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Nakuru High principal interdicted for flouting fees rules

EDUCATION
By Augustine Oduor | September 2nd 2021
Nakuru Boys High School principal Mike Yator (right) with some of the athletes he trains during the Egerton-Mau Cross country at Egerton University in Nakuru on February 9, 2019. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Nakuru Boys High School principal has been interdicted for allegedly flouting government fees guidelines.

A copy of the interdiction letter seen by The Standard claims that Yator Mike Kiplagat breached clause b (vi) of the Third Schedule of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act.

“You charged extra levies to students in the years 2020 and 2021 contrary to basic Education Act section 29 while you were the principal Nakuru Boys High school,” reads the interdiction letter.

The letter is signed by Fredrick Ng’ang’a, the Nakuru County TSC Director. Mr Ng’ang’a said the interdiction takes effect from September 1, 2021.

However, the principal has been allowed to issue his defense. “You are invited to make a defense statement or response to the commission in writing within 21 days from the date of this letter,” reads the letter dated September 1.

The letter further says that the principal must vacate the office and continue to be away immediately.

However, he has been asked to “indicate the nearest TSC Sub County office where he will be required to report once a month,” reads the letter.

He has also been advised to forfeit his annual leave. The letter says that the principal will be given chance to be heard in person by the commission.

This means that if the teacher's defence is not convincing and is found to be culpable, he may be dismissed and struck from the teachers' roll.

In the meantime, the principal has been advised to present any other evidence including documents in support of his case.

The verdict comes after education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha asked the TSC to take disciplinary action against principals flouting fees guidelines.

“If TSC cannot take action on these teachers flouting fees guidelines the government will,” Magoha said.

This is after it emerged that most schools released fees structures that pegged annual fees payable by parents with children in boarding fees at Sh53,000 against his ministry advice.

And when schools opened last month, TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia put principals on notice over breach of fees guidelines.

“I direct that all heads of schools stick to stipulated school fees and avoid loading parents with unnecessary levies,” Dr Macharia said.

Magoha said the fees were revised downwards after the school term was shortened following the Covid 19 pandemic.

Consequently, Magoha directed national schools to charge fees less Sh8,500 and the rest of the schools to reduce fees by Sh5,500.

Basic Education PS Jwan Julius released a circular in June 2021 to all schools heads explaining that parents with students in national and extra-county schools located in major towns will pay a maximum yearly fees of Sh45,000.

Parents in these schools previously paid up to Sh54,000. These include schools in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Thika, Nyeri and Eldoret.

The circular also explained that parents with students in county and sub-county secondary schools would pay an annual maximum fees of Sh35,000.

However, parents whose children are in special needs schools are expected to pay a maximum of Sh10,860 yearly.

A look at sample fees structures however reveals that most schools overlooked the directive and are charging parents based on the old circular.

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