Parents’ complaints of overcharging fees by school heads have prompted the Kenyan government to take action. Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang has deployed regional, county, and sub-county directors of education to launch an investigation and gather evidence on how headteachers are imposing outlawed fees on parents.
Kipsang directed the education officials to investigate cases of imposing admission fees, purchasing desks, buying textbooks, and demanding lunch money, all of which go against government directives and policies. The PS has also ordered the names of all school heads who defy the directive to be forwarded and for the scheme forcing parents to pay extra fees to stop immediately.
Kipsang pointed out regulation 44 of the Basic Education Act, 2013, which states that no public school or institution can issue an alternative fee structure other than what is approved by the Cabinet Secretary. Headteachers found guilty face suspension or even expulsion, with the Teachers Service Commission directed to enforce disciplinary action. The government has allocated Ksh15,000 per child in junior secondary schools and Ksh22,244 to facilitate the transition.
Call to Action
Kipsang’s directive came after parents spoke out about the extra levies imposed by schools, especially for students joining Form One and transitioning to Junior Secondary Schools. Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu promised to push for the release of resources to ensure a smooth learning process. He also challenged parents and guardians to fulfill their obligations by promptly paying school fees in boarding schools. Machogu directed any parents who witness students being turned away for not paying higher fees to report the incidents to the nearest education office for action.