Magoha urges principals not to send students home for fees
George Magoha, Cabinet Secretary for Education, has urged school principals not to send away students for failing to pay their fees, but instead to negotiate with parents on how to settle fee balances.
He reiterated the government’s earlier assurance that tuition fees would be distributed to all secondary schools next week and urged principals to keep all students in school regardless of whether or not they had cleared their fees.
Prof. Magoha made the remarks at Malindi’s Barani Secondary School, where he presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for three Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) classrooms. Dr. Julius Juan, Principal Secretary of Basic Education, accompanied him.
Prof. Magoha urged principals to be mindful of the fact that the coronavirus pandemic had affected the majority of parents.
“Do not send a Kenyan child home. If the parent comes with Sh4, 000 and the balance is Sh10, 000, take the Sh4, 000 and agree when he is going to bring the Sh10, 000, unless you know where Coronavirus came from and you know when it will end,” he quipped.
The CS’ sentiments provide some relief to parents who have been concerned about the frequency of paying school fees following the education sector’s crash program to compensate for time lost when schools were closed for about nine months due to the pandemic.
Some parents have expressed concern that they will be unable to pay third-term fees for their children when schools reopen next week.
Prof Magoha, on the other hand, asked principals to identify parents who are unable to pay despite their ability to do so and send their children away for the fees.
“If you have evidence that the child’s father is a big shot in town but instead of paying fees, they spend most of their time in the bar, by all means, send their children home,” he told the principals.
Mr Magoha urged school administrators to be vigilant and to expel any disruptive students before they set fire to school property, claiming that arson in schools was the work of sadists.
“If you identify a small group of students who want to go home, let them go. This nonsense of trying to burn schools because you have not been reading, you have been on drugs and now you want to burn the school so that everybody else suffers is sadistic,” he insisted.
Prof. Magoha stated that the government would not be deterred by the actions of a few misbehaving students, noting that only 50 to 100 of the country’s more than 10,000 secondary schools had been affected by arson.
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“I do not condone indiscipline in my life and I am not about to condone it now. Any child who is bold enough to put fire either in his father’s house or in his own house, or in a public house, that one is a criminal,” he said.
Concerning the construction of the CBC classrooms, Prof. Magoha assured contractors that they would be paid on time, allowing them to complete phase one before the President’s April 2022 deadline and begin phase two by May 2022.