MP: Principals using uniforms to con parents


Gilgil MP Martha Wangari engages students from needy families. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

As students are joining Form One, school principals have been accused of colluding with uniform sellers to inflate prices and fleece parents.

Gilgil MP Martha Wangari said schools direct parents to buy uniforms from particular shops at exaggerated prices.

She urged the Ministry of Education to gazette school uniform regulations and save parents from the exorbitant prices.

“The prices charged by schools for uniforms are double compared to other shops and this should be addressed,” said Wangari.

Speaking in Gilgil after issuing over Sh3 million worth of bursaries to needy students, the legislator said congestion was a major crisis in public schools even as cases of Covid-19 continued to rise.

“The only way of addressing this pandemic is through mass vaccination as currently, public schools cannot afford social distancing due to congestion,” she said.

Wangari also expressed concern over the high number of girls who had dropped out of school in the constituency due to early pregnancies.

She identified Oljorai area as the most affected, saying more than 100 girls had dropped out of school in Gilgil.

“The biggest challenge we have is that some parents are colluding with chiefs to cover up these issues and it is time the perpetrators were arrested,” she said.

The legislator revisited the issue of printing of books, saying schools were losing millions to cartels working from Nairobi.

“When Parliament resumes we shall summon the CS for Education to clarify this issue where printers are dumping unwanted books in schools,” she said.

Gilgil Sub-county Education Officer Eric Obiri said many students had challenges getting school fees.

“I urge the students who have benefitted from the bursary to exploit their potential by observing discipline and working hard,” said Obiri.

Area Chief John Kihenjo warned parents who failed to take their children to school that they face arrest.

“Despite the current hardship, education is free and we shall not tolerate parents who fail to take their children to school on allegations of lack of school fees,” he said.  

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