Primary school based initiatives for supplementing educational finance: South Imenti division of Meru district
Kiugu, Raphael Kiogora
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Education is perceived as an important vehicle for the social, economic and political advancement of a society. Thus, financing educational programme is an important aspect of national development. However, the Government of Kenya has found it increasingly difficult to finance the entire provision of education. Over the last couple of years, the emphasis has been on cost-sharing strategy and looking for alternative sources of finance. This study examines initiatives that primary schools can engage in to generate income in order to supplement resources forthcoming from the government, parents and community members through self-help "Harambee". Based on a sample of 40 primary schools, a descriptive analysis of data from questionnaire supplied to headteachers showed that: (a) Many primary schools are making proper use of school land at their disposal and consequently these schools have been able to generate substantial funds. (b) The headteachers are willing to initiate diversified income generating projects but lack of starting capital; managerial skills, technical know how and land are limiting factors. (c)The headteachers of primary schools experience difficulties in securing finances. However, they indicate various options from which supplementary funds could come from. These options include; schools' economic activities, community (self-help "Harambee"), charitable and commercial organization, sponsors and financial institutions. (d) Financial constraints were reported with regard to implementation of current and potential income generating initiatives. Recommendations were made towards effective generation of more funds and the provision of facilities. (a) If primary schools are to fully exploit their potentiality, their land holdings should be increased. (b) Schools' community, charitable and commercial organizations, sponsors and financial institutions should view education as a potent vehicle for societal advancement, and thus provide the necessary financial support. (c) The ministry of Education through the school equipment scheme should take the entire responsibility of providing all tools and materials required under the 8-4-4 system of education. (d) Headteachers should be acquainted with the knowledge of project planning, initiation and evaluation. Managerial skills and modern techniques of farming should form part of their inservice training courses. (e) Credit facilities should be provided to primary schools.