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Parents Decry Additional Costs As Schools Resume

Parents Decry Additional Costs As Schools Resume

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu is under pressure to act in the complaints of parents who have criticized the high fees incurred as schools begin a new academic year on January 23.

The costs of school uniforms, textbooks, and fees are putting pressure on parents. They observed that shops frequently take advantage of the season by increasing the pricing of school supplies.

Some further highlighted that the situation has been aggravated by the skyrocketing cost of living, as prices of goods have risen.

Although Machogu has cautioned schools against imposing more levies, school administrators will be obliged to come up with new ways to raise funds.

When the KCPE exams were released, the Cabinet Secretary stated that the Sh15,000 capitation for schools was sufficient.

Some parents have already complained that the price of uniforms for their children entering seventh grade is exorbitant.

In order to distinguish between the two student groups, the Ministry of Education instructed schools to develop their own uniforms.

“The type of school uniform will depend on the individual school, but what is certain is that Junior Secondary will wear a different school uniform than the lower classes,” Machogu said.

Teachers view the obligation to present proof of sufficient land with proper ownership documents as a burden that will cause them to lose focus on their primary job of teaching.

Schools are now required to receive approvals from the appropriate authorities, such as county governments and the National Construction Authority, in addition to legal certificates of completion and occupancy.

Some education officials have stated the government is inadequately prepared to meet their demands in terms of providing capitation funds, assuring suitable school infrastructure, and staffing.

Some schools have accumulated arrears in paying fees due to the repeated closing and reopening of schools over short terms over the financial two years, which, according to an official, worsens the situation of rising parents.

The parents also took issue with the book requirements for children especially those under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) with many schools requiring parents to purchase more than one textbook per subject despite the government’s order prohibiting the same.

Fred Matiang’i, during his tenure as Education Cabinet Secretary, issued a notice to have one textbook per subject in elementary, primary and secondary education. He noted that the move was a means to curb fraud by unqualified publishers.

The parents also decried that the school fees crisis as they noted that most schools increase fees in January during the school reopening as opposed to the rest of the year.

Students who have to travel far distances to access the institution also decried hiked fares. Reports indicated that a section of bus companies almost doubled the prices for long-distance travel.

Some parents decried that the cost of transport rose from an average of Ksh2,000 to around Ksh3,000. Lack of clarity in the Grade 6 transition to Junior secondary schools is also a key concern among parents.

Parents Decry Additional Costs As Schools Resume

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