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Kenyan deputy president Gachagua latest public official to repeat misleading education funding statistic

When Kenyan president William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua took office in September 2022, education reform was one of the top items on their to-do list. 

Ruto appointed a team to assess and propose education reforms. Within a year, the team had produced a comprehensive report on what was needed to fix the country’s broken education system. 

On 27 March 2024, Gachagua met with the ministry of education and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) – the employer of all public school teachers – to resolve apparent disagreements over the implementation of the reforms. 

Gachagua said the aim of the reforms was to make the education system serve the country’s children. 

“The education sector is so important to our administration and to the country – that is why we have appropriated 27% of the national budget to the education sector,” he said

But as we’ve previously written, this number is misleading.  Here’s why. 

Just over 15% of budget allocated to education

The office of the controller of budget publishes quarterly reports detailing Kenya’s budget, the allocations to all spending units and the expenditure. 

The most recent report published in February put the total budget at KSh4.54 trillion (about US$30.9 billion) for the 2023/24 financial year, which ends on 30 June.

We calculated 27% of KSh4.54 trillion and came to KSh1.23 trillion. Is the education budget that big?

According to the national treasury, the Kenyan education sector includes basic, technical and tertiary education, as well as the TSC. 

The 2024 controller of budget report shows that the education sector received KSh689.6 billion in the 2023/24 financial year. “This amount represents 15.2% of the revised gross national budget of KSh4.54 trillion,” the report noted. 

It is not 27%, as Gachagua claimed. 

Misleading stat often repeated

Africa Check has previously fact-checked this misleading allocation statistic when it was stated by different government officials, including the president, the minister of education and a former education official

The deputy president also got it wrong. 

 

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