Parents to dig deep into their pockets as schools raise fees

George Magoha

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha addressing Maseno School students on December 18, 2021.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Parents blame schools administrators for coming up with the charges without consulting them.
  • Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has warned schools heads against charging extra fees.

Several schools have defied the Ministry of Education fee guidelines and imposed extra charges, demanding prompt payment.

In the affected schools, parents have been asked to pay remedial, tuition, national exam, teachers’ motivation or trip fees. In those whose infrastructure was destroyed by fires, parents are to part with as much as Sh9,000.

Parents who spoke to Saturday Nation said the schools came up with the charges without consulting them. Kenya Parents Association chairperson Nicholas Maiyo said despite warning by the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), some schools are defiant.

“Some parents have reported to us that some schools are charging Sh4,800 for the national examinations, while others are charging extra levies like remedial fees, teachers’ motivation, high charges for schools that were burnt last term and other monies for trips,” said Mr Maiyo.

He said schools whose parents have reported to the association to have demanded extra cash include Kitale Secondary, Kathiiani Girls High and Uthiru Girls High.

“Uthiru is asking students to pay Sh2,500 as remedial fee per term,” said Mr Maiyo.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan had warned that heads charging extra fees would be reported to the TSC for disciplinary action.

The association said they are currently compiling a list of the schools so that they can forward the list to the Ministry of Education for action.

“Some of the schools, despite receiving warning from the Ministry and the TSC, have continued to defy the fee regulations,” he said.

Mr Maiyo said parents are facing hard times and the schools should not ask for national examination fees as the same is fully paid by the government. He urged parents not to pay extra fees outside the fee guidelines, unless approved by the ministry.

“Schools can only charge extra fees with permission from the ministry,” said Mr Maiyo

Kisii School parents have also complained that the school is demanding Sh4,000 for a three-day trip from each KCSE candidate.

“As part of the preparation of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination candidates, all Form Four students shall take part in a three-day academic and endurance trip. The upkeep and facilitation will be Sh4,000,” said Principal Fred Mogaka in a newsletter.

Parents at Mwimbi Boarding Primary in Tharaka Nithi complained that the school is charging double fees for the third term.

They also alleged that the school is overcharging them for repairs of a burnt dormitory. 

“The school has more than doubled the third-term fee from Sh7,100 to Sh16,100 without consulting us. They are also demanding that each child pay Sh1,500 for dorm repairs. With over 1,000 pupils, that amounts to Sh1.5 million,” lamented a parent.

But contacted, headteacher Mwangi T. Njeru defended the figures, saying the ministry guidelines require boarding primary schools to charge Sh53,000 annually. For the 2021 academic calendar, they have only charged Sh48,000, which was distributed across three terms, Mr Mwangi said.

“For the Sh1,500 charges for repairs, the school is considerate to parents. The total damage as assessed was Sh2.1 million, while the cost of the destroyed 130 beds and pupils’ personal effects is Sh1.378 million. We got some funds from well-wishers and the school board agreed that parents only raise Sh1.5 million,” he said.

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