- The British government announces it will halt its £20 million funding of the Kenyan government's education sector due to fears of fraud and embezzlement. Funds would instead be directed to organisations or "directly to schools."
The UK has today announced the termination of its funding of the Kenyan Ministry of Education's Education Sector Support Programme. The programme is key to Kenya's primary education sector, which has been quickly growing since government removed school fees in 2003.
A spokesperson of the British development aid agency DFID today emphasised it was "vital that UK aid money is being spent on its intended purpose. We could not be sure this was happening and so we have stopped direct funding to the Ministry of Education in Kenya."
Increased reports of fraud and embezzlement of state funds in Kenya have caused donors to step more carefully in the country. The British High Commissioner to Kenya, Rob Macaire, in a statement explained the recently witnessed "major corruption scandals in the maize, education, oil and local government sectors" had raised British concerns.
In particular the so-called "Free Primary Education Funds scam" disclosed in September 2009 has discredited the Kenyan Ministry of Education. The entire Ministry is now under investigation as the corruption scandal is reaching Nairobi courtrooms.
While the £20 million worth British direct aid to the Kenyan Ministry of Education would now be halted, the London government nevertheless reaffirmed its commitment to supporting education in Kenya. DFID would "allocate its £20 million education funding for 2010-11 in other ways, including directly to schools," the London agency announced.
"To stop funding education altogether would harm the future of Kenyan school children, so DFID will continue to support the education sector in other ways," the spokesperson said. "Education is key to helping a country develop, and DFID will support programmes for new textbooks and classrooms to help future generations in Kenya."
The UK would also continue to work with the government of Kenya "to address corruption, including offering support to an audit of Education Sector Support Programme funds," the DFID announcement concluded.
"The government has the opportunity now to show it is serious in tackling corruption, not just in education but across all sectors, and back up its words with action," High Commissioner Macaire added. "We will support those within government and outside of it who are genuinely trying to bring about that change," he added.
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