CS Machogu to school principals: No fee hike despite capitation cut

 Ezekiel Machogu

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

Secondary school principals have been warned not to increase school fees due to capitation challenges, barely a week after the State said it would not be able to pay the Sh22,244 capitation per learner per year but would stick to Sh17,000.

The government has instructed headteachers to adhere to prevailing policies and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education, especially on school fees.

“It is incumbent upon you, as school leaders, to strictly adhere to prevailing policies and guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Education, regarding illegal levies,” said Education Cabinet Secretary Mr Ezekiel Machogu.

On Monday last week, headteachers said they would be forced to increase school fees from next term following the government's pronouncement on capitation fees.

The principals had proposed an increase in fees from Sh53,000 to Sh69,000 for national schools due to inflation and high cost of living.

The principals, through their Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association National Chairman, Mr Willy Kuria, said Sh53,000 in school fees was not enough to run national schools.

“There was a time we had asked the state to raise school fees,  by then we wanted it to be raised to Sh69,000. The Ministry has our fee increment document proposal. The whole concept of school fees and capitation should be relooked at,” said Mr Kuria last week.

While schools are supposed to receive a capitation grant of Sh22,244 per learner per year, this year they received half that amount.  However, Mr Machogu said the state had prescribed the maximum fees that each level of school could charge.

“We have prohibited the collection of illegal levies from learners and their parents. We have also issued circulars, capturing the legal position that Kenya,” added the CS who spoke to Nation.

Kenya National Examination Council

He also warned head teachers against withholding Kenya National Examination Council certificates for non-payment of school fees.

"These certificates are not to be withheld by schools for any reason, including non-payment of fees. These are policy and legal requirements and I urge you to strictly enforce them," said Mr Machogu.

The CS assured stakeholders that his ministry was creating an enabling policy and legal environment for an efficient and effective education sector.

He said the government has finalised the draft Sessional Paper and 13 Bills that seek to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform.

The Sessional Paper and Bills will be tabled in Parliament before the end of this year.

This will be the most comprehensive review of the legal and policy framework of the education sector since independence and reflects our commitment to making our education relevant for the 21st century.

The CS urged principals to prepare this year's KCSE candidates for the national examination.

“You have also been facilitative in ensuring the success of some of the reforms that we have already given effect to. For instance, starting with the 2023 KCSE, the computation of the KCSE mean score is based on English or Kiswahili or Kenya Sign Language, Mathematics and five other best-performing subjects,” he added.

He commended educationists for reorienting candidates to the new marking system, which last year saw an improvement in KCSE performance, with the percentage of candidates meeting minimum university entry requirements rising from 173,345 candidates (19 per cent) in 2022 to 210,133 candidates (22 per cent) in 2023.