Ruto says school fees payment via e-Citizen is a must

President William Ruto. [PCS]

President William Ruto Wednesday declared that all school fees must be paid through the digital platform, e-Citizen explaining that this development was unstoppable.

He said the digital platform, 222222, was a transparent and accountable way of ensuring school principals do not introduce illegal fees to overburden parents.

Speaking on a day the High Court in Nairobi temporarily stopped the use of the platform, the President insisted that the government is determined to ensure the digitisation of government services. 

President Ruto was addressing Kenyans residing in Japan during his state visit.

“You may have heard the latest about school fees in Kenya. Some of the money paid by parents in boarding schools, we are insisting that it be paid through e-Citizen,” Ruto said.

He said ⁠the new policy that requires school fees be paid through e-Citizen, the government’s digital platform, will eliminate illegal levies charged by certain schools. “Because we realise there are illegal levies charged by the Board of Management of Schools that are prone to abuse, we want to reduce and eventually end them,” Ruto said.

He added, “The cash payments system is slippery and often an avenue for corruption. Technology will help us eliminate this,” he said.

He ⁠reiterated that the gains made in the last year are immense and should not be wished away. He noted that the reduction of more than 3,000 pay bills in government to one has helped eliminate theft. “When I came into office, it was not possible to pay for any government service with a credit card or any mechanism rather than a cash system. Now we have gone completely the opposite,” he said.

“For purposes of accountability, transparency and tracing of records it will be the norm not to pay in cash.” 

The government’s decision that school fees be paid through e-citizen was first communicated to all principals in National schools by Principal Secretary, Basic Education, Belio Kipsang on January 31. The principals were to submit bank accounts so that parents could pay boarding fees through the government digital platform.

Ruto added that Kenyans in the diaspora can also transact government business through e-Citizen and pay for electricity and water bills from the comfort of their homes. He said the government is creating opportunities for skilled youth both locally and abroad.

“We are spending about Sh650 billion every year to educate learners from primary to universities to ensure they access education. It is therefore important to spend that money to do the right thing. We must figure out how these huge resources can be monitored,” he added. 

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