By Peter Amunga
Attached, please find a circular from the PS Education ref. MOE/CONF/G5 dated 8th October 2020, directing school heads to songle source rice for their schools. Schools are being directed to procure rice from the corruption riddled, badly manage; Kenya National Trading Corperation. Headteachers are protesting this.
KNTC have found an opportunity to reap from Kenyan Parents. They have metarmorphosised to rice supply with inflated prices for rice. Schools have been getting rice at the price of 3k a sack. They want schools to buy rice at between 5 to 8,000. They want heads to get that money from poor parents to buy rice at higher prices. That is unacceptable.
Lest we forget, KNTC are the same who were given the monopolistic tender by govt to supply text books to all schools. They minted billions by supplying excess text books. The student/book ratio in some schools currently 12 books of similar matter to one learner. In some schools they supplied books for subjects that are not taught in those schools.
The public procurement & asset disposal act of 2015 that were supposed to protect schools from such tenderpreneurs are silent. If it means we protest and march to their offices. We will.
Why are we seeing The buy Kenya, Build Kenya slogan mostly being activated only in the Education sector? Why rice? Will rice alone build Kenya? Why not also direct that schools buy Sugar from Nzoia or maize from Cereals Board in Kitale? Why rice from Mwea?
In a free Market economy, liberalisation is allowed. One is free to source from where better terms of trade are available. Single sourcing is a recipe for the death of small & Medium Enterprises (SME). Kenyans need to hold our govt accountable on this.
INCLUDE FOOD IN CAPITATION
What Magoha and the Ministry of Education should have done. first, is include lunch and school feeding capitation in their disbursement of Free Education funds to schools. This can be ksh.5,000/ per learner per annum. That way THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION can at least have the moral to dictate where to buy rice, or sausages for learners. As I write this, let my readers know, that boarding and feeding programs in schools are NOT CATERED FOR BY GOVT. PARENTS PAY FROM thheir pockets)
When Magoha sets aside funds for rice, he can thereafter, retain the money & channel to Kenya National Trading Corporation. or even Kenya Meet Commission to ensure our children eat well in schools. In addition, he can also channel the same billions to the sugar cane firms which are dying in Western Kenya so as to revive the sugar industry.
If the buy Kenya build Kenya team is serious, why only rice? By the way.. how many schools in Kenya feed their students on rice? To me sugar is more crucial than rice in our schools. Let MOE help revive sugar by setting aside money and chanelling it to Mumias. This will be a workable strategy of revamping & resuscitating the ailing sugar cane industry. We need to buy the locally made sugar to build Kenya. In the meantime, the cheaply imported sugar has led to the death of our infant sugar firms.
Ministry took away purchase of books from teachers, refering to us as theives. We kept silent.He has taken away payment of BOM Teachers. Tummenyamaza. They have retained Infrastructure monies & its approvals. Now they want to tell us,where to buy food? Kwani we cannot think?
The Ministry of Education skewed approach to rice and targeting schools is selective, suspect & counterproductive. As teachers, we shall fight it. If he insists, we shall remove rice from the school menu and feed our kids on the usual githeri. That he can take it to the bank.