Accept whatever parents bring as school fee, Magoha tells School-heads

Education CS Prof. George Magoha speaking during the official opening of the 17th Annual Delegates Conference for Kenya Primary School Heads in Mombasa. PHOTO/Courtesy.

It has always been a headache when parents face the reality of schools re-opening as the need to pay fee confronts them. 

Even though the larger number of parents in Kenya have been willing enough to pay the school fee and see their children continue with academics and change their future, the sting of Covid-19 and hard economic times has proved painful. 

The recent directive by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha, is a cold water on the parents’ thirsty tongues. 

On the last week of 2021, while inspecting school projects in Mombasa, Prof Magoha warned school heads against sending children back home due to unpaid school fees. 

At the same time, the education championed for deliberations between parents and school heads, in which plans for regular payments through installments, shall be agreed upon. 

Arson cases

Instead of burning schools, Prof Magoha urged renegade students who are reluctant to go to school to stay at home, rest with their parents and even do their exams from there.

“As we start the new year, my instructions to head teachers are that among the renegade children who want to go home to rest, we shall allow them. 

If there is a child who doesn’t want to go to school and wants to go and rest with his parents and take exams from home, let him go, rather than destroy the infrastructure,” Prof Magoha directed. 

Claiming that those are only 0.1% of the students, he criticised the media for highlighting such a percentage while forgetting the larger majority of students and teachers who are happily soldiering on academic-wise. 

In Kenya, arson cases have been on the rise, causing wanton destruction of property and time wastage. 

Philanthropic parents

The Education CS left the door open to anyone willing to support schools and needy students.

He however made it clear that such contributions should be liberal and no parent should be forced to take part. 

Whether able to give much yet unwilling, or unable to give, no parent should be dictated on how much to support with. 

Even more, no student should be sent home because the parent is unable to make such contributions.

Instead, such children should be the beneficiaries. 

At the same time, he warned school heads against imposing extra charges on students and sending them home for such amounts. 

“You must not send a child home for extra charges, that is criminal.  If you want to levy children, then you must do it at your own cost and own risk,” Prof Magoha warned.

He tasked the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to deal with such teachers who try to contravene the stipulated regulations. 

Government’s capitation grant

While praising the government for its support on education, Prof Magoha affirmed that the government shall disburse it’s amount (capitation grant) for every student before the opening of third term in January 2022. 

“As we open for the third term, the government will make sure that the money is in schools by that time, ” the CS confirmed. 

According to recent data from the NEMIS portal, each public secondary school student in Kenya receives a capitation grant of Ksh 22,244 per year from the government of Kenya. 

There is also a top up of Ksh. 35,000 for learners with special needs and disabilities in secondary schools. 

Of the Ksh. 22,244, maintenance and improvement gets Ksh. 5,000 while the tuition category bags Ksh. 4,144. 

Medical and activity fee are also taken care of. 

The disbursement is done quarterly, each quarter of the fiscal year receiving 25% of the amount. 

Ready examinations

Prof Magoha also shed light on the forthcoming exams, stating that they will be five in 2022.

According to him, while the KCPE and KCSE examinations scheduled for March are ready and all the three others shall be ready by March. 

He reiterated that the school calendar will go on as earlier planned and even though a different government administration will be in office in December 2022, it will administer exams as planned. 

In a different address to primary school heads, he reiterated that CBC is here to stay.

“CBC is not examination-oriented. We are creating a holistic child, each of whom is important, including your own,” he said. 

He said this during the 17th Kenya Primary Schools Heads Annual Delegates Conference at Sheikh Zayed Children Welfare Centre in Mombasa.

You can also read: How parents can raise empowered, thriving children

Why burning of schools aches stakeholders’ heads

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Mr. Makau holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, Media & Communication from Moi University, Kenya. He is a Columnist and Editor with Scholar Media Africa, with a keen interest in Education, Health, Climate Change, and Literature. His contact: b.makau@scholarmedia.africa.

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