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Kenya: Headteachers Want Parents To Pay More School Fees

Nigeria Student Forum / Educational News / Kenya: Headteachers Want Parents To Pay More School Fees (42) Views

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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing
200Level, Nigeria.

Secondary headteachers are demanding an increase in school fees, saying, the current charges are unrealistic.

The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) says the government is taking almost half of the Sh22,244 allocated for each student, leaving schools heavily indebted.

"We request the government to consider our proposal to ensure the schools are run efficiently," says a document submitted to the Education ministry by the association's chairman Kahi Indimuli.

CAPITATION

According to the proposal, the government is retaining Sh4,196 for textbooks, Sh200 for a science and mathematics improvement programme, Sh270 for activity, Sh900 for medical insurance and Sh6,000 for infrastructure. This leaves the schools with only about Sh10,600 out of the Sh22,244. However the schools can use the Sh6,000 infrastructure vote if they seek and are granted approval by the ministry.

The principals say they are unable to run the schools efficiently when more than half of the Government capitation is not available for use.

They want the fees in national or extra county schools in urban areas raised by Sh15,848 to Sh91,646 up from Sh75,798. This means parents will have to pay Sh69,402 up from Sh53,554, while the Government allocation remains unchanged at Sh22,244 for all school categories.

At extra-county level in other parts of the country, the principals want the charges raised by Sh17,773 from Sh62,679 to Sh80,452. Parents currently pay Sh40,535. For county schools, heads want to charge Sh70,216 from 62,679. They want the Government to raise its capitation for day schools from Sh22,244 to Sh28,501 per student per year.

"The Ministry of Education has created the impression that it gives a grant of Sh22,244 per student while the actual remittance to schools in 2018 was Sh16,676. Now it has taken away Sh6,000 for infrastructure development. The remainder is totally inadequate to run schools on," the Kessha document says.

REDUNDANT

Mr Indimuli suggests that schools be allowed to use various vote heads according to their needs since operations and priorities are not homogeneous.

"It is common knowledge that schools are experiencing acute teacher shortages and most of them have to hire teachers and other workers who are also paid from the government capitation," he says.

Draining the vote heads

Moreover, the 100 per cent primary-to-secondary transition policy has created the need for more school staff such as nurses, security men and cleaners.

"The government has shifted buying of Kiswahili and English set books and Mathematical tables from parents to schools without any additional funding under the free day secondary education programme, further draining the vote heads," he says.

The official adds that a directive that Sh6,000 for maintenance and improvement can only be used with the authority of the county directors of education leaves the boards redundant as regards financial management decisions.

CONSULTATIONS

If all the recoveries are done in 2019 and Sh6000 tied to infrastructure, schools will only be left with Sh10,000 for other operations.

"We have to have serious consultations with stakeholders on the implementation of free day school programme to promote access, retention and completion of secondary education," Mr Indimuli says.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Tuesday weighed in, asking the government to allocate more resources to schools.

Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion accused the government of being dishonest to parents on funds allocation.

"You cannot pretend that you have released Sh22,224 for free secondary schools, yet it's only about 10,000 that is received. We want schools to receive the capitation in full," he said, and asked Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to convene a stakeholders meeting to discuss the issue.

Kuppet Chairman Omboko Milemba asked the ministry to ask for a supplementary budget.


Source: https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Headteachers-want-parents-charged-higher-school-fees/1056-4979220-skf4b4z/index.html

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