Thousands of Students Sent For Fees As Examination Nears
A few days after schools reopened for the Third Term last week, thousands of students were sent home for non-payment of fees.
This is likely to impact candidate classes’ preparations for national examinations beginning next month.
Even though the government claimed to have released capitation payments, school administrators said that their schools are cash-strapped.
Last Wednesday, schools reopened after a one-week break, but pupils have been sighted around the country returning home as early as last week.
Many parents allege that some school administrators are unsympathetic to their predicament by requiring full payment of tuition, contrary to previous government guidelines against sending pupils home for payments.
A random examination revealed that the impacted pupils attend both day and boarding institutions.
Mr. Patrick Okwero, a parent from Butula, Busia County, stated that his two children from Lwanya Girls Secondary and one from Sirikhaya Secondary were sent home due to unpaid fees.
A minimum of 500 Form Two students at Chavakali Boys in Vihiga County were returned due to fees accrued since the beginning of the school year.
The administration is considering sending more from other classes because it has become impossible to keep them in school.
At Sane Girls Secondary School in Tana River County, not even candidates were spared; on the day they reported, all students with outstanding fees were sent home.
Principal Gerald Orina of Kakamega School stated that he had convinced parents to pay Form Four pupils’ fees before the second term in order to prevent disturbing their preparations for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.
However, those who have not paid their fees by Friday would be sent home, he said.
Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education Julius Jwan told the Nation that the funds had been released but had not yet reached school accounts as of yesterday.
The funds were distributed to schools on Friday. The delay is due to the weekend and the banks’ internal procedures, Dr. Jwan explained.
He disclosed that Sh16,3 billion was allocated to secondary schools while Sh1,37 billion was allocated to basic schools.
He said if they (principals) encounter difficulties, they should call the parents and negotiate a payment plan.
A head of one of the best schools in Meru, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that there is no money, and parents are accustomed to being told that learners should not be sent home, but their children must eat.
A principal at a secondary school in Busia stated that parents had accrued almost Sh6 million in arrears.
Tharaka Boys, Chogoria Boys, and Chuka Girls are examples of schools in Tharaka-Nithi that have sent children home.
Njeru Mutani, the branch executive secretary of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, stated that keeping pupils in school without sufficient food could lead to strikes.
On Friday and yesterday, pupils from various schools in Nyeri County were sighted at the matatu terminal after being sent home to pay school fees.
A handful of schools in Kericho and Bomet counties have stated that they have not sent students home for fees because of fear of government reprisals.
Mr. Paul Mwaniki, the principal of Igumori Secondary School in Embu County, stated that he had not sent any students home because “I doubt there is a parent who can send a child to school without paying fees and keep the money for themselves.”
The principal of an extra-county school in Kisii County accused some parents of exploiting the directive to not send their children home.