Without one hundred percent compliance primary school headteachers face interdiction by their employer Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
According to Education CS Prof. George Magoha, primary schools are supposed to have only three exams per year, one at the end of each term for the 8:4:4 and CBC classes.
While appearing before the National Assembly Education committee on Thursday last week, Magoha reprimanded school headteachers charging exam fees.
Magoha termed the fees illegal saying the government provides Sh35 annually per child to facilitate the administration of internal examinations.
The CS also ordered that headteachers should not send students home for failure to pay for internal exam fees.
According to Ministry of education one set of exam per child costs at most sh 12.
The CS said he has ordered TSC to take stern action against school headteachers violating Ministry of Education orders by charging illegal extra levies.
“I have given more than 30 orders, verbal and written, stopping the illegally charged fees and now it is upon the Teachers Service Commission to take action and some of those teachers have already been interdicted,” Magoha said.
Last month TSC interdicted Nakuru Boys High School principal for allegedly flouting government fees guidelines.
According to TSC letter of interdiction Yator Mike Kiplagat breached clause b (vi) of the Third Schedule of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act leading to job stoppage.
“You charged extra levies to students in the years 2020 and 2021 contrary to basic Education Act section 29 while you were the principal Nakuru Boys High school,” reads the interdiction letter.
However, the principal was allowed 21 days to issue his defense.
“You are invited to make a defense statement or response to the commission in writing within 21 days from the date of this letter,” reads the letter dated September 1 issued and signed by Fredrick Ng’ang’a, the Nakuru County TSC Director.
Magoha said primary schools lack excuse noting that the government has provided all public primary schools with two laptops that should be used to facilitate the printing of examinations.
“Through, the Digital Learning Programme, all schools received two laptops per school and headteachers are encouraged to provide them to the teachers to be used in typing the internally set examinations,” Magoha said.
Magoha was responding to a question by Kilifi North legislator, Owen Baya, on the logic behind the charges shouldered on parents to cater for internal examination.
The members observed that, as it stands, a big number of schools are levying fees for internal examination.
Under the Free Primary Education program, Magoha noted that the government disburses Sh1,420 per pupil per year to all registered public primary schools in the Republic.
“The funds are disbursed to the individual schools’ bank accounts in three tranches. 50 per cent of the funds are disbursed in term 1, 30 per cent in term 2 and 50 per cent in term 3. The funds are meant to cater for termly internal examinations among other needs,” he said.
On whether the government has given any go-ahead on extra charges approved by the schools’ Boards of Management, he said such fees should be on a voluntary basis.