KNUT Wants Public School Parents to Finance Education Through New Tax
If a teachers union‘s plan to implement a new education levy to fund public education is adopted, you will pay a greater proportion of your income to the taxman.
Wednesday, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) submitted a proposal to the Presidential Working Group on Education Reforms (PWPER), which is soliciting public reactions.
It is expected to elicit substantial opposition from an already heavily burdened populace.
Collins Oyuu, the secretary-general of the union, stated that the current funds allocated to education are insufficient and that all working Kenyans should have an undetermined portion of their earnings deducted for the education fund.
The union recommended that the PWPER finalize the operational specifics of such a levy. Mr. Oyuu stated that the gasoline, insurance, and hotel levy model may be adopted.
“The problem, even with Competency Based Curriculum is funding. The funds should be channeled to an independent body with a national board of 11 representatives from the regions.
“The board should have representations from teachers, Unions and parents and should have management at the county level.” Mr Oyuu said,.
Oyuu said that capitation to schools should not be uniform, but rather based on the socioeconomic status of the communities in which the schools are located.
He spoke at the Knut offices in Nairobi when union officials hosted the delegation led by Prof. Raphael Munavu, the team’s chair.
The presentation from the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers (Kuppet) to the working group also centered on education funding.
The union advocated increasing the education sector’s budgetary allocation from the current 25.9 percent of the national budget to approximately 30 percent.
This proposal will be met with an immediate response from the government, stating that various other sectors are competing for these money. The secretary-general of Kuppet, Akello Misori, remarked that such mechanical replies disregard the significant contribution of the education sector to our country.
He referred to the existing allotment as “a drop in the ocean” and urged the legislature to allot more funds to alleviate the load on parents. Since the rollout of the competency-based curriculum, the cost of schooling has been a major issue for many parents (CBC).
“Education is a public good, and we cannot dispute it more. The government should provide learning resources so that all counties enjoy equity and equality. Mr. Misori stated that a working group can determine the appropriate budget mix to support education.
Knut and Kuppet expressed views on the location of Junior High School that were diametrically opposed (JSS). Kuppet stated that only secondary schools have the facilities and personnel to manage the curriculum content for JSS, but Knut wanted the new segment to match the primary school framework. Mr. Oyuu recommended renaming the JSS to intermediate school.
“Unless anyone is coming from the moon, only secondary schools have the human resources, libraries, laboratories and more importantly the culture for JSS. Teachers at that level are trained to deal with adolescents, whose onset starts at thirteen years, and sometimes even at twelve years,” Mr Misori said.
However, the two unions agreed that boarding schools must be phased down in favor of day schools. In addition, they decided to realign pre-service teacher education with the CBC.
“Capacity building of teachers is very essential for effective implementation of the CBC and achieving quality education. It enriches teachers with knowledge in the designs for the new system of learning and pedagogy,” Mr Misori said.