The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has stepped in to investigate the growing cases of school heads demanding illegal levies from students.
The commission has written to the Ministry of Education asking to be supplied with a full list of head teachers who are demanding extra charges over the set fees for further action.
In a circular to county and regional directors of education, Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan has asked them to investigate the reported cases and forward the same to the Ministry.
“The commission (EACC) has subsequently written to the Ministry raising concern over such cases reported to them. In the circumstances, you are required to investigate and compile the cases and forward to this office for further action,” said Dr Jwan.
The Saturday Nation has learnt that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is already handling and investigating hundreds of such cases before taking disciplinary action.
If found guilty, school heads and principals risk losing their jobs and being taken to court by the EACC to face corruption charges.
The PS reiterated that school heads and principals must comply with the Ministry of Education regulations.
Dr Jwan revealed that some schools have continued charging illegal levies under the guise of pocket or transport money using class teachers. In some schools, the principals let the parents’ class representatives announce the illegal fees and ask parents to pay through M-Pesa and other non-official accounts.
“It is reiterated that money paid to schools must be receipted and spent in compliance with the Public Finance Management Act,” he said.
According to sections 44 and 45 of the Basic Education Regulations 2015, no public school or institution shall issue alternative fees structures other than those approved by the Cabinet secretary.
Last month, the ministry asked school heads who had charged extra levies to refund the cash or channel it to the learners’ accounts to cover future charges.
In the revised school fees guidelines, the Education ministry reduced national schools’ fee by Sh8,500 while extra-county schools fee was reduced by Sh5,500 owing to the short time they will be in school.
For the 2021 school calendar, learners in national schools are required to pay Sh45,000 while those in extra-county schools are required to pay Sh35,000. The government pays for all students in both boarding and day schools Sh22, 244 as tuition fee.
Day secondary schools and primary schools are not required to demand fees. In the event they set a fee for lunch, they are required to seek approval from the ministry.
The ministry released Sh17.47 billion to schools for first term. Of this, Sh2.62 billion was for primary schools while Sh14.85 billion was for secondary schools.
Dr Jwan said the money released to the schools is enough to run them.