Minister for Water and Irrigation, whether it is from his---
Order, Mr. Mwandawiro! We are dealing with the Minister for Water and Irrigation. Is that question directed to him?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker!
Is he the one who promised to look into that project?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Katuku, could you respond to that question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not aware about the promise, but I will look into his concerns. I am ready to serve all Kenyans and ensure they have water. It is not this Minister who promised the hon. Member that a dam would be done in his area. However, as the Minister for Water and Irrigation, I will find out whether there was such promise. If there was such a promise, I will implement it to the letter.
Last question, Mr. ole Metito!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has confirmed that the current production of water in Loitoktok Town is four times less the demand. Nevertheless, for the benefit of the people of Loitoktok Town, could he tell this House who this consultant is and whether he has moved to the site?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member is a very good friend of mine. I would like to assure him, and this House, that these works will be completed within this financial year. We will implement this project once we get financial support. I can avail information on who the contractor is to the hon. Member later.
Next Question, Mr. Muriithi!
asked the Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services:- (a) if he could table the audited accounts of the National Fund for the Disabled for the last three years; and, (b) how many disabled people or groups have benefited from the fund in Nyeri Town Constituency for the same period.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Available audited accounts for the National Fund for the Disabled (NFD) for the financial years 2001/2002, 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 are ready, while the accounts for the Financial Year 2004/2005 are yet to be approved by the board of the organisation. Auditing of the accounts for the Financial Year 20005/2006 is yet to commence. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hereby table the audited accounts.
(b) During the period between 2001 and 2003, the NFD assisted two beneficiaries. The organisation accorded Ms. Lucy Wangechi Mugiri of P.O. Box 1615, Nyeri, a knitting machine in the Financial Year 2001/2002. In the Financial Year 2003/2004, Mr. James Mwaniki of Mukaru Location received a carpentry tool kit from the Fund.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I ask my question, I would like to inform the House, with a lot of respect for the Chair, that the Chair is an interested party in this issue.
Hon. Members, Mr. Muriithi is right. I am a trustee of the board of this organisation. Therefore, I will defer this Question until Wednesday, next week in the afternoon. As rightly pointed out by Mr. Muriithi, I am a Director of the NFD. Therefore, I have an interest in this issue. He feels, and rightly so, that the Chair may not, probably be fair. Therefore, the Question is deferred until another person takes the Chair.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Capt. Nakitare! That matter has been concluded. Let us move on to the next Question by Mr. L. Maitha!
asked the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development:- (a) if he is aware that fishing landing sites in Malindi have been seized by private developers causing tension among fishermen; and, (b) what steps he is taking to restore the sites to their intended use.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister wrote to your office stating that he will not be available. He requested that this Question be deferred until next week. There was confirmation on the same issue.
Mr. Awori, I beg your pardon. In fact, the Minister wrote to the Office of the Clerk. The Minister is accompanying the Minister of State, Animal Industry of the Republic of Uganda at the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC). In fact, he intended that the Minister would be on the Speaker's row. So, that Question is deferred until Wednesday afternoon because the Minister is on duty outside.
October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3023
Hon. Members, that marks the end of Question Time. Archbishop Ondiek would like to make a Personal Statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a Personal Statement under Standing Order No.69. Last night, there was a statement which was aired by the NationTelevision regarding a student who was admitted to Mangu High School. It was alleged that the student had been looking for me to assist him get bursary. Unfortunately, he has not managed to meet me so that we discuss this issue. There are many students from my area, but living in Nairobi. As such, they are residents of Nairobi City Council. We all know Nairobi City Council is divided into various constituencies. Therefore, students seeking bursaries should go to their respective hon. Members of Parliament. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am trying to say that I would not mind if a student from Ugenya comes to my constituency office to seek for any help. There are procedures to be followed. This story was aired by Nation TV and written by Nation Newspaper . There must be something wrong somewhere with this paper. There are too many students in Ugenya who number about 720 students that I have given bursary funds from the CDF and those that have benefited through the Ministry of Education. My schools cannot enrol thousands and thousands of Ugenya Constituency students. The story was quite malicious and I request that it be withdrawn forthwith and Nation TV and the management of the Nation Newspaper apologise to me because there are needy orphaned students that are in my school. My schools were built in the 1960s.
How long do you want to continue?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, give me only three minutes since I am just concluding. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is quite unfair for somebody who was my opponent during the last General Elections to take the students to the media and pretend to sympathise with them while he is just trying to gain political mileage.
Archbishop Ondiek and hon. Members, you know under Standing Order No.69, an hon. Member may explain matters of personal nature and these are not to be debated. Therefore, I think you are done. There is no debate over that.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I just wanted to make a Personal Statement.
Order! Next Order!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I stand to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs regarding the criteria used by the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) in the creation of new wards.
Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry, you should be seeking a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Local Government? Is that not the case? 3024 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, leaders of Kajiado District met last year and made recommendations to the ECK. These reccommendations have not been followed by ECK. So, we are stating, as the people of Kajiado, that the decision taken by ECK is not in line with our wishes. We would like the Minister concerned to come up with the following measures: One, establishment of the previous wards which were actually abolished by ECK. That is one of the recommendations we made to ECK. Two, take into consideration the area covered by one councillor. We had recommended that each location should appropriately become a ward. So, I would like the concerned Minister to come up with those measures.
Do you know the area you want the Minister to re-visit?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is right.
Kenya in general and Kajiado in particular?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Two, the recommendations made by Kajiado leaders last year. One of the recommendations was the re-establishment---
That one will be explained when the Ministerial Statement is brought.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, okay. With those few remarks, I seek that Ministerial Statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will convey the requirement
to the Minister for Local Government. I cannot say when he will bring the Ministerial Statement here but I will let him know that it is urgent.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
No! Mr. Syongo, you had not informed me of any matter you wanted to raise and I am now obliged to go straight to Order No.7. Next Order! October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3025
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to record my gratitude for the opportunity to move Vote R31 and D31 for the Ministry of Education. However, I want to commend His Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs who is the Leader of Government Business and you for accommodating me because I know that hon. Members of this august House, including the two of you, were very anxious that this Vote should come at the time it was arranged and because of circumstances that were beyond me, I was unable to move it. I did actually state to His Excellency the Vice-President to intervene and I am grateful that I have been given this opportunity. However, I am aware that issues to do with parliamentary business must take precedent. So, I do sincerely apologise. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I present these Estimates, I wish to thank the hon. Members for approving our policy document in the form of Sessional Paper No.1 of 2005 which outlines the policy framework and direction on education, training and research for Kenya in the 21st Century. Subsequent to the approval of the Sessional Paper, my Ministry launched the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP) which is the first phase of the implementation framework expected to operationalise the strategies highlighted in the Sessional Paper. The first year of the implementation went on well and remains on course. The programme is based on the premise that quality education and training contributes to enhance equity, economic growth and expansion of employment opportunities thus reducing poverty. On this basis, KESSP provides a clear road map for sector development and it is intended to facilitate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and education for all. In addition, it aims to harmonise financial and procurement systems in the sector and enhance mobilisation of resources to support education and training through a strong national ownership and partnership among all stakeholders. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out that, that programme, which will be implemented over a period of five years - from now to the year 2010 - is very ambitious in terms of cost. It is estimated to cost over Kshs500 billion. With that in mind, I take this opportunity to, once again, appeal for support from all our partners to meet the challenges that we set in financing that important programme. Our vision, as a Government, continues to be the provision of an all- inclusive quality education, which is accessible and relevant to Kenyan needs. That vision is based on our recognition that quality education, training and research are critical to national development. Of particular significance to us is the need to ensure that we empower learners to acquire knowledge and skills that will enable them to make appropriate career choices. For that reason, the Government will continue to undertake major sectoral reforms to ensure improved collaboration, 3026 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 harmonisation and regular consultations between the stakeholders. In that respect, we continue to work closely with our development partners and other education and training stakeholders through regular consultative meetings on various sectoral development issues. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a Ministry, we are firmly committed to ensuring that we consolidate the gains that have accrued from the implementation of the free primary education. We intend to address the key sectoral issues by strengthening the management and delivery of education services. In particular, we are committed to improving access, quality and relevance of education and training. To implement that programme, the Government is, therefore, fully aware that, to stay on track towards meeting ERS, FA and MDG goals, investments in the short, medium and long term are necessary. It is critical to work towards ensuring quality and improved access to education, especially for about 1 million school-aged children in the urban slums, pockets of poverty and ASAL areas, who are still out of school. Many children in urban slums and ASAL areas are still out of schools due to lack of enough day and boarding schools, respectively. In addition, many old primary school buildings are in a poor state of repair and lack enough classrooms and toilets for the increasing number of children. It is also the case that, in many remote areas, the school environment is hostile to the growing number of girls because the necessary sanitation facilities are not yet in place. In addition, there is need to address the needs of orphans for training and learning beyond primary education. It is also the case that secondary and university sub-sectors are experiencing serious challenges with regard to their poor state and limited facilities. All that cause the unsatisfactory transition rates to secondary and higher levels of education. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the last financial year, the Government provided Kshs700,000 per school for the two best performing schools in each district, for the construction of additional classrooms. The schools were identified by the district education boards, where all Members of Parliament are active participants. Those funds will assist the schools to put up additional facilities needed for both expansion of access and quality assurance. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members will recall that we promised to review the current legal framework governing the sector. I wish to report that a team of senior professionals and experts have reviewed all the relevant legislations, and are currently working on draft Bills. Once ready, we shall request this august House to debate and pass a new law for that sector. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members will also recall that His Excellency the President appointed a board to review the current status of our university education and make appropriate recommendations. The team is currently finalising the report. We shall use the report to develop a new strategy for higher education. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members will recall that the Kshs800 million for Secondary Schools Bursary Fund was initially transferred to the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) by the Ministry of Finance during this financial year. I have, however, since received assurance from the Treasury that my Ministry will continue to administer that Fund. The Treasury will shortly be releasing the funds to my Ministry. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, during this financial year, my Ministry has been allocated Kshs92,950,520 in the Recurrent Vote and Kshs6,036,954,353 in the Development Vote. The Recurrent Estimates reflect an additional Kshs5,888,848,610 from last year's budgetary allocation of Kshs87,061,671,390, while the Development Estimates reflect a decrease of Kshs1,828,380,365 over last year's allocation of Kshs7,865,334,720. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this regard, I now wish to highlight the major programmes in my Ministry's budget, where the above resources will be applied. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, under Vote R31, the Ministry's Recurrent Vote is made up of six Sub-votes, and the allocation of Kshs92,950,520,000 is distributed as follows:- (a) Sub-vote 310 - General Administration and Planning, caters for teachers' salaries and October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3027 other administration costs. Under this Sub-vote, the Ministry will require a total of Kshs70,594,772,374, distributed in the following expenditure Heads:- (i) Head 731, which represents Development Planning Services, will receive Kshs58,992,936. The budget under this Head caters for the cost of running the Ministry's Central Planning Unit. (ii) Head 834 - Headquarters Administrative Services will receive Kshs357,197,160. This Vote Head caters for the expenses of the Headquarter's support department like administration, finance, accounts, personnel, procurement, et cetera . (iii) Head 839 represents the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC). The KNEC will receive Kshs367,500,000. These are grants given to the KNEC to supplement fees collected from candidates to run national examinations and expenses of the Council's secretariat. Head 841 concerns the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). The Commission will receive Kshs67,913,603,341. This allocation is intended to service both the TSC secretariat and payment of teachers' salaries. During the current financial year, the Government will spend close to Kshs60.4 billion on teachers' salaries which include Kshs4.9 billion, which is the fourth phase of the negotiated salaries award between the Government and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT). Head 845 concerns the Schools Audit Unit. This unit will receive, Kshs60,241,275. The allocation under this Head facilitates the activities of the schools audit unit which is charged with the responsibility of auditing all public schools and colleges. Head 863 represents the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE). This Institute will receive Kshs266,089,835. The budget under this Head covers personal emoluments and other operating expenses for the KIE which is charged with curriculum development and school broadcasting service. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Sub-vote 311 which mainly includes funding of free primary education and other core poverty alleviation programmes under the Directorate of Basic Education will require Kshs9,244,474,096 in the following areas: Head 810, which represents post primary schools will receive Kshs100 million. These funds will be given as grants to special post primary schools which cater for children with special needs. These include the Karen Technical Institute for the Deaf, Nyangoma Technical Institute for the Deaf and Machakos Institute for the Blind. Head 811 represents special secondary schools. These schools will receive Kshs8 million. These funds will be given as grants to special secondary schools which include Thika Secondary School for the Blind, Joy Town Secondary School for the Physically Handicapped and many others. Head 816 represents training field services mostly to cater for Early Childhood Development (ECD). The ECD Programme will receive Kshs50,448,216. The allocation mainly caters for expenses for in-servicing of pre-school teachers under the ECD Programme. Head 844 represents the Directorate of Basic Education. This Head will receive Kshs8,363,801,687. Under this Head, the main cost relates to teaching and learning material grants to all public primary schools under free primary school education programme. Part of the cost also relates to the administrative costs for the Directorate of Basic Education. In the current financial year, an allocation of Kshs8.2 billion will finance free primary education and Kshs234 million will be utilised in rehabilitation of primary schools and Kshs200 million will be given as a grant to low cost boarding primary schools in ASAL areas and other pockets of poverty. Head 846 represents the School Feeding Programme (SFP). It will receive Kshs202,134,521. This allocation covers the cost of distribution of food stuff donated by the World 3028 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 Food Programme (WFP) to schools under the SFP in ASAL areas and other pockets of poverty. Head 847 is for primary teachers training colleges. This Head will receive Kshs177,716,000. The funds under this Head will be disbursed as grants for the running of primary teachers training colleges. Head 848 is for special primary schools. They will receive Kshs200 million. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members will know that we have many primary schools and special units that cater for children with special needs. The funds under this Head will be disbursed as grants to these schools and units. Head 852 represents the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE). It will receive Kshs70,373,672. The allocation under this Head is a grant to the institution to cater for its administrative costs. Head 836 represents the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards which will receive Kshs142,939,372. The allocation under this Head caters for the salaries and other operational costs of the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards at the headquarters as well as in the field. Head 800 represents the board of governors maintained schools. They will receive Kshs218,978,000. Hon. Members will observe that in the Printed Estimates, funds under this Head have been reduced from last year's Kshs8.8 billion to Kshs218,900,000 following the transfer of the bursary fund to the Constituencies Development Fund. As I have indicated elsewhere in my statement, the Government has put back the management of the bursary fund under my Ministry. In addition to bursaries, other expenditure under this Head will include grants to secondary schools for gratuity payments to members of support staff employed before the Government stopped giving grants to secondary schools for employment of support staff. Another cost will be insurance cover for institutional vehicles. Heads 803 and 807 represent the Kenya Science Teachers College and Kagumo Diploma Teachers College respectively. Both of these institutions will receive Kshs105,866,485. The allocation under the above Heads will cater for grants to the two diploma colleges for the administrative costs and Kshs40 million under the Kenya Science Teachers College for the promotion of teaching of mathematics and science subjects under the SEMATA Project in collaboration with the Government of Japan. Head 835 represents the Directorate of Higher Education. It will receive Kshs316,076,635. This is an allocation for the administrative costs for the Directorate of Higher Education. The allocation includes research funds of Kshs71 million to facilitate research programmes in our universities while Kshs100 million will be required for strengthening of training of education managers through the Kenya Education Staff Institute. Heads 837 and 862 represent the provincial and district education services respectively. These will receive Kshs1,434,913,609. The allocation under this budget will cater for administrative costs for the running of our provincial and district education services respectively. This will also include inspection of schools to ensure that quality in education as well as audit services at the provincial and district levels are maintained. Head 838 represents the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO. It will receive Kshs72,730,904. This allocation will cater for the cost of running the Kenya National Commission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which is a Government agency charged with the responsibility of co-ordinating education matters in liaison with the UNESCO offices in Paris. It will also take care of the cost of running the recently created office of the Permanent Representative to UNESCO in Paris, France. Head 853 is for bursaries, subsidies and support to education attaches. The attaches will receive Kshs331,674,116. The allocation is for bursaries and scholarships for university level of October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3029 education and administrative costs of our education attaches in Kenya's missions abroad. Head 854 represents contributions towards local and international organisations. This will receive Kshs69,706,747. The allocation, of course, is for payment of subscription fees to local, regional and international organisations. Sub-Vote 313, is for higher education. The University education sub-sector will receive a total of Kshs11,755,830,941. This allocation will be spent as grants to the Commission for Higher Education, the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and the seven public universities, whose allocations are as follows. The Commission for Higher Education will receive Kshs165 million; University of Nairobi will receive Kshs3,269,862,503; Kenyatta University will receive Kshs1,558,109,759; HELB will receive Kshs1,039,494,655; Egerton University will receive Kshs1,750,137,203; the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology will receive Kshs914,167,121; Maseno University will receive Kshs763,003,205; Moi University will receive Kshs1,851,581,916 and the Western University College of Science and Technology, which is the last one, will receive Kshs444,474,970. Under HELB, there is an allocation of Kshs867,902,862 for loans, Kshs82,387,047 for bursaries to university students and Kshs89,204,355 will be a grant to HELP for its administrative costs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, under Sub-Vote 314, Director of Policy and Planning, I will require Kshs167,081,234 for capacity building in information and communication technology, education management systems, administrative costs and HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns among other expenses. Vote D31 is Development Expenditure. Having outlined my Ministry's requirements for this financial year for Recurrent Expenditure, I now turn to Vote D31 for the Ministry's development requirements for the 2006/2007 Financial Year. Under this Vote, I will require a total of Kshs6 billion, with the Government and donors contributing Kshs987 and Kshs5 billion respectively. The amount is distributed under the following Sub-Votes. Sub-Vote 310, general administration and planning, will require Kshs393 million to utilise under the following expenditure heads. Head 839-Kenya National Examinations Council, has an allocation of Kshs110 million for the construction of the Second Phase of the Mitihani House Project. This project will ultimately ensure that the Council is placed under one roof as well as reduce the cost of printing examinations in this country. Head 841 is for the Teachers Service Commission, and we have given it Kshs200 million for its new building. Under Sub-Vote 311, which is for basic education, I will require Kshs2,600,016,993. Of this amount, Kshs1.9 billion and Kshs480 million will be in form of grants from the Department for International Development (DFID) and Canada respectively for financing KEBEP, particularly the free primary education related costs. In addition, Kshs50 million will be required for the completion of Taita Taveta Teacher Training College, with the balance of Kshs107 million being UNICEF grants to be spent on ECD activities in rural areas. Under Sub-Vote 313 - Director of Higher Education, I will require Kshs746 million. Out of this amount is a sum of Kshs165 million which will be spent to provide science laboratory equipment to our public secondary schools at the rate of 10 needy secondary schools in each district. The balance will be spent on various development projects in our public universities. I will table the list I have later, if hon. Members will want to know the details. In conclusion, owing to budgetary constraints, there are many stalled projects and programmes in all public universities which are not funded during this financial year. For this reason, we encourage individual universities to mobilise funds from their own resources to complete some of these stalled projects. The bulk of the above funds will be used for construction 3030 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 and rehabilitation of both primary and secondary schools to accommodate our new reform programmes. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I wind up, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of the above mentioned development partners in the development of the education sector, particularly to the on-going implementation of KEBEP. I would like to assure them, and all other stakeholders, that any funds extended to us will be utilised transparently, for the agreed purposes, and within the agreed modalities. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Hon. Members, before I call upon the Seconder to second this Motion, I wish to recognise the presence of hon. Ramirama Bright, MP, and Minister of State for Animal Industry of the Republic of Uganda, who is seated at the Speaker's Row. The Minister of State is accompanied by a team of technical staff from the Republic of Uganda. They are in the country to study the livestock sector in general, and the operations of the Kenya Meat Commission in particular. May I, on behalf of all hon. Members and my own behalf, welcome the Minister and his team to this country and wish them a fruitful stay. Thank you.
Mr. Katuku are you the one Seconding this Motion?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Very well! Proceed!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, I rise to second debate on this Vote, which the Minister for Science and Technology, who is also the Acting Minister for Education, has just moved. In doing so, I would like to, first, commend my colleague and his team in the Ministry of Education for the good work they are doing for this country. I would want to encourage them to do more. I am sure that God will bless them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, even though the Ministry of Education currently gets the biggest chunk of allocation in our national Budget, we would want, if possible, to see even more resources being allocated to the Ministry because we can see what the Ministry is doing. With the introduction of the Free Primary Education, which is funded by the Government, any children who were hitherto unable to access primary education have joined school. The main problem in this country is poverty. Most of the parents are unable to meet the cost of education. With the introduction of this programme, we have seen more needy and bright students access education. Therefore, I would like to credit the Ministry or the Kibaki Administration for moving in this direction to ensure that Kenyan children from weak economic backgrounds access education.
October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3031
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Treasury could collect more revenue, I would be the first one to push for the extension of the Free Primary Education Programme to the secondary school level, so that everybody who qualifies can access secondary education. If our resources could allow, I would be among those who would support the re-introduction of Government subsidy in secondary education to the tune of, least, 50 per cent of the total cost. However, since we have to construct the infrastructure in schools as well as meet other demands in other sectors, like in my Ministry, which needs enough money to provide Kenyans with adequate water, it is only fair that we work together as Kenyans to ensure that we improve revenue collection so that we can avail more funds to the Ministry of Education, to enable it provide more resources to secondary schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I commend the Minister and his team for successfully implementing the Free Primary Education Programme, I would want to urge him to put in place more stringent measures to ensure that they root out corruption, which is now permeating in the Ministry through its audit department. Auditors move around to inspect primary and secondary schools. However, the whole process ends up being a routine exercise during which some headteachers who may not have kept their records well hand over envelopes to the auditors. So, instead of the audit exercise being done fairly, headteachers end up compromising some of the auditors. Therefore, the Minister and his team must ensure that thorough audit is done in schools, even if it means sending independent teams to cross-check what has been certified as audited funds, because some headteachers are using the money without involving the school committees. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to take this opportunity to urge members of the public, especially those who have been given the responsibility of heading school committees at both the primary and secondary schools, to take time to find out what monies go to their respective schools, what those monies are being spent on, how they are being spent, and establish whether any given expenditure has been prioritised by their committees. I am making this appeal because I have noted that in some schools, there is a lot of development, while in others there is hardly anything to show for the monies that have been shown to have been spent. You will find that a certain school has used its money to renovate classrooms and toilets but if you visit another school in the same neighbourhood, you will find that nothing is happening despite the fact that the two schools get the same amount of money. This has to do with mismanagement. Some of the headteachers are not doing their best. Some school board chairpersons and PTA members are also not playing their roles well. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another issue I would like to raise, which the Minister may have to look at, is that of appointment of members of the boards to our learning institutions, be they secondary schools or tertiary institutions. We must look at quality when it comes to appointment of managers of those institutions. The Minister cannot be able to be everywhere to ensure that the institutions are properly managed. In cases where institutions are sponsored by, say, a church, the sponsor may nominate low-calibre nominees to the boards and yet that same board may be charged with very big responsibilities, including ensuring discipline. Consequently, some boards leave everything in the hands of headteachers, who at times even expel children from the institutions illegally. Therefore, we should ensure that institutions of learning in this country are managed by competent members of boards of governors capable of articulating the interests of parents and those of the Government in the management of schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am also concerned with the issue of teachers being 3032 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 in one station forever. I am talking about a situation where a teacher is posted to a school as the headteacher, and he serves at that same station until his retirement. I believe that the Ministry has a policy of transferring teachers after serving at given stations for a certain period of time. Even if one's record at any given station is very good, after some time, he should be transferred elsewhere, so that he can improve the performance of another school. I do not want to believe that a headteacher who is doing well at a certain school cannot do the same elsewhere. There are headteachers who have served at the same stations for many years. They have made those institutions look like their own. At times, some institutions have their names changed. Rather than them being referred to by their names, they are referred to by the name of the headteacher or the principal. Therefore, I would like to urge my colleague to ensure that headteachers, and other teachers, who have served at the same school for so long are transferred. I remember a case at one of the institutions I taught as an Untrained Teacher when I completed Sixth Form. That was many years ago. I passed by the school the other day and found some of my former colleagues still teaching there. I asked one of them: "Did you go to teach elsewhere and come back or what happened?" He replied: "I am still here." Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, such teachers become useless to the institution. The community and the children get used to them. They get used to the institution so much that they do not even prepare for lessons. They just walk into classes and start teaching. Of course, the standard of education of such schools falls. So, we need to rotate teachers. Even if a teacher is doing well at a given school, it is fair to give him a chance to serve in another region. There should be a way of ensuring that the performance of teachers improves. Another issue I would like to comment on, even though I appreciate the fact that we have budgetary constraints, is that of pre-primary education. Provision of pre-primary education to children has become challenging to some disadvantaged families, which cannot afford the fees. I am sure that most of my colleagues will agree with me that, subject to availability of resources, we should ensure that the Government pays nursery school teachers because this is a very basic and essential level of education. Unfortunately, majority of Kenyans rejected the Draft Constitution, not because they knew what they were doing but, rather, because they were misled by some of my good friends on the Opposition side. They knew very well that pre-primary education was being entrenched into the Constitution, together with the issue of nursery school teachers being paid by the Government. Be that as it may, I would like the Minister to consider that aspect when he gets sufficient resources, so that children at the nursery school level can also get good education and their teachers get well paid. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to comment on the issue of hardship allowance, which is being earned by teachers in some areas, and not in others. I have talked to the Minister many times on this issue. I would like to remind him that my constituency is in the same neighbourhood with divisions where teachers earn hardship allowance. However, teachers in my constituency are not paid hardship allowance. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am talking about Mwala and Yathui Divisions in Machakos District. The two divisions were left out and teachers are not paid hardship allowance. In Katangi and Kalawa Divisions, which neighbour my division, teachers are paid hardship allowance. As a result, teachers tend to look for transfers to the neighbouring constituencies where they are paid a hardship allowance. This policy needs to be looked into. Before the Minister looks at the policy at the national level, I would like to appeal to him to consider Mwala Division specifically. With those few remarks, I beg to second. October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3033
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I keep reminding hon. Members that I also have a constituency. It is necessary that sometimes I get an advantage. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. First, I would like to support this Motion. I would like to congratulate the Minister for his presentation. However, let me remind my good friend, hon. Katuku, who has alluded to the fact that the Government is not providing free pre-primary education because Kenyans rejected the proposed Constitution. I would like to remind him that this has nothing to do with the Constitution.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will protect me because when hon. Katuku was speaking, I said nothing.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Deputy Speaker to mislead this House that I alluded to the fact that the Government is not providing free pre-primary education because Kenyans rejected the proposed Constitution? I did not say that.
Mr. Katuku, what rule of the House has he breached? That is very frivolous! Continue, Mr. Musila!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to continue along that line because little did hon. Katuku know that he is arguing with a man who is well versed with the Standing Orders. I want to start by stating the necessity for the Government to introduce free pre-primary education. This has been said and we even approved a Sessional Paper here on this issue. When the Minister stands to respond, I would like him to tell Kenyans exactly when we are going to have free pre-primary education in the country. We should have free education from pre-primary upwards. A lot has been said about the free primary education. We are always grateful. We commend the Government for this. Many times, hon. Members have alluded to the fact that the free primary education is of very low quality. There are no teachers. You will find a school of eight classes with only five teachers. We have classes of not less than 100 pupils who are supposed to be taught by one teacher. Let us not keep on singing about the free primary education which is of very low quality. We should improve the quality of the free primary education and I am sure Kenyans will appreciate the programme more. The same thing applies to secondary education. The Ministry of Education is in great shortage of secondary school teachers. For example, in Mwingi District, we have a shortage of over 1,000 primary school teachers and more than 300 secondary school teachers. At the end of the year, examinations are done and schools are classified according to their performance. The majority of the schools are in difficult areas where there are no teachers. So, how do you classify the performance of schools which have teachers together with those schools which have no teachers? We should be serious. The Ministry should equitably distribute teachers to all the schools in this country. Then it will have a basis of comparing the performance of the schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the weakest points in the Ministry of Education is supervision. There are schools which go for years without seeing an inspector going to inspect the performance of the teachers. Perhaps, the teachers that hon. Katuku was alluding to have been forgotten in those schools. No inspector goes to those schools. There is the issue of District Education Officers (DEO) not being able to adequately have authority over secondary education. In 3034 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 secondary schools, we are told that Provincial Education Officers (PEOs) have the last say. The DEOs have to refer to the PDEs with regard to everything that takes place in secondary schools. Some DEOs are junior to principals of secondary schools. They have no authority to order the principals of secondary schools to do anything. Therefore, they have to rely on the PEOs. I would like to propose that, as a matter of policy, the Government should upgrade DEOs, so that they are responsible for education matters throughout the districts. They should not just be concentrating on primary education. The DEOs have no authority over secondary schools and they have to refer cases to the PEOs. We will have improved supervision if we gave the DEOs the authority to supervise secondary education and upgrade their status, so that they are senior than the heads of secondary schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the Minister was presenting his Vote, he said that the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) is going to receive close to Kshs370 million. The KNEC is charged with the responsibility of testing students throughout the country. When this is done, it is supposed to release the results of the examinations to the candidates. Eventually, KNEC is supposed to release the certificates to the students, so that the students can confirm that they sat for the examinations and attained the various grades. However, KNEC has abdicated its responsibility. Currently, KNEC delivers the results and the certificates to the schools where the students sat for the examinations. The principals of those schools take these certificates as lien for unpaid school fees. I have been advised that this is illegal. I would like to suggest that KNEC, having received examination fees from students and having provided the examination papers and invigilated properly, should in the future, send the results and the certificates directly to the students. This happens in other countries. The business of head teachers retaining the results and certificates of students from poor families must be stopped. The Minister for Education is presiding over one of the biggest scandals in the land. As we speak, over 1 million students left school and their result-slips and certificates are held by the schools. I have raised this issue before on the Floor of this House. Most of these students are orphans. Others are from very poor families and their parents cannot afford a meal. How long is it going to take for the Minister to realize that it makes no sense to punish students by keeping their certificates on account of not paying school fees? Why can the principals not chase after the parents of those kids for the fees arrears? Why can the Government not provide funds to the schools so that they can release these certificates? I know that the Minister will come here and say: "It is a lot of money; it is Kshs10 billion" et cetera . But I have said it before, we have written off debts for rich people who owed the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC). Recently, we even gave money to a private company; Uchumi Supermarkets, because we did not want it to go under. Why do we not want Uchumi Supermarkets and the Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) to go under? Why do we not want the coffee sector to suffer? Why do we not want the AFC farmers to suffer? And we do not care about those poor kids who are languishing in their homes in poverty because they cannot look for jobs since they have no result-slips and certificates.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hope that, this time round, when the Minister comes to reply to this Motion, he will address this issue. I listened to him very carefully and for 30 minutes, he never said a word about this issue, despite the fact that it is a matter of great national importance. I would like to request the Minister, when he eventually replies to this Motion, to address this issue squarely. He cannot run away from it, because it is there. A million kids are at home, they cannot access employment and yet we stand up and take pride in quality education. It cannot be quality education when those you are educating are going nowhere. October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3035 I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the Minister for successfully tabling the Motion. I would also like to thank the officers in charge of the Ministry for steering the Ministry to greater heights since the NARC Government took over in 2003. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what we see as the Ministry of Education is, to a very great extent, a contradiction of principles and values. What I see and what many hon. Members here see is that, when the NARC Government took over, they announced immediately that there will be free primary education, which we can say to a very great extent is a blessing to many people. But it is a blessing in disguise when it is taken further, in the sense that 7.2 million kids are now in school, up from, maybe, 5 million or 6 million before. We are talking of an additional number of students of about two million. If we worked that out mathematically, you realize that if every teacher has to handle a class of 40 students, and if you divided the total increase of students by 40, we are talking about an additional number of teachers to the tune of 30,000. That has not happened and we continue talking about quality education! There is a belief that when a teacher is teaching in a class, he is the final person. That is not true. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my Committee has visited quite a number of schools in this country. We did not believe our eyes when we visited a school in Busia Town, where we found a teacher handling a class of 232 students. That is true, we confirmed that there was only one teacher for that class. So, if the teachers are going to be subjected to this kind of mental harassment, this will translate into poor quality education. Considering that the Ministry of Education is a key Ministry and that it is a service Ministry, we need to think about the recruitment of teachers, and not the replacement of teachers, the way it is done these days. We need to have a policy of recruiting enough teachers to cope with the increased number of students currently. Even before the free primary education was introduced, the teacher-student ratio was still not uniform. The number of teachers then was still few compared to the number of students. Why do we then imagine that, today, when we have an increase of more than two million students, and we have not employed more teachers, we will have quality education? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, down the line, these pupils sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), and they move on to secondary schools. What is most amazing is that, when they get to Form 1, the students who would have benefitted from free primary education are made to pay school fees. That is where one of the problems lies, because to a very great extent, we have a very big drop-out rate. The Minister should even have told us that the number of secondary schools in the country is not commensurate with the increased number of students translating to secondary schools after completion of their primary school studies. We still have very few secondary schools and even the secondary school teachers are not adequate. If we want to talk about quality education, we need to address the shortage of teachers as a national crisis. Unless we do that, we are cheating ourselves. That is the reason why we are losing a lot of money by our students going across the border. There are many Kenyan students studying in Uganda, and they are doing so because of the inequality of opportunities that we have in Kenya. Why can we not arrest the number of students going to Uganda and spend the same amount of money to put up secondary schools in our country? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is even worse is that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) does not post teachers to schools funded by the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). Of course, the CDF can put up a school, but the TSC has come up with a rule that, unless that school has more than 100 students, then they will not deploy teachers there. How on earth can you start a new school and then, all of a sudden, you have 100 students in order to 3036 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 warrant you to get a teacher from the TSC? It is not possible! Therefore, this is a contradiction in policy and the Ministry should encourage the construction of more secondary schools in the country and, for that matter, provide more teachers. Since they cannot afford to provide teachers, we are asking the Ministry to go back to the drawing board and come up with a policy of teacher recruitment in relation to the teacher-student ratio. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also have very many poor orphans and I am happy that the Minister has talked about school bursaries. What about those orphans who cannot even afford to pay the difference after being given the said bursary? We have very many orphans who were rendered in that state because of, maybe, parents dying out of HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Where will an orphan get the difference to enable him clear his fee balance? That is the other reason why, just the other day, we had passed a Motion asking the Government to make sure that they will pay the total amount of fees for that kid who cannot afford to pay the balance of the bursary. I hope this will happen. We also need to plan ahead. As we talk about free primary education, let us also talk about what will happen when these kids will get to our universities. You realize that, right now, the cut- off points to join public universities is a B plus. This is a very high grade, going by what happens to our students. It is very frustrating, because if a student gets that grade and he cannot join a public university, what else would we say he has not done? It is a very frustrating grade. A student may get it, but still not qualify to join any public university. This is because of the few admission vacancies that we have. The admission to the universities is pegged on bed capacity. Why can we not abolish this system of admission, so that we have more students admitted to universities? We may even make them day scholars, so that the bed capacity does not become an issue to be considered during admission. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a teacher in Kenya is a very demotivated person. This is a person who works from morning to evening in a very congested classroom and other harsh conditions, yet his salary is meagre. Could we, therefore, motivate teachers by offering them better remuneration? By doing so, they will work even harder. We must be wary of the teachers' threat to go on strike unless their pay package is implemented. We should take it seriously because the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) exams will start from next Monday. Unless we are careful, we will land into problems just like the way we did in 2001. It was not possible even to supervise examinations because of lack of teachers, due to the same industrial problem. I would, therefore, urge the Government to consider their plight to avert the strike. I also realise that more money has been allocated to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). However, why do we give loans to students in private universities, but not to those undertaking parallel programmes? It is only unfortunate that those students undertaking parallel programmes could not have joined the regular programmes because of their choices. So, we should not consider them as rich students who are not entitled to loans. After all, they are also taxpayers. We need to give them the HELB loans, much as we give those in private universities. If this is done, we will have more students joining our universities. As we plan to industrialise by the year 2020, we will have enough personnel in our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, the new Member of Parliament for Laisamis Constituency wants to make his maiden speech. I will take this opportunity to give him the time to do so and we must all observe the rules!
We just need someone to tap it for us. With all those problems, we surely need something to be done as soon as possible so that, we, in Laisamis Constituency, can feel that we are part of this great country. Thank you.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am not going to take very long. I stand here to support the Minister's presentation. I think this House should, as an obligation, encourage this Ministry. When the Government decided to implement the idea that had existed for many years - free primary education - there were a lot of misgivings. But the Ministry took the bull by the horns, started the programme and it is doing well. There is no programme of that magnitude that can go on without facing several problems. I think they have tackled the teething problems well. We should give them encouragement. The encouragement that we should give them is additional funds. Say good words of encouragement to the Minister and his team. That encouragement should trickle to those who are responsible for our schools and the education of our children. That is the foundation of bringing about improvement in our education system. I do not think it pays dividends to complain and condemn what is going on at the moment. It is true we have problems. You cannot have successful development without facing challenges. The challenges are there.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said all that, I want to put across a few requests. One of the things that I would like to be looked into is the question of housing for teachers. I think a policy should be developed. I do not know whether I should be asking the Government or the parents. But I find it very difficult to be convinced that you can post a teacher to a school and expect him to do well, when the environment, itself, is very difficult for the teacher. He has no house in that school! I come from an area where very many teachers have no houses. There is no policy to require even October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3039 the parents to put up houses before a teacher is posted to their school. I think we should insist that parents should play that role. That is because to expect a teacher to stay behind a shop in a market place and walk for three kilometres every day to a school and back is not fair! When is he going to prepare for tomorrow's work, when he has walked for three kilometres? When he gets there, he is tired. Perhaps, even where he stays in that market place, there is a bar disturbing him the whole night. Can you expect him to be a good teacher the following day? It is not fair. We should insist that schools must have houses for teachers. That is something we must insist on. Even if we say that the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) should be used to make some contribution to build teachers houses, it is a priority. I say that because the Ministry does not send teachers who are not qualified to schools that do not do well, and send qualified teachers to schools that do well. All the teachers are trained in the same colleges. Why are certain schools not doing well? It is because of the environment, in my view. The second request that I would like to put across is this: The Ministry should now insist and lay down qualifications for school committee members. In some places, we have members who are almost illiterate and cannot understand what the teachers want. They cannot even understand what the children are doing in schools. So, they cannot support any system of management in that school. But since they are known by the elders around there, they are appointed to the committee. The same applies to the sponsors. The sponsors must be told that they cannot just nominate somebody because he is a good person in their church. Sponsors can nominate, but they must be required to nominate people with certain minimum qualifications. That way, we will not have people who just go to church on sundays and, thereafter, the sponsor nominates them because they are good in prayers. That is a different matter when it comes to education. I think that is extremely important. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the third request that I would like to make is this: Let us not concentrate teachers in their home areas. That has been the biggest problem for education officers. If he or she transfers a teacher from his or her home area, all the elders and parents say: "You are taking away our son and bringing us another person from another place and clan. We do not know him!" I, personally, insist that I do not want anybody to come to me and complain that a teacher has been brought from another area into my constituency. What I want is a teacher to teach and bring good results. Where he comes from, whether it is North Eastern Province - where I understand they do not have many - or any other place, I do not care. But I want a teacher who can assist the children to get a good education, I do not care where he comes from. But to have my clansmen staying in my place just because the elders want them to be there is unfair to the children. At the end of the day, it is the children who suffer, while the clansmen are happy to see their son around. They drink together in the evening because they know one another. That is something that must not be allowed. Teachers must be transferred to where the educationists think there is a need. Nobody should obstruct them. I know that, that is being done, even by ourselves - as politicians. That is because we want votes. The elders or voters come to you and say: "Our son is being moved! Why can you not go and protest?" They go to the education officer and say: "I do not want so and so to be transferred." Let us also think about the future of our children. Do not think about the well-being of that friend of yours who is in the village, because he is going to vote for you. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the fourth request that I would like to make is this: The Ministry should give due recognition to education officers. When I was young and in school, the education officer was a very strong person. Even when he visited a school, everybody knew that the "authority" is around. When he visited a school, somehow, everyone knew that a person of authority was around. However, nowadays, an education officer is treated like anyone else and teachers do not even refer to him as "sir". I think if I were an education officer today, I would insist that you refer to me as "sir." 3040 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir for giving me a chance to make a number of comments on this important Motion. The first thing I would like to do is to commend the Ministry and its leadership for taking several initiatives aimed at improving its investments, especially its infrastructure, like the recent idea of the Free Pre-primary Education Programme. Through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to commend the Permanent Secretary in that Ministry for being extremely concerned and sensitive about the education needs of some of the forgotten parts of this country. This year, you must have heard about him climbing the hills on Mfangano Island in Suba District, to inspect the pathetic state of schools in that part of the country. Immediately after that---
Please, give the hon. Member time to make his contribution!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, immediately after that, he took the initiative to encourage another Ministry to invest in a road, the first road to be built in Mfangano Island, which is bigger than the biggest island in Seychelles - Mahe, in terms of population and geographical size. Having said so, I would like to encourage the Ministry to improve its response to the wonderful idea of the Free Primary Education Programme. I entirely, agree with hon. Nyachae that a programme of this magnitude has to have some teething problems. However, we are now in the fourth year since the marvellous idea was launched. The low starting level of pupils in primary schools must be addressed. In my district, we had a 46 per cent increase in enrolment. In another four years, those pupils will be in Standard Eight. I know that a number of my colleagues have invested in day secondary schools through the CDF. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you have mentioned in your contribution, unless we improve the teacher-pupil ratio, we will have beautiful schools, free primary education, but the end product will not be useful. The quality of the students will determine whether they can be employed or be of value to the society.
Order, hon. Members! Order, Mr. Khaniri and Mr. ole Ntimama!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of replacement of teachers who have retired and those who are deceased beats logic. In a situation where an establishment is already in place, we should not be so slow to replace retired or deceased teachers. Why can the replacement of a retired or deceased teacher not be automatic? Normally, it takes very long. Meanwhile, the pupils suffer because of the distortion of the teacher-pupil ratio. The other point I would like the Minister to consider is a matter of routine to mainstream schools, especially those which have been put up using CDF. In many cases, increased investment through the CDF is done to absorb the additional intake of students to secondary schools, as a result of the Free Primary Education Programme. We are told that for the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to send staff members to a school, it must have at least 100 students. That does not make sense. If you start a school with Form One students only, how would you have 100 students in one classroom? Some of these issues require simple logic and not applying rules blindly. I would understand if a school had students from Form One up to Form Four, yet it has less than 100 students. There are also some areas in this country where you just have to accept the number of students who have enroled in a class, and provide them with quality education by giving October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3041 them teachers. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you talked about hardship areas. As I talk to you now, we need to encourage teachers to serve in hardship areas. The hardship policy is not being managed properly. There is a lot of bias in determining which areas are hardship and which ones are not. Allowances are also being given to teachers who teach in extremely well endowed areas and not those which truly deserve it. I would like to request the Ministry to look into the criteria of granting hardship allowances to teachers so that, indeed, we compensate and encourage teachers to stay and teach in difficult areas which were explained by hon. Nyachae. At the end of the day, those students who leave school must have a market. When is the last time that the Ministry reviewed its curriculum? The world has moved on and ICT is now a central issue. There is huge demand for people who are qualified in ICT. We are no longer guaranteed of employment in the formal sector. There are no more white collar jobs. Most of the children who leave secondary schools go into self-employment. Is it not high time we made ICT and business studies such as accounting and book keeping compulsory, so that boys and girls who leave secondary schools and want to be self-employed can look after their money and manage their business well? I think it is also necessary for the Ministry to consider re-introducing "A" levels. More than 60 per cent of students in foreign universities in Uganda are Kenyans. One of the reasons why they go to Uganda is to do "A" levels so that they can gain entry to Commonwealth universities. As much as I know it might take some resources, I think it is high time we considered the re-introduction of "A" levels, at least, in some selected schools to stem the huge amount of foreign exchange we are losing because our children want to go to Commonwealth universities but cannot go there with the certificates our examinations council provides. There is a big market for trained teachers outside Kenya. I had a privilege of leading the first Kenyan delegation to go and negotiate with Southern Sudan. We need, therefore, to look at our teacher training colleges, increase their capacity, modernise them and tune them to the demands in the region so that we can be a hub for training personnel for this region. I think that is a great opportunity for us, given that we have excess personnel in many of our sectors. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to make my last point. There is need for us to encourage private investments in setting up universities and technical colleges. One step that would really help is if the Ministry can standardise the curricular of some of the generic training courses or programmes so that we have a standard and common examination council or examining body that sets the standards and examines and provides certification. Presently, I know that there is no standard curricular and no standard examination and certificate for our technical colleges. So, every technical institute provides its own training, develops its own curriculum and at the end of the day, we do not have a formal quality coming from all these polytechnics and so on. I think it is necessary, at this time and age, for us to look at standardising and have a common examining authority in order that we can be sure of the quality of the end product and, therefore, can be able to market it. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to contribute to this Motion. I think my colleagues have said as much as I would have said. But I want to join those of my colleagues who have commended this Ministry which has been in place for nearly four years now. It has achieved quite a lot for the Kenyan people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, a massive programme like free primary education is not a simple matter. For the Government being in power for a few months and putting this programme in place and having done what it has done so far, should be commendable. I think it is unfair to come here and rubbish everything that the Government has done towards this end. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Ministry is very big, and that is why it takes a huge chunk of 3042 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 the Budget of this country. But we must be pro-active. We must now be asking ourselves, after free primary education for eight years, what happens next? This is because in the next two or three years, we shall have a lot of teenagers who have finished primary school, ill-trained and who will be in the market doing nothing but learning how to fend for themselves. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to talk about posting of officers in this Ministry; Provincial Directors of Education (PDEs) and District Education Officers (DEOs). Western Province seems to be the most unfortunate province in this country because every time we get an officer posted there, he is an officer who is either a discipline case or is coming to retire. You know how people who are going to retire work; they do not concentrate. They are looking into how they are going to retire. To add an insult to an injury, the ones who should retire are told they can keep on serving for another two years. Two years to do what? We have complained about these cases to the Minister; a Minister who comes from Western Province and he does zero! It is very absurd, and that is why this Province does very poorly in national examinations.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I actually do not come from Western Province, I come from the North Rift.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is like splitting grey hairs in the head! We know where he was born!
The Chair does not know where he was born!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Chair may not know, but we know! Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a problem in that province. We need officers who are alert and who can come and correct things that have gone wrong for years. We need officers who will be committed to change in that province. I remember when I and my colleagues from Western Province had an opportunity to visit the Director of Education, the Permanent Secretary and then Minister for Education, Prof. Saitoti. They clearly promised to look into the issue. But nobody has bothered to date. Instead, they have continued to do exactly what they have done over the years. In Kakamega District where I come from, we have an officer who does not care anything at all about the people he serves. People cannot go to his office, teachers are scared of him; why is he there? Who is he serving? A man who works only two days in a week. He is there on Tuesday and Wednesday, he leaves on Thursday and he comes back on Tuesday. Are these the sort of officers we want? This is a matter that should be looked into, if we need to improve the standards of education in that province. As we are speak here, teachers have threatened to go on strike because of the problems of their agreement with this Ministry. This cat and mouse game is now tiring. Can this Minister, for once, move and, at least, get this matter sorted out? Can this agreement be fixed once and for all? Teachers are very important and we need to treat them as such. Let us not think that they are like the children they teach. They also have brains. Let us treat them very seriously in the manner that they deserve. I want to say something little about boards of governors. We are invited by the principals of schools to go and nominate members of the boards of secondary schools. It takes years, if not very many months for this Ministry to approve those recommendations or nominations from the boards. We understand it is only the Minister who can sign that recommendation. Surely, is this a job for a Minister? I am sure Dr. Wekesa does not need to do this job. I think he is a senior man. He is busy dealing with much more serious things than just signing those documents. We have appointments made last year that have not been approved up to now. One wonders why it should take all that long for this Ministry to approve the boards. October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3043 Then, we also need to look at how we can discipline the boards which are not performing. In Western Province, we have had strikes in schools which spread like wild fire. Not less than ten schools went on strike almost in the same month. The way those strikes have been handled has been very poor in many cases. I was horrified. A very senior officer from this Ministry goes to a school which had a strike and parades the children and tells them, you know, "you are very responsible, nobody can dictate things to you and you must sit on the table and negotiate with your teachers and the board." He picked money from his pocket and gave to a student and told her to ring him when she sees these people here making a mess. Surely, what kind of discipline is that for that student? That school is in trouble now and it will never recover. Even if it recovers, it is going to take us a very long time. This habit was from a very senior official in this Ministry. It is a shame! Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to just comment briefly about the Inspectorate Department. They are very active on the ground. A colleague here has mentioned about the scheme of service. The inspectors earn much less than the people they inspect. Surely, this should be the reverse. Somebody should have looked at this and corrected that anomaly. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, I think you will agree with me that we can now hear a lady, Mrs. Mwendwa.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for being gender-sensitive. I stand to support this Motion before us. Having said so, there is no doubt that we have a shortage of teachers, especially in the arid and semi arid areas. I listened attentively to the Minister, because I was here from the beginning, he said that funds have been allocated for the completion of a teacher training college in Coast Province. In Kitui District, in my constituency, we have Kwa Vonza Primary Teacher Training College which was started in 1982; over 24 years ago. It has never been completed. The buildings are more than half-way completed. However, it has been "standing" there yet we have a shortage of over 1,000 primary school teachers in the district. You will find that in some areas the teachers will get sick or malingers if he is posted to certain areas because there is no water. We do not even talk about electricity. Most of the times there is no food and the teachers opt to ask for transfers to other places. They do not want to die there. You will find a school with eight classes has only four teachers. Is it possible for only four teachers to teach the eight classes effectively? Normally, they share the work load during the day. Some come in the morning while others come in the afternoon. Of course, the results of the examinations are very telling. This makes a vicious cycle. Since you are not taught well, you will not pass and, therefore, you cannot even qualify to join a teacher training course and other colleges. So, when these students complete their Form IV, because it is so difficult to join any university, they have nothing to do. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would recommend highly that this area be considered. When the Ministry for Education gives out bursaries, they have a poverty index allowance. We normally get more funds for bursaries. However, you will find that this is not adequate at all for our secondary schools. We even give out bursaries from our Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) but it is still not enough. I would like to request the Ministry to consider these arid and semi-arid areas or hardship areas. They should explore possibilities of providing free secondary school education to cater for needy students. We give bursaries but they are not enough because there is so much need. When the drought sets in, the whole concept does not work at all. Is it possible for the Ministry of Education to consider providing free secondary school education to cater for these needy students?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is an issue that has been spoken about but it was on my list. 3044 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 So, I will not leave it out. We have so many students who have gone through secondary schools and their certificates have been withheld by the principals forever. They will never clear those fees arrears, anyway. They can never pay even though so much is said about them. So, we are punishing those children because they were born in poor families. If the Ministry decides to give more funds for bursaries to those areas, then those students should be given their certificates by the schools. I do not think it serves any purpose for the schools to hold those certificates because those students will never pay for them. They have not paid for donkey years. What will compel them to clear those fees arrears, anyway? The Ministry should just make a decision to clear those fees arrears and then instruct the principals to release the certificates to the affected students and other things will come later. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk about the free primary education which is very highly appreciated. We would also like to recommend that the pre-primary and secondary education also be made free. However, we have problems with our free primary education. First, there are no facilities in some of the places, especially in the Arid and Semi-Arid areas. You will find that there are no classrooms. We have built some classrooms with the CDF money, but I think the Ministry of Education should establish a fund for building schools, especially where there are none and children are reading under trees and mud huts. The Ministry should take responsibility and build schools. In the same areas, you will find many children are not going to school or they go and drop out. Who can go to school on an empty stomach? If you go to school on an empty stomach, you will not comprehend what the teachers are saying. So, they do not go to school. In cases like that, I would recommend that schools should feed the children. They should do it throughout the year. It should not be for a while. The School Feeding Programme is difficult because it rains for a short while and most of the times, there is drought. Therefore, these children starve most of the time. I think the School Feeding Programme should be permanent in Arid and Semi-Arid areas without making any exceptions. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also wish to ask the Ministry that since we have roofs of some sort in primary schools, whether it is possible for them to provide the black plastic water tanks. This will ensure that, at least, the children can have some water to drink at school. They should not drink dirty water from the rivers. If you go there, you will notice the effect of drinking dirty water. These children carry the water in their small jerrycans. I am sure it is not beyond the reach of the Government of Kenya to provide water to schools, especially in primary schools. We all know that it is very expensive to sink boreholes. However, we should sink boreholes in schools, especially secondary schools. It is quite pathetic to see children in certain primary schools in the rural areas carrying dirty water from the rivers in discoloured plastic containers. It is unfortunate that this is what our children are drinking. This is inhuman. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to request the Ministry of Education to register new schools. Sometimes, a school is registered after operating for about four years. It is a pity that when students in that school are just about to sit for national exams, that is when it is registered. What does that mean? This means the Ministry cannot post qualified teachers to a school which is in not registered. The school eventually starts on the wrong footing because it does not have qualified teachers. Students in such schools perform very poorly in national exams because they lack qualified teachers. Sometimes, such institutions are asked to pay their teachers salaries. They cannot even afford to do so. Since we have been encouraged to start day secondary schools in our constituencies, I would like to request the Ministry to register these schools and post qualified teachers. By so doing, these schools will start operating on a good footing. If this is done, students in those schools will have no choice, but to perform well. October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3045 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are many schools in this country which have been running for over 15 years. However, not a single student from those schools has ever qualified to join a public university. This is because the quality of education is wanting, and the schools also lack qualified teachers and other important facilities. This issue should be looked into. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion on the Vote of the Ministry of Education. First of all, I wish to state that I support this Motion. I will not take a lot of time, I realise hon. Members present want to contribute to this Motion. I have various issues which I think are of concern to me as the hon. Member for Kanduyi Constituency. I am disappointed that the Minister, in his budget, did not provide funds for Kibabii Teachers Training College. The Chair is aware that I have asked several Questions about this college. We have also discussed this college in this House. The holder of the highest office on this land, His Excellency the President, has also talked about Kibabii Teachers Training College. He said this is one of the colleges which were supposed to have been put up this year. We expected that there would be an intake of students sometime in September this year. However, this did not take place. I am very disappointed that the Minister did not do anything to give this college some provision in the Budget. Unfortunately, he also said nothing about it while moving this Motion. I am sure hon. Members are aware of the history of Kibabii Teachers Training College. This is an institution which has been very hotly talked about even in the past, that funds have been squandered by some officers and contractors, which led to the stagnation of the project. On two occasions, when His Excellency the President visited Bungoma District, he said the college was supposed to take off. I would like to ask the Minister and his officers in the Ministry to ensure that this college is not an issue again. If instructions come from the holder of the highest office in the land, and the other people, including Ministers and officers in the Ministry, do not act on what the President has said, then I do not understand this. There must be something seriously wrong in the Government if issues that the President has said should be done are not done. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, secondly, on the issue of employment of teachers, recently members of the board of governors were involved in interviewing teachers. I know these are policies and regulations of the Government. However, I am afraid that teachers who are properly trained and qualified are being subjected to interviews by some members of boards picked from villages in the rural areas. The issue here is not just the calibre of the members of the board, but it is worth noting that a lot of conflict arises where recruitment of these teachers involves a sibling or a kin of a member of the board. There is also conflict where there is a relative of a member of the board being interviewed and there are other qualified applicants. This is a serious conflict of interest. It is time the Government looked properly at the issue of hiring of teachers to the extent that all those who are properly trained and are qualified are not interviewed by people in the village. They should just be employed. There should be some order put in place by the Government that if, for example, there were teachers who graduated this year, they should be employed in the order of priority. As they graduate earlier, they are employed earlier. They should not necessarily be subjected to interviews by people who are not even themselves teachers. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue is on the funds for the Free Primary Education Programme (FPEP). A lot of money is being channelled to schools. This should be about Kshs1,000 for every pupil. There are some schools where there more than 2,000 pupils. That school is receiving a lot of money. What is the Government doing to follow up to ensure that this 3046 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 money is spent properly? I am sure that some of the teachers, who are members school committees, do not have the capacity to manage the kind of funds they receive. So, the Ministry must put in place some mechanism to ensure that there is sufficient follow-up, adequate inspection, audit and supervision to ensure that teachers and the management of school committees and boards are doing the right thing. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) is doing a lot of work towards development of schools, particularly the construction of classrooms and other facilities at schools. At the same time, the Government is pumping in a lot of money into projects in schools. This needs to be harmonized to ensure that schools do not receive double funding, particularly where it involves accounting for some funds. One can easily confuse projects undertaken using the CDF funds and those done by the Government. I would like to ask the Government to ensure that these funds are properly spent. There is need to have follow-up, supervision and proper audit by the Government. Those found to have misappropriated funds meant for the FPEP, must be dealt with decisively to ensure that there is control. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I support this Vote of the Ministry of Education. First, I want to talk about the issue of universities. Some of the students who enrol for the parallel programmes miss joining the regular programme by just a few points. However, the fee charged for the parallel programme is very exorbitant. The amounts charged are not favourable for Kenyan students. That is why Kenyan students are enroling for courses in universities outside this country. They are enroling for courses in Makerere University in Uganda and other universities around the world. It is quite unfortunate that university lecturers are threatening to go on strike soon because they want a pay hike. One wonders where all the money being paid by students under the parallel programme goes to. We need to have the fees for the parallel programme revised downwards. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, secondly, regular students are the ones who are given loans. Why do we discriminate against others? You find two students coming from the same village or family and yet one of them gets a full education loan and the other does not. Why do we discriminate against others? Since this is a loan, give it to them because, after all, they will repay the money when they get jobs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will talk about a topic which has been discussed here and this is the issue of withholding certificates of Form Four leavers. In which clause in the Education Act is it said that you withhold the certificates because the child or the parents could not pay school fees? It is illegal! The Ministry of Education is torturing Kenyans. In fact, I want to tell this Government that I have been sympathetic to it but this issue of withholding certificates will destroy the goodwill people had in it. I have a student who attained a B+ and since 2001 when he sat for his exams, his certificate has been withheld. Imagine the kind of chances that boy has missed with a B+. There is a girl who cries to me every day to pay her school fees because her certificate has been withheld since 2002 and she had a C+. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, talking about my own district, Nandi, most of the schools here were built by our own people. We sold our cattle. In many cases it was by force. The Boards of Governors (BOGs) are forcing all our schools to be boarding ones. We thank God we are not an ASAL area and so the distances between the homes and the schools is not great. You find a child living one kilometre away from the immediate day school being told to go to a boarding school. The problem is this: A boarder will have to pay Kshs30,000. The Ministry may give guidelines but the head teachers and the BOGs do not take that. They may say fees is Kshs20,000 but the student will end up paying Kshs30,000 and in the end they do not pay. That is why you get certificates being withheld. It is not only that. You find the children being sent home every weekend. The boys and the girls are on the road. Why do our children have to be forced to attend boarding schools? October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3047 Under which law of this country are schools made compulsorily boarding? We should have day schools but in ASAL areas, because of the difficulties, boarding schools should be introduced there. However, in the high potential areas including my district of Nandi, we want our schools to be day schools. Those who choose to be boarders should be prepared to pay the exorbitant fees whatever range it is but for the rest, let them be day scholars. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we built nearly all the schools in my constituency. We even built Kapsabet Boys and Girls High Schools. So, why are we being forced to make them boarding schools and then we are charged Kshs30,000? I am prepared to go to court on this matter to tell the world that the Ministry is denying our children educational opportunities because if a child has passed the exams and then you deny him or her their respective certificates, then you are making that person hopeless for life because he or she cannot prove that they even reached Form Four class. So, I want to say that we should build more day schools so that, instead of parents paying Kshs30,000 as school fees, let them pay Kshs9,000 and maybe where there is maize, they can donate one bag of maize which will serve as their lunch. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while I support the demands by primary and secondary school teachers, they should also be subjected to performance contracts vis-a-vis salary increments. In my own district of Nandi, you will find that Kapsabet Boys High School is in the same area as Kabiyet High School. Kabiyet High School is also an old school. It has all the facilities and teachers but you never get a student attaining a grade above C+. Why? I thank the teachers in Kapsabet Boys High School because they work hard. I am not only talking about these specific schools but we have to peg teachers salaries countrywide to performance contracts so that they can work hard. Those teachers who fail our children whether in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) or Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) should lose their jobs after a certain time. I support the salary increments but they have to be pegged to performance contracts. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, talking about employment of teachers, I do not know why the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is against Mosop Constituency. We go to the District Education Board (DEB) and find that the Ministry of Education has done the shortlisting of teachers. The District Commissioner sits on the DEB as its chairman and we pass what the DEO and her staff have done. We have a good DEO who is a lady. We pass it to the DC because we find no fault with it. It is written to the TSC and then we are told that these teachers from Mosop have to be reduced. I want to be told whether we are part of this Republic and if we are, why are they against my people? In the other year when they employed teachers, I had to come to the TSC and quarrel with the Chairman. I do not want to be quarrelling. This year again they have reduced the number of recruited teachers by eight and transferred them to other areas. It is thoroughly discouraging. I think justice has to be done and be seen to be done. In other areas, they are now employing graduates of 2003 and 2004. I am still struggling with graduates of 1998/1999 and 2000/2001. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, somebody has also talked about the registration of the BOGs. It takes six months and, meanwhile, there is no BOG because the headmaster says that you are no longer on this BOG. So, without a legally gazetted BOG, the head teacher and a few friends do what they want. So, I agree that the Minister is busy. Even if it means amending the Education Act here, we should do it because I think it is in the rules. Let the Minister change the rules so that we find somebody else, like the Permanent Secretary or an Under Secretary, to be signing the lists of the BOG members. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to end by saying that we should go back to the 7-4-2-3 system of education where we had "A" levels. If we had "A" levels, then I think the Government could afford to provide free secondary school education. The only expense the Minister will have introduced is in the ASAl areas because he would have to introduce boarding schools there. 3048 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES October 18, 2006 Provide us with free education in secondary schools and make them day schools. Let us build all the day schools we want with the CDF and then provide free secondary school education. I tell you if you want to sit on those benches again come 2008, provide free secondary school education and make it day-based. You will have to support the secondary boarding schools in ASAL areas. However, I do not see any reason whatsoever in the high potential areas to force parents to pay for expensive boarding schools. However, give us free education and I will tell Kenyans to vote for you. Thank you.
There are two Assistant Ministers who have caught my eye for quite some time now. Let us have Mr. Miriti and then, Mr. Wetangula in that order!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Did you say that they continue one after the other?
No! I mean when I come back.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I hope that they will take cognisance of the fact that, those who spoke in the morning may have a chance now.
Order, Mr. Sungu! You are now policing the Chair. That can cost you the chance to speak this afternoon! But I will forgive you.
Mr. Miriti, please, continue.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for forgiving Mr. Sungu. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. First, let me commend Prof. George Saitoti, Prof. Karega Mutahi, Dr. Noah Wekesa and all the officers in the Ministry of Education for the exemplary work that they have done. Kenyans are very proud of what has happened in the Ministry and the services that are being rendered. Indeed---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. We do not have a quorum!
Yes, indeed! Can you confirm that there is no quorum? There is no quorum and, therefore, I order the Division Bell to be rung!
Order, hon. Members! I ordered that the Division Bell be rung and it was rung for more than five minutes. As we all know, the quorum in this House requires the presence of 30 hon. Members. I am informed that there are only 25 hon. Members in the House now. I,
therefore, have no alternative, but to adjourn the proceedings of today. It is unfortunate that this Day of Committee of Supply is lost and we shall have to start afresh all over again. I would like to appeal to hon. Members to take the business of the House more seriously to avoid this kind of waste. October 18, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3049
Hon. Members, it is now time for the interruption of business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow Thursday, 19th October, 2006 at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 5.50 p.m.