Schools Face Sh20 Billion Loss as Form One Enrollment Closes Next Year

Secondary schools across the country are preparing for significant restructuring, which will lead to smaller institutions and possible staff reductions due to a funding cut.

With only six months until this year’s Form Four class exits and no Form One class next year, teachers will face an unfamiliar learning environment.

This marks the first major impact of phasing out the 8-4-4 system as the country transitions to the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

From January, secondary schools will only have Form Two, Form Three, and Form Four classes as they prepare to host CBC Grade 10, Grade 11, and Grade 12, with the pioneer class reporting in 2026.

An analysis reveals that public secondary schools nationwide could lose up to Sh20 billion in government funding due to the anticipated restructuring.

Capitation

Schools currently receive Sh22,244 per student annually in capitation. The situation is worse for boarding schools, which will also lose direct fees paid by students.

National schools, where fees are set at Sh53,069 per student, and extra-county or county schools, with fees at Sh45,069 per learner, will be significantly affected.

For example, a national school with 300 KCSE candidates will lose at least Sh15.9 million, while an extra-county school with a similar number of students will lose about Sh13.5 million annually.

School heads warn that this change will negatively impact institutions already struggling with underfunding. Willy Kuria, chairman of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association, warned that a funding cut will cause serious distress.

Although the decline in student population will free up infrastructure such as classrooms, laboratories, and dormitories, Kuria pointed out that operational costs like utility bills will largely remain unchanged.

He warned that the reduction in funding might force schools to downsize, potentially leading to the dismissal of Board of Management teachers and some non-teaching staff.

Private schools

Private schools will also be severely affected by the decline in student numbers. Charles Ochome, chairman of the Kenya Private Schools Association, acknowledged the impending changes and stated that private schools will need to individually adjust to remain sustainable.

Ochome noted that private schools depend solely on student fees, and a revenue decline will necessitate changes, potentially leading to job losses if schools find themselves with excess staff.

On a positive note, the reduced student population could alleviate the chronic congestion problem that has plagued secondary schools since the introduction of the 100 percent transition policy.

Moses Nturima, acting secretary-general of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, said the decline in numbers would provide some relief to the teacher shortage problem.

He suggested that school heads reassess staffing needs when schools reopen next year. The extra classes could be used to resettle students from congested classrooms or repurposed for other facilities such as laboratories and workshops.

Funding Loss Impact Table

School TypeAnnual Capitation LossAnnual Direct Fees Loss (per student)
National SchoolSh22,244Sh53,069
Extra-County SchoolSh22,244Sh45,069
County SchoolSh22,244Sh45,069
Schools Face Sh20 Billion Loss as Form One Enrollment Closes Next Year

Key Points

  • Government Funding: Schools to lose up to Sh20 billion.
  • Direct Fees: Significant loss for boarding schools.
  • Operational Costs: Little change despite student population decline.
  • Private Schools: Adjustments needed for sustainability, potential job losses.
  • Positive Aspect: Relief from congestion and teacher shortage issues.

School heads must navigate these changes to maintain operations and ensure the quality of education despite the anticipated financial challenges.

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