Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale wants private schools to use the 7 billion from the government to pay teachers.
Addressing the media, Dr Khalwale says school owners should not use the money to pay for outstanding loans.
“The release of seven billion shillings for private schools support during these difficult times of Covid. The owners of private schools are saying they intend to use the 7 b to offset loans and pay pending bills. We are saying no,” said Khalwale.
Over 3000 private schools around the country are set to receive concessional loans amounting to 7 billion from the National Government. According to Education CS George Magoha, the schools are expected to improve their infrastructure to cope with social distancing once the schools re-open.
The 7 billion comes as a loan to the schools and the owners are expected to repay at interest rates of between 2.5% and 3.5%. Apart from building more classrooms, the monies will also be used to improve the ICT sector in schools to expand online learning and build sanitation and handwashing stations.
Senator Khalwale, however, says the monies should be used to pay lump-sum amounts to the teachers serving in private schools. His sentiments, however, are expected to face a lot of opposition from the private school owners who would prefer to use the cash to improve their learning institutions.
“The intervention of the seven billion shillings is meant to cushion teachers who teach in private schools because teachers have not been drawing any salary they should give them a lump sum amount so that wenyewe wajipange,” adds Khalwale.
Private school teachers, unlike their public schools’ counterparts, are one of the most affected by the closure of schools. Since the schools only make money when learning is in progress, these teachers have not been earning any salaries. Most have turned to both County and National governments for assistance through the elected leaders. In addition, some have turned to side hustles like farming and hawking.