President William Ruto has put on notice school administrators subjecting parents to illegal levies.
The President further directed the Ministry of Education leaders to follow up on the utilisation of Sh67 billion capitation fund released by the national government last week to schools.
He said the government released the Sh67 billion with additional Sh10 billion to NG-CDF as bursary and scholarships for needy students.
“We want Kenyan children to remain in school and it is an offense for any head of school to send learners home for fees because the government is catering for their education,” he said.
He warned principals who might have introduced extra charges in their schools that the law will catch up with them soon.
Some of the controversial charges are motivation, remedial, lunch fees and money for the purchase of full ream papers.
Grade seven learners are also not spared in the new wave of charges introduced by primary headteachers.
The learners are required to provide lockers, lunch and even registration fee before they are accepted to join.
When schools reopened Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu issued a number of orders for schools to implement for grade 7 and 8 learners as follows.
1) All the 1,282,574 candidates who sat the 2023 Kenya Primary Schools Education Assessment be allowed to join Grade 7 in the Junior Secondary Schools hosted by their respective primary schools where they attended Grade 1-6.
2) Grade 7 learners utilise the classrooms that were used by the current Grade 8 learners in 2023.
3) Grade 7 learners be allowed to attend school in uniforms that they used while in Grade 6 in 2023 as parents and guardians make efforts to buy new outfits for the JSS.
4) Grade 8 learners utilise the classrooms left vacant by the last cohort of the Standard 8 candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examination in 2023.
5) Schools must desist from asking parents to construct new classrooms for the current Grade 8 candidates.
Machogu had earlier said that for the Free Primary Education Programme, the ministry released Sh7.9 billion for the nine million learners in public primary schools and Sh14.7 billion for the one million learners in Junior Secondary Schools while Sh44.4 billion is capitation for the 3.7 million under the Free Day Secondary Education.
“As a government, we are concerned over the growing appetite for money by heads of schools to the level that they are prioritising ‘illegal levies’ at the expense of the education of learners. We will not accommodate the few rogue teachers who are tarnishing the sector,” Dr Ruto added.
Speaking during an interdenominational prayer service at Machakusi Primary School in Teso South, Busia County, Dr Ruto said his administration has employed 56,000 new teachers to fix the staff shortage in schools even as Parliament is expected to discuss the hiring of additional 22,000 more teachers this year.
He said 2,000 Tvet tutors will be posted to various technical colleges starting next month to accommodate the increasing number of students transiting to the colleges from both primary and secondary schools.
The President who was in Busia County a week after opposition leader Raila Odinga’s tour of the border county, accused the opposition of misleading Kenyans on government key policies.
Citing the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) whose implementation got the nod of the court three days ago, Dr Ruto said the opposition was feeding Kenyans with wrong information regarding the scheme, which he said will provide affordable healthcare to everyone.
But opponents of the scheme say most of the collected funds will go to administrative expenses, leaving few resources for direct healthcare costs.
Dr Ruto commissioned Sh650 million water project at Malakisi and allocated Sh200 million for water pipes under the last mile to Teso North, Teso South and Bungoma.
He promised to allocate Sh4 billion for the expansion of the Lower Nzoia rice scheme project in
He was accompanied by Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula, Sports CS Ababu Namwamba, Governor Paul Otuoma among others.