Paying school fees on e-Citizen unstoppable, President Ruto says

President William Ruto

President William Ruto addresses Kenyans living in Tokyo, Japan on February 7, 2024.

Photo credit: PCS

President William Ruto has said that the payment of school fees through e-Citizen platform is unstoppable and vowed to crush any resistance to e-government by corruption cartels.

The President said this will help eliminate the payment of illegal levies by some schools.
"Cash payments are prone to abuse and we want to reduce and eventually end them," President Ruto said in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday.

William Ruto

President William Ruto addresses Kenyans living in Tokoyo, Japan, on February 7, 2024.

Photo credit: PCS

The Ministry of Education announced on Friday that the new method of paying school fees will start with national schools.

In a circular to national school principals through County Directors of Education, Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said parents and guardians will now be required to pay school fees through the e-Citizen platform. 

"The directorate of e-Citizen in partnership with Information Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA), Ministry of Information, Communication and Digital Economy and the National Treasury have been coordinating the onboarding of all government services onto the e-Citizen platform to enhance service delivery," stated the notice by Dr Kipsang.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said the collection of school fees through the e-Citizen platform is meant to enhance accountability and transparency. He said once the money is received on the platform, it will be recorded and immediately transferred to the schools' accounts. 

He said schools had been asked to submit their bank details to the ministry to facilitate the change.

William Ruto

Kenyans living in Tokyo, Japan, welcome President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel on February 7, 2024.

Photo credit: PCS

Mr Machogu said that in the second term, extra-county and county schools would also be asked to provide the information in preparation for the migration.

The new method of paying school fees has drawn criticism from various stakeholders.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary-General Akelo Misori said the new payment method lacked a policy framework and was bound to fail.

Meanwhile, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the change was an unnecessary burden on parents and learners.

"If you ask parents to pay school fees through e-Citizen, how will a parent living in a rural set-up manage to do so?" asked Mr Musyoka at a rally in Kajiado County.

President Ruto made the remarks after a Nakuru-based surgeon filed a petition at the Milimani High Court, seeking an order suspending enforcement of the government directive, arguing that it lacks legality and constitutionality due to lack of public participation.

Dr Magare Gikenyi has also challenged the Sh50 convenience fee and the introduction of a single account system.