Principals push for increase in capitation, fees as meeting ends

Headteachers stretch during Kenya Secondary schools heads Association annual conference at Sheikh Zayed hall in Mombasa. April 22, 2022. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The five-day secondary headteachers' annual conference ended yesterday with a raft of resolutions, including a push to increase capitation grants and boarding school fees for smooth running of the institutions.

The over 8,000 principals who were meeting in Mombasa also called for the promotion of teachers in grades D1 and D2 to unlock career growth of principals in grade D3.

They also called for the creation of the position of senior chief principals as well as the deployment of more deputies to big schools to ease their management.

This came as the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) urged principals to use ‘kamkunjis’ and psychiatrists to address runaway indiscipline, including cases of arson in schools in the absence of corporal punishment.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) National Secretary Abdi Noor, while reading out the proposals, said principals should be allowed to bar candidates who register for examinations but abscond classes.

“We have resolved that the capitation and boarding fees be reviewed. The Ministry of Education should release the capitation and a disbursing circular in time,” he said.

The principals also called for the issuance of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) designs in time in readiness for Junior Secondary learners in January next year.

The principals called for a review of their medical scheme, saying that some of the services are not provided in some hospitals.

The principals proposed that the government should increase capitation grant from Sh22,244 to Sh30,000 and boarding fees by at least 13 per cent to aid the running of the institutions that are now running on debt.

They called for deployment of additional deputy principals in charge of boarding services and guidance and counselling to big schools to manage the increased student population following the introduction of 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.

TSC chairman Dr Jamleck Muturi advised the principals to adopt an integrated discipline strategy through regular kamkunjis, psychiatrist talks and guardian support to stem unrest.

Muturi, who was flanked by TSC directors, said there was a shortage of 114,581 teachers and noted that Sh2.5 billion has been set aside to employ tutors in the current financial year.

He said 6,000 secondary school teachers will be trained ahead of the launch of Junior Secondary class in January next year.

Curriculum Reforms PS Prof Fatuma Chege said the ministry was in the process of forming two committees to oversee the smooth implementation of the CBC curriculum.

Prof Chege told principals not to panic over the plan to have double intake, saying that it will last for only two years.

She implored upon the principals to embrace CBC, noting that various universities were already aligning their courses to the new system.

She argued that some secondary schools have extra facilities such as labs and classrooms that will help anchor Junior Secondary.

“You should not panic about the double intake. It is a temporary measure. You should also not fear about the age of students joining Junior Secondary because in the past, we used to have form one to form six in our secondary schools,” she said.

Kessha chairman Kahi Indimuli said principals would handle the issue of school uniforms carefully and avoid denying students access to education, adding that they fully support the CBC.

“We urge Kenyans to be patient with us because we are human. We are not going to be a hindrance to children joining our institutions,” he said.

He called on the Ministry of Education to constitute the CBC implementation committee in time to push for timely adoption of the curriculum among teachers.