, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 4 – The Kenya National Association of Parents (KNAP) is urging Parliament to amend the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act so that the oversight of Principals and Head teachers can be directly under the Ministry of Education.
Speaking during a press conference Monday , the Association’s chairman Musau Ndunda stated that this will ensure that directives from the Ministry are obeyed.
Musau pointed out that as a result of being under TSC, when an order is given by the Ministry; it is usually ignored since it is the commission which disciplines school heads.
“The TSC under the TSC Act section 11(e) delegated themselves functions which were not given to them under the Constitution and that is why we are saying Parliament must amend that section 11 (e) to scrap it so that Principals can now become managers under the Ministry of Education,” he said.
He further indicated that the association will be moving to court soon to stop the Form One selection exercise until the fees issue is sorted out.
“We do not want rituals, you know every year launching something and no answer is gotten. We have decided as an organization that we will be moving to court to stop the process of Form One selection until we sign a consent order in court with the government so that the people who are directly managing the education in this country can implement that,” he stated.
Ndunda revealed that the association has documentary evidence of over 100 schools have hiked fees above the stipulated ceilings. He says Parliament should empower the Education Cabinet Secretary to take charge of the TSC which he says has encouraged impunity in the education sector.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang had in the meantime directed all County Directors to submit lists of all public secondary schools that have flouted the fees guidelines by Monday 4pm.
In a circular, Kipsang emphasized that the gazetted fees ceilings took effect from January last year and schools are expected to spread the payments over three school terms.
Kipsang further instructed the county directors to ensure that no public secondary school under their jurisdiction violated the gazetted fees.
He had stated that appropriate action should also be taken on schools charging beyond the recommended amounts and without the approval of the Cabinet Secretary.
According to Ndunda, some of the added costs will cater for tea, hot water, extra-curricular activities and an education motivation fund among others.
The said schools have doubled their school fees while ignoring the gazetted fee structure and government capping. For instance, in Busia County, Ndunda said the students have been required to contribute money to an account called Kenya Secondary School Heads Association.
He stated that some of the schools are charging as high as Sh100,000 per term in fees.
The gazetted school fees structure requires children attending boarding schools to pay Sh26,750 in first term, Sh16,050 in second term and Sh10,700 during third term.
For those attending day schools, they are supposed to pay Sh4,600 in first term Sh2,500 second term and Sh800 in the third term.