Parents took to the social media to protest exuberant charges on items by some secondary schools as requirements for form one admission.
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 parents.
During the release of KCPE results warned the school Principals against exploiting parents.
“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.
However some secondary schools are on the spot for devising new ways to harvest from the form one admission exercise.
At Kereri Girls High School located in Kisii county the following are the requirements and charges as listed in their admission form that have caused storm.
2 Skirts 2,400/-
2 Blouses with school badge 1,300/-
1 Long sleeved sweater with logo 1,100/-
1 Short sleeved sweater with logo 1,000/-
3 pairs of socks 645/-
2 neckties with a badge 500/-
1 bed cover (pink) 1,200/-
PE kits (navy blue) 1,700/-
Jumper with logo 1,700/-
Track suit 2,300/-
Weekend dress 1,200/-
Rain coat (navy blue) 1,800/-
White T-Shirt with logo 600/-
The school advised parents to buy the above items in school with the school local supplier.
Previously 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.
Some of the items Magoha said parents should not buy include exercise books, class readers, novels, photocopying papers, foolscaps, atlases, mathematical tables, hockey sticks, pangas, jembes slashers and hand brushes, among others.
“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 adding.
“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.”
“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,” he added.
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.
At the same time, Magoha called on well-wishers and philanthropists seeking to support children joining boarding schools to consider covering costs of non-tuition related expenses such as school uniforms and personal effects for needy students.
In this financial year alone, the CS said, Sh62 billion has been released under Free Day Secondary Education.
“We have cut the cost of secondary education by 75 per cent and even those in boarding are only required to pay money for feeding and a few other things because the capitation money is remitted,” said Magoha.