Govt Bans School Principals From Taking Loans to Buy Buses.
Principals are prohibited from obtaining loans to purchase school buses.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu has issued a directive mandating that school principals seek his approval before purchasing a bus.
It is understandable that schools find it convenient to organize their own trips when a bus is available.
Despite the fact that purchasing a bus is not a priority, school administrators exert pressure on parents and students to fund this expenditure.
Parents have complained that school principals are taking out bus loans and placing the financial burden on them.
In an era of belt-tightening due to extremely difficult economic conditions, Machogu’s order may appear draconian at first glance.
“Schools may not enter into financial contracts without the express written approval by the Cabinet Secretary,” the circular reads.
This includes rent-to-own and bank loans, which according to PS Jwan violate the Basic Education Act.
Lawrence Nyakweba, the principal of Dagoretti High School, applauded this move, stating that some schools have not been following the correct procedures.
Nyakweba stated that the correct channel for initiating approval is the school board of directors.
Nyakweba stated, “It has always been the case, there is no shortcut, but some individuals refuse to follow the procedure.”
According to the principal in charge, schools enter into such partnerships not only for school buses, but also for the construction of housing for teachers.
“In turn, teachers rent the houses, and the rent is used to repay the loan; this is to keep teachers in school and ensure they deliver the curriculum,” he continued.
The PS stated that school principals would be held accountable for all school-related financial transactions.
“An accounting officer may not authorise payment to be made out of funds earmarked for specific activities ,” Jwan said.
This comes months after Auditor General Nancy Gathungu audited public secondary schools for the first time.
In July, schools were required to submit documents from fiscal year 2021-2022 and fiscal year 2021-2022.
In contrast, primary schools had their enrollment data verified by county education directors.
Due to the shortened school year brought about by Covid19, the ministry reduced fees.
National schools have been reduced by Sh8,500, while extra-county and county schools have been reduced by Sh5,500.
According to a circular from the ministry, parents will once again be required to pay Sh53, 554 for national schools.
National schools currently pay Sh45,054, whereas extra-county and county schools pay Sh35,035.
Next year, however, children attending national and extra-county schools will pay Sh53,554, an increase from the current fee of Sh45,054.
The annual tuition for county and sub-county boarding secondary schools will increase from Sh35,000 to Sh40,535.
“In order to meet the cost of boarding as well as maintenance and improvement parents will pay Sh40, 535,” the circular reads.
The Sh53, 554 will also apply to schools outside of the county.
Parents of day school students will continue to pay lunch fees, while the government pays the Sh22,400 tuition fee and other costs.
The Ministry of Education has also subsidized special education students’ boarding school tuition.
This category of students will receive the highest capitation of Sh57, 974, while their parents will be responsible for paying Sh12, 790.
The total cost of education for SNEs is Sh70,764.
“This includes a government subsidy of Sh23, 220 per learner for boarding equipment and a top up grant of Sh12, 510,” the circular reads.
This means that parents of SNE students will pay Sh12,790 for boarding.
Regarding infrastructure improvement, the ministry will provide Sh5,000 per student.
However, Jwan cautioned that the funds should be restricted to the purchase of immovable property or other infrastructure that requires an upgrade.
“For boarding schools, an additional Sh2,000 per student is provided for as parents contribution,” the circular reads.
Nyakweba stated that parents were also in a hopeless situation and could not shoulder the deficit.
“Some schools have been taken to court over debts, we were struggling during this period,” he said.
All elementary, middle, and high schools will open on January 23 and close on April 21, for a total of 13 weeks.
The second term for teacher preparation institutions, whose first term began on August 29 and ended on December 2, will begin on January 23, 2019 and last for 13 weeks until April 21, 2019.
As the new calendar begins in late January, affected students will have a two-week break in April, rather than the usual four-week break, while the ministry readjusts to the regular schedule.
Pre-primary, elementary, and secondary institutions will also observe a two-week break from August 12 to August 27.
From August 12 to September 1, teacher preparation institutions will be closed for vacation.
The KCPE national examinations are scheduled for November 6 to 9, 2019, while the KCSE examination is scheduled for November 10 to December 1, 2019.
Students will have a two-month break from November 3 until the end of their third term the following year.
As a result of the elimination of the Covid-19 fees subsidy, the government has issued new guidelines for school fees for the 2023 academic year, which will result in parents paying more for schooling.
In a circular sent to education officials across the nation, Early Learning and Basic Education PS Julius Jwan warned principals against instituting unapproved fees.
In accordance with the circular, national school parents will now pay Sh53,554, up from Sh45,054.
The government will supplement national school tuition with Sh22, 244 per student, bringing the total to Sh75, 798.
The circular states, “This case will also apply to parents whose children attend extra-county schools in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nyeri, Thika, and Eldoret counties.”
Parents will pay Sh40,335 and the government will contribute Sh22,244, bringing the total to Sh62,779 for boarding schools.