Tunza Mtoto Coalition resist Sakaja’s plan to give free meals to pupils in public schools and ECDEs. Nairobi’s governor faces a possible lawsuit over his plan to give free meals to pupils in public schools.
The Tunza Mtoto Coalition Lobby calls out Sakaja’s plan to feed pupils in primary schools. They claim that he wants to spend millions of shillings on a function that is not devolved from the national government. In addition to it not being a devolved function, the initiative would increase Inequality as it only targets a set group of children.
Muthoni Ouko, Tunza Mtoto Executive Director, said they had already written to the controller of the budget to reject the proposal. They ask her to disallow initiatives that are not devolved from being included in the county expenditure.
Sakaja on the other hand, cried in front of Ruto and the public when announcing the launch of ‘Dishi na County’. He issued a speech regarding the number of needy children in society and the need to have free meals provided to school-going children.
The main fault that Tunza Mtoto has with the initiative is that it targets only those in public schools and leaves out those in non-formal schools. She went ahead to explain that in Nairobi, there are 250 public schools but over 3000 non-formal schools. Most of the non-formal schools are in informal Settlements such as Kibera, Mukuru and many more.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel Switch TV
According to the constitution written after devolution, primary education is not devolved. Early Children Development Education (ECDE) centers however are a devolved unit. The lobby suggests that had the initiative centred on ECDE-going children, then they would most probably buy into it than right now.
Ms Ouko goes on to mention that there are hardly any public primary schools in other areas. Areas such as Imara Daima, Pipeline, Linda, and seven other wards in Nairobi. She goes ahead to mention that out of the 250,000 ECDE-going children, the ECDE centres only have room for approximately 28,000. Consequently, those locked out are forced to enrol in non-formal schools.
Part of the reason for the protest was that many children don’t go to school for lack of school fees and not because of hunger. The initiative would have been better placed on building more public schools and non-formal schools instead of feeding programs.
“We shall mobilise parents of the deprived children to mass action to avert a bad beginning to a seemingly bad five-year ride. The governor would only be feeding 11.2% of the children, increasing the gap of Inequality among children.”Ms Ouko said.