The KenyaParentsAssociation has condemned emerging reports of additional fees imposed on parents by secondary schoolheadsaheadof Form One admission on August2, sayingthey shouldfollowthe rightprocedure. Thesesentiments comeaftera report(by The Standard) established most schools were asking FormOne parentsto pay betweenSh5,000and Sh35,000 ‘development fees’ before being issued with admission letters. The school heads had earlier argued that the ministry’s fundingwas not enoughto improveschools’infrastructure, especially duringthe Covid-19pandemic. Some,thoughnot on record,said the extra money was to build more classes and dormitories for the learner’s comfort.In an interview with KTN News on Mondaymorning,NicholasMaiyo,chairof the ParentsAssociation urgedschoolprincipals to ask for approvalfrom the Ministryof Education concerning the additional levy.
“I am surprised to hear parents are paying for admission. Why? Parents should only feed students and provide personal effects,” he told KTN News. “We (parents) will not pay money that cannot be audited. Any money paid to schools and is not recognised by the Ministry of Education will automatically not be audited. That is a loophole for graft,” he said. Maiyo challenged school heads to discuss challenges (classrooms and dormitories) openly with the ministryand chart a way forward. “The principals need to sit down in their unions and come up with an MOA that will see the ministry approve the so-called ‘development fee It is only then that we can agree on the way forwardbecausethis way, we are hurting the parents” he remarked. In a recent interview, Education Permanent Secretary Julius Jwan said any charge levied on parentswithoutthe ministry’s approvalis illegaland asked parents to stop making such payments. “The guidelines are clear on what schools management boards should do when they want to raise any additional money therefore, wee cannot leave it open for all schools to charge extra levies,” said Jwan.
While pushing for fee increment in 2019, principals pointed an accusing finger towards the government saying it does not fund five key maintenance items in the running of a school. They said fumigation as a result of Covid-19, window maintenance, kitchen and laboratory maintenance, building repair and maintenance have not been funded.