Parents urge state to take action against school principals charging illegal fees
Parents have asked the government to take action against secondary school principals who are imposing extra levies and other hidden charges in contravention of Ministry of Education guidelines on fees.
Parents have complained about being asked to pay Sh6,000 for motivation for teachers and an additional Sh5,000 for remedial lessons.
Learners who fail to pay the money are sent home and parents are asked to pay the money before their children are allowed back in school.
Parents claimed that they were being forced to buy mattresses, cups, plates and spoons from schools at exorbitant prices.
The schools were asking parents to pay money for motivation and remedial and clear school fees balance.
Some parents have taken to social media platforms to complain about the extra levies.
Mr Julius Kokonya, a parent from Mumias, accused a school where his son is learning of charging a compulsory Sh5,000 for the motivation of teachers and another Sh6,000 per term for remedial lessons.
“We are struggling to raise school fees and it is unfair for teachers to come up with other levies against fees guidelines set by the Ministry of Education,” said Mr Kokonya.
“This is extortion of the already overburdened parents,” he added.
Ms Jane Nafula, who has a daughter in a national school said the parents were asked to pay in excess of Sh20,000 above the normal school fees of Sh53,000.
“We were told that this money will cater for school uniforms, remedial studies, and motivation of teachers and payment of school buses. Most parents are struggling to pay school fees,” said Ms Nafula.
She said parents at the school were paying an additional Sh5,000 per year for a school bus.
“I don’t know which bus we are paying for because the school has three buses and several vans,” said Ms Nafula.
Despite the government ban on the sale of uniforms and textbooks by schools, a spot check indicated that the business continues to thrive in most learning institutions.
The announcement by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on January 24, 2023 gave parents hopes of having the freedom of buying school items from preferred stores.
Some schools continue to sell the items or direct parents to source the items from specific suppliers.
“This tendency to perpetuate impunity in our learning institutions is bad. The government should take action against school heads who defy directives issued by the Ministry of Education,” said Mr Mohammed Musiko.