The Ministry of Education has issued new rules guiding secondary schools ahead of January transition.
According to a circular dated 1st November 2022, from Principal Secretary (PS) for Basic Education, schools are required to make changes to the instructions for KCPE candidates joining Form 1 in January.
The PS says the Form 1 reporting date is 30th January 2023. To protect parents from exploitation by schools the PS has ordered Principals to stop from making purchase demands to parents.
He has asked Principals to cease from directing parents to procure uniforms or any other materials from specific stores.
“Schools must not direct parents to procure uniforms or any other materials from a central location. At the same time, schools should not ask parents to come and buy items in the school,” says the Ministry in the circular.
This year Grade 6 and Class 8 learners will have KPSEA and KCPE exams starting on 28th November and ending on 30th November 2022.
In the previous transition parents lamented of high cost of items required to have their children admitted.
Despite former Education CS George Magoha pleading with Principals to be considerate and stop overburdening parents with unnecessary items, some used the opportunity to mint cash from the parents.
During the release of last KCPE results, Magoha warned school Principals against exploiting parents during the transition exercise.
“To avoid overburdening parents, I direct principals to stop listing unnecessary items,” Prof Magoha said.
Magoha also directed principals to admit all students allocated to their institutions, including those who had not paid full school fees.
“The idea is to admit a Kenyan child into a Kenyan public school. At the same time, principals should exercise caution while listing the requirements for Form one students as part of the measures to reduce the cost of education,” said Magoha.
In addition the he also listed some items which parents shouldn’t buy during form one admission exercise.
Some of the items managements of secondary schools have been demanding from students on admission and which Magoha said are unnecessary include; exercise books, class readers, novels, photocopying papers, foolscaps, atlases, mathematical tables, hockey sticks, pangas, jembes slashers and hand brushes, among others.
Some secondary schools have been locking out students who do not have some of the listed items. But according to Magoha, some of these items, including exercise books, are listed as mandatory but are provided for by the government.
“As a ministry, we are committed to ensure parents and guardians with learners joining Form one are not overburdened with unnecessary requirements that increase the cost of education,” said Magoha.
“Stern action will be taken against school heads who deny learners the opportunity to further their education. I am instructing schools to fully adhere to fees guidelines,” he said.
He added: “Do not block children from going to the school. Let us give every child an opportunity to learn. Some of us would never have gone to school if we were treated that way.”
The new Education CS Ezekiel Machogu has promised to deal with cartels in the Ministry of Education department and schools.