Parents want rogue boards dissolved

January 8, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – The Kenya National Association of Parents has called on the government to dissolve Boards of Governors in public schools that have defied a directive not to increase fees.

Secretary General Musau Ndunda said a number of schools have hiked their fees contrary to a belief by Education Minister Sam Ongeri.

"If the minister gives a directive, the boards of governors have no business to start defying the minister who is the authority," Mr Ndunda said.

He added: "And because they have done that, we are calling upon the minister to exercise his powers because we want cost effective ways in solving the issues." 

Mr Ndunda said although the organisation had managed to obtain a fee structure for only one school, it was a reflection of what was happening in other schools.

"In this school, they are asking the parents of form one students who will be reporting by 20th to pay over Sh60,000 and this is a public school which appears untouchable.  So we want to know whether the minister is in charge to ensure that this fee is not going to be paid."

He claimed that the fee structure of that particular school was full of luxuries.

"They are talking about a parent coming in to pay Sh8,000 for a dining hall project and in this school the dining has been on for the last 10 years, so we must be told whether this has been approved by the minister," he said.

He also expressed concern over the impending teachers strike scheduled for mid January and said if it occurred, it would greatly affect learning in institutions.

"What we are asking is why has there been that kind of misunderstanding because the people who are going to suffer are our children and that’s why we are saying the government must clearly tell us why they are refusing to pay teachers."

"We don’t want to enter into the debate but we are saying the government must change and sort out this issue of teachers once and for all," he added.

He said that teachers in public schools had been demoralised causing a drop in the performance in these schools.

"When you look at the results that were released last week, the best performing schools were the academies while the public schools were trailing and that’s why we are saying the government must increase the morale of the teachers by giving them their increment because when MP’s talk about their salaries they increase immediately," said Mr Ndunda. 

The government and the Kenya National Union of Teachers have been engaged in a showdown since 1997 when they negotiated for a pay rise that was to be implemented in phases but the government never kept their part of the deal.


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