Union wants State to increase capitation fee

EDUCATION |

KUPPET Chairman Omboko Milemba at his home in Esirulo in Emuhaya. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has petitioned the national government to increase capitation fees to schools.

According to Kuppet national chairman and Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba, the capitation fees has never been reviewed since the introduction of free primary and subsided secondary education, despite a myriad of challenges in schools. 

Mr Milemba said the crash learning programme had made matters worse because school terms had been shortened and lumped together at the expense of learners. Parents had also been affected as they faced the onerous task of clearing fees within a short time.

The lawmaker said the Covid-19 pandemic left many parents exposed and broke "and the Government should have increased the capitation to give them room to breathe."

Schools have closed for one week and will reopen on July 27, under the 2021 academic calendar.

"Parents are already feeling the pinch because they will be required to dig deep into their pockets to pay fees again," said Milemba.

KUPPET Chairman Omboko Milemba. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

He fears that parents and headteachers may be overwhelmed in case the Government fails to increase the capitation fee.

"Increasing capitation will reduce fee payable by the parents and help headteachers to utilise the funds on improving infrastructural development in their institutions," he argued.

Usually, the Government remits Sh22,444 per head to cater for learning materials, medical insurance and activity charges.

“Let the amount paid per student be increased to Sh32,000 to relieve the parents and empower headteachers,” said Milemba.

Ordinarily, the disbursements are made in four instalments across the year, with a quarterly payment of Sh5,560, which Milemba said was little.

“They should release the whole amount to schools for the smooth running of the schools."

His sentiments come hot on the heels of the Government decision to review school fees in public secondary schools. Students in national and extra-county schools in major towns will pay a maximum yearly fee of Sh45,000 from Sh55,000.

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