Parents are calling on the Ministry of Education officials to enforce the order by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to protect them from exploitation by schools in the ongoing Form 1 admission exercise.
This is after details emerged that schools are doing business with them by forcing them to buy Form 1 admission items in specified shops at exorbitant prices.
In one school in Nakuru, Bahati girls secondary school, parents are required to pay sh 25,000 for a mattress, 2 blankets, a bedcover, a cup, a spoon, a plate and school uniforms.
Some parents say this is too high considering that they still have sh 22,000 term one fees to pay.
Despite Education CS George Magoha pleading with Principals to be considerate and stop overburdening parents with unnecessary items, some have used the opportunity to mint cash from the parents.
During the release of KCPE results, Magoha warned school Principals against exploiting parents during the exercise.
“To avoid overburdening parents, I direct principals to stop listing unnecessary items,” Prof Magoha said.
The CS also directed principals to admit all students allocated to their institutions, including those who have 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 CS 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 Education Cabinet Secretary George 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 the CS, 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.”
Magoha asked parents to only pay fees set by the ministry and to report to the nearest education office any cases where a student is turned away for not paying the extra fees some school heads charge or the other levies.
Magoha, at the same time, challenged parents and guardians to take their obligations seriously by ensuring prompt payment of school fees in boarding schools.
“I urge members of the public to report any cases of learners who fail to join Form One. We will mount a nationwide monitoring exercise to ensure Form One students join the schools they were selected to and that fee guidelines are strictly adhered to,” said the CS.