Learners in primary schools and Junior Secondary Schools will now be able to benefit from bursaries issued under the National Government Constituency Development Fund Bursary Scheme after MPs in the National Assembly approved a motion to expand the list of beneficiaries under the scheme.
The National Assembly passed the motion after Gatanga MP Edward Muriu moved a paper on the floor of the House to amend the scheme to include more learners. The scheme will be extended to students learning under the newly introduced Competence Based Curriculum.
In his motion, Muriu sought to have the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) Board approve additional allocation to the education bursary scheme. He said this was to help support teaching and learning-related activities associated with the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) education, including school feeding programs.
While moving the motion, Muriu raised concerns that the NG-CDF Board has only approved bursary support for secondary and tertiary education learners, not primary schools and the JSS.
He added that the failure to extend bursaries to primary and JSS on the assumption that access to education at the two levels is free is inaccurate since the government’s capitation per pupil is inadequate.
“The education bursary schemes should be extended to support learners in primary and JSSs to cater for CBC requirements. Failing to extend bursaries to these learners has affected pupils whose parents cannot meet the attendant costs,” Muriu said.
According to the motion, the continued exclusion of bursary allocation to primary and JSS violates the provision of Article 27 of the Constitution and slows down attainment of universal basic education in Kenya.
The motion also provided that the NG-CDF Board in each constituency approve additional allocation to the bursary scheme to support teaching and learning-related activities associated with CBC education. This will include the school feeding programmes and revision of capitation per learner in primary schools from the current Sh1,420 per year to at least Sh7,760 per year.
Muriu added that the passage of the motion creates a foundation for a Bill to amend the Basic Education Act.