The government has urged parents with children in boarding schools to pay school fees so as to enable school managers to meet daily requirements of running the schools.
When school reopened partially two weeks ago, education cabinet secretary professor George Magoha pleaded with school principals and head teachers to ensure that no child was sent home on account of school fees for both private and secondary schools.
This move placed heads of schools between a rock and a hard place since having learners in boarding institutions, requires that bills like meals, electricity and water to be paid.
In an unexpected turn of events, basic education PS Dr. Belio Kipsang yesterday (Wednesday 28th) urged parents to meet their obligation of paying fee balance so that schools can run smoothly.
“We are only asking for the boarding fee,” Dr Kipsang said after the launch of the Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) 2020-24 strategic plan yesterday.
“Children in boarding schools need meals, water, electricity and other services.”
Dr. Kipsang further stated that parents should not feel burdened since they are only paying what their children were to spend at home if schools were closed.
“Whatever it is that parents were spending on their children should be transferred to schools by paying fees,” Dr Kipsang said.
“School fee is dynamic. Every school has its way of dealing with parents.”
On the part of day schools, Dr. Belio said that lunch arrangements for students is optional. He further added that it should not lead to exclusion of students in the event parents fail to pay.
Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (Kepsha) chairman Nicholas Gathemia said the government should explain how free primary education will succeed when schools have no money.
Mr Gathemia added that the Sh1,420 per pupil released to the schools is not enough for necessary operations.
According to Dr. Belio Kipsang, 20% of resources are set aside to Special Needs Education schools. Each SNE learner in Primary school receives shs.3420 including Shs.1420 under The Free Primary Education Funds.