What you need to know:
- Covid-19 has affected the education sector quite adversely.
- Parents need to heed the call by school principals and clear fees arrears.
Secondary schools are staring at a cash crunch as they resume classes this week after the mid-term break. There are two reasons for this. First is huge fees arrears owed by parents. Second is delayed cash disbursement from the National Treasury.
Last week, the chairman of Kenya Secondary Schools Headteachers Association, Mr Kahi Indimuli, sounded out an alarm that schools are groaning under huge debt burden and asked parents to clear outstanding fees.
Paying school fees has become a challenge for most families since the onset of Covid-19 last year. Many households have lost incomes and are unable to meet their financial obligations. In view of this, the government directed schools to give concessions to parents who were unable to pay fees promptly and allow their children to learn.
However, many parents have taken advantage of the situation such that even those who can pay have held back and the consequence is that schools do not have cash for operation. At any rate, the concession on fee payment did not mean complete waiver. It was meant to give parents relief as they look for cash to pay the fees, which is an obligation they cannot run away from.
Covid-19 has affected the education sector quite adversely. Last year, learners stayed out for between eight and 10 months due to compulsory closure to prevent mass infections. Since learning resumed early this year, the academic calendar has been compressed to enable them to complete the syllabus and recover lost time.
Resources are required not only to enable schools to provide quality teaching but also install and maintain facilities for Covid-19 preventions. In the absence of cash, school administrators cannot accomplish the necessary tasks.
Parents need to heed the call by school principals and clear fees arrears. It is not right to hold back on fees payment and expect services. The national government should also fast-track the process of cash disbursement to schools to enable them operate optimally.