Schools ignore Government fees guidelines

Education Permanent Secretary Belio Kipsang speaks after his tour of monitoring roll out of Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) materials at Tawa Primary school in Mbooni East Constituency, Makueni County on January 8, 2019. [John Muia, Standard]
Secondary schools are again on the spot for violating Government fee guidelines and burdening parents with extra charges.

Some school principals and boards of management have come up with ways to circumvent a Government circular that limits the fees they can charge.

They communicate some requirements such as teachers' motivational fees verbally without listing them in the fee structure.

This pushes the fees above the recommended caps by over Sh10,000 in some cases.

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One such school in Kakamega County that falls under Category B is supposed to charge Sh40,535 per student annually.

However, parents are paying Sh53,554 a year. According to the fee structure for 2019 signed by the principal, each parent is now paying an extra Sh13,109.

With the school having a student population of 1,440, it means the management is raking in Sh18.7 million illegally.

“We are unhappy about the charges. Older parents are telling us they have never seen the school magazine despite paying Sh400 per child annually for the magazine, which is not recorded in the fee structure," said one parent.

"We also pay Sh7,500 a year as motivation fees for teachers.“

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Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang on December 25 last year issued a circular on the guidelines of the implementation of Free Day Secondary Education for this year.

According to the circular, all learners in public secondary schools are set to receive Sh22,224 each annually to cover tuition, medical, activity, maintenance and development.

Fee guidelines

The circular also has fee guidelines for boarding and day secondary schools. According to the guidelines, parents with students in category A schools are supposed to pay Sh53,554 annually, bringing the total when added to Sh22,224 to Sh75,798.

Category A schools are all national schools and extra-county schools in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nyeri, Thika and Eldoret.

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The ministry has capped the fees for boarding schools in category B at Sh40,535, bringing the total to Sh62,779 a year.

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