, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 4 – It was agony for many parents as the prices of text books and uniforms shot up as schools countrywide re-opened Wednesday for the first term of the 2017 calendar year.
Those who spoke to Capital FM News revealed they had to cough more money to meet the expenses of taking their children back to school.
“Everything is costly but there is nothing that I can do about it other than tighten my belt,” Geoffrey Otieno, a parent accompanying his son stated. “The shopping cost is high and the reason also is that inflation has increased and as a result of this, everything is expensive.”
Schools re-opened amid stringent reforms put in place by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i that saw the elimination of cheating in National examinations.
“In 2017, they should look at the issue of prices of commodities and this will help as parents. The school fees for my daughter has also been hiked despite the assurance by the government that it should not be so,” Sally Musyoka, another parent stated.
Fares were also hiked with many students waiting for up to four hours to get vehicles to take them to their institutions of learning.
A spot check by Capital FM News revealed many students at bus stops with some taking any available vehicle to at least take them part of the way.
“As you can see, there are no vehicles. The ones that are there have actually hiked their fares and this is making it difficult for all of us. However we are not complaining because our children need to go to school,” one parent stated.
Some students interviewed also expressed optimism of the first term of 2017.
“I am both happy and sad that school has opened. In the first instance, I have left my phone and secondly I have just lost my money so it has started off badly for me. But on the other hand, we have to go to school so as to secure our future,” Gladys Njoroge, a student in boarding school stated.
As the schools re-opened, a dormitory at Chulaimbo secondary school in Kisumu West constituency was burnt.
The dormitory went up in flames Tuesday evening before fire fighters from Kisumu managed to put it out.
The first term will come to a close on April 7, 2017 when students will break for three weeks and resume on May 2, 2017 for the second term.
The second term will continue up to August 4, 2017 followed by a break before students reopen for third term on August 28, 2017.
The year will come to an end on October 27, 2017.