Media reports on the Acting Cabinet Secretary for Education, Dr. Fred Matiang’i’s directive to the effect that all Schools buses have yellow colours by 30th March, 2018 have expressed concern that schools may not have the funds to execute the order.
The reports indicated that the schools may pass the cost to the parents yet the government has capped schools fees.
The concerns are misplaced.
The Shs.22, 244 that each student receive under the Free Day Secondary education programme includes money that caters for Local Transport and Travel for students.
This vote covers school vehicle maintenance, repairs, fuels, travel as well as insurance. This item ordinarily covers painting of the vehicles as part of its routine maintenance and improvement of the look of the vehicles.
So part of the Sh29.5 billion the government released for the first term of free secondary education is substantial amounts of money schools should use to change the colours of the school buses to yellow.
In giving the 30th March, 2018 dateline, the Acting Cabinet Secretary for Education was simply executing a provision in Traffic (Amendment) Act, 2016 requiring that all school buses to be painted yellow with the school’s name written on them in black.
According to the Bill, a motor vehicle designated to transport children to or from school, or for any non-school related activity, must be fitted with safety belts designed to be used by children.