, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has reiterated that stern action will be taken against any school head who arbitrarily increases school fees in disregard of guidelines governing payment.
Matiang’i made the statement before the National Assembly Education Committee where it was revealed that students in some parts of the country were being sent home to bring amounts as low as Sh20 for the payment of exams and other auxiliary activities in schools.
He cautioned parents that this is illegal and urged them to familiarise themselves with the fees structure and report any anomaly to the ministry for action to be taken.
“We are very strenuous on the demands we make of the schools. We actually not only ask for the letter, we require minutes from the parents meeting and we require the board of management approval before we even allow it and we need a further assurance that it is going to be a one off affair. I can even count one or two schools that we have approved since I came to Jogoo House since we have been very resistant to that effort to increase fees,” he said.
The Education CS stated that even in cases which warrants an increase, a rigorous process is normally undertaken and only after all the stipulated conditions have been met.
“We will gather evidence and we will try to push the law and we hope that our colleagues at the Teachers Service Commission when they get this information they will also act and move on this matter so that we not only step up on awareness but solve this issue by acting. We cannot let the parents to be subjected to when schools just increase fees suddenly and say instead of Sh53,000 you pay Sh85,000,” he said.
The CS urged parents to only pay the gazetted school fees and asked them to report cases of extra charges to the County Directors of Education, for action to be taken against individual school heads.
He pointed out that annual secondary school fees have been capped at Sh9,374 for day scholars, Sh53,554 for boarding and Sh37,210 for special needs schools, in a bid to tame the arbitrarily increases effected by the institutions every year.
“Boards of management in schools are expected to run schools within the set ceilings with austerity measures in place to ensure that the cost of education is affordable to all parents in order to achieve access and quality education for all children,” he said.
“County Education Boards must ensure strict compliance with the policy guidelines. They should take appropriate action, including revoking the appointment of any board of management in any schools where the guidelines are violated.”
The guidelines however allow schools to charge Form Two, Three and Four students extra fees for ongoing infrastructure and transport projects that had already been approved.