School heads to start appearing in Parliament over use of school funds

School heads to start appearing in Parliament over use of school funds

School principals will soon appear before Parliamentary committees to answer queries raised about funds for their schools, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has said.

Machogu said the government has classified and categorised schools as a unit answerable to Parliament. 

“My friends, things are changing. Machogu has been answering questions on your behalf, but that will not be the case anymore as secondary schools have now been classified as audit units,” he said.

He said parliamentary committees will invite the principals to answer queries, unlike in the current case where the Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) or Principal Secretary (PS) do it on their behalf.

The CS warned the headteachers against imposing illegal levies that are not approved, saying they will face dire consequences if the parliamentary committee decides to summon them.

Machogu was speaking during the closing of the Secondary School Heads conference in Mombasa attended by 8,000 members of the Kenya Secondary School Head Teachers Association (KESSHA).

The CS also warned head teachers against withholding National Examination Council Certificates for students who had sat for such examinations.

He advised the principals to follow government guidelines, outlawing withholding the national examination certificate for students over unpaid school fees.

“National Examination Council Certificates are not to be withheld by schools for any reason, including non-payment of fees. I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate these policy and legal requirements and to urge you to enforce them strictly,” said Machogu.

He warned the head teachers against introducing illegal levies for students against government policy.

“We have prescribed the maximum allowable fees that each level of school can charge,” said Machogu.

He said a comprehensive review of the education sector legal and policy Bill, which has shaken the sector since independence, will be submitted to Parliament before the end of this year.

“We have finalised the draft session paper and 13 Bills through which we seek to implement the recommendation of Presidential working party reform submitted to Parliament before the end of this year,” said Machogu.

He said the reforms include the computation of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination of 2023 based on the mean score based on English or Kiswahili or sign language mathematics and five other subjects.

The CS said the new system had seen improvement in the performance of the KCSE examination last year and increased the entry requirements.

He said senior secondary schools will have three pathways under CBC Science Technology Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), Social Science, Arts, and Sports Science.

The principals attending the 47th National Kenya Secondary School Association (KESSHA) said KNEC should work independently and be held responsible for examination cheating.

The principals recommended that the Kenya National Examination Council be autonomous to shield it from interference by the State.

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