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Treasury Slashes HELB Budget For New Students

  • May 29, 2024
  • 2 min read
Treasury Slashes HELB Budget For New Students

A staggering 83 percent of students sitting the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam in 2023 will lose government funding due to severe cuts to the Higher Education Board (HELB) budget used. The shocking findings came from the National Education Committee’s report on the 2024-25 budget forecasts, overseen by Tinderet MP Julius Melly.

Minister of State for Higher Education and Research, Beatrice Inyangala, sounded the alarm, stressing the need for urgent action to prevent the widespread crisis in education. It faces a staggering gap of Sh11.4 billion annually. With only Sh2.4 billion allocated in the budget, the situation is dire; the money only covers tuition and services for minority students (21,512 eligible students). The ministry’s original budget allocation was reduced from Sh34.1 billion to Sh17.85 billion; Businesses in their third to sixth years face uncertainty.

The significant reduction has raised fears that students at four universities Moi University, University of Eldoret, Kabianga University and University of Nairobi, may not be able to access their courses. Find out if parliament has approved the current budget plan. Further exacerbating the problem is that rising costs have now surpassed a record Sh76 billion across all 36 public universities. The machine signed off on Sh22 billion for school grants. However, doubts remain about whether this funding allocation is sufficient to address the growing financial problems facing students and schools.

The revelations about significant budget cuts to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) have placed doubt on Kenya’s future education financing. With a shocking 83 percent of KCSE students due to lose government financing beginning in 2023, and continuing pupils facing uncertain futures, immediate action is required to minimize the impending disaster.

The discrepancy in budget allocation among colleges, as well as the possibility of higher dropout rates, highlights the urgency of the problem. Furthermore, the growing backlog of unpaid payments complicates the education sector’s financial problems.

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Kasaine Lewis
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