Kenya national budget includes enhanced e-learning

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya has unveiled its Sh1.6 trillion 2013/2014 national budget with a raft of measures to enhance technology in its education system.

Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury Henry Rotich presented the budget today, estimating the country’s revenue collections at around Sh1.27 trillion.

Rotich says the government has prioritised the transformation of the educational system to focus on E-teaching and E-Learning.

“When fully implemented the policy will reduce the cost of buying and replacing text books, and improve access to information, communication and technology in schools and households,” said Rotich.

He says in the medium term, Treasury has allocated a total of Ksh53.2 billion for deployment of 1.35 million laptops to class one pupils, development of digital content, and building capacity of teachers and rolling out computer laboratory for class 4 to class 8 in all schools throughout the country.

This translates to Ksh17.4 billion each financial year starting from FY 2013/14.

 “We are, under the guidance of Secretary for Education, improving quality and transforming our educational system for a knowledge-based economy,” said Rotich adding that Treasury has allocated Ksh10.3 billion towards free Primary Education, Ksh2.6 billion for school feeding programme, Ksh20.9 billion for free Day Secondary Education and Ksh1.17 billion for Secondary Schools Bursary.

“I have also set aside Ksh800 million to upgrade the National Schools and another Ksh4.9 billion has been allocated for Higher Education Loan and Ksh826 million for Youth Polytechnics.

Kenya Revenue Authority collected Sh707 billion last year in government revenues from taxes and other fees.

Kenya has a total debt of Sh1.8 trillion, with Sh800 billion borrowed in domestic debt and Sh1 trillion as external debt.

The county governments will receive Sh210 billion which is less than Sh258 billion which senators had proposed.

The Jubilee Government is set to read its first budget after coming to power in what is set to reveal the priorities of the new leadership team.

The total revenue estimates for fiscal year 2013/14 is Ksh1,027.2 billion, comprising of Ksh961.3 billion of ordinary revenue, and Ksh67.0 billion of appropriations-in aid. The total revenue estimate represents an increase of 7.5 percent over the Budget Estimates for 2012/13. As a percentage of GDP, budgeted revenues are estimated at 24.7 percent in 2013/14.

The targeted revenue is predicated on projected economic growth, but takes into account the challenges Kenya has had in the past two years especially with collection of VAT.  The country therefore expects to scale up the ongoing reforms in tax policy and administrative measures, to seal out loopholes and ensure sustainability in domestic resource mobilisation. 

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