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ELECTION 2022

Extortion or quality education? Top Nakuru school charges Sh 50,000 annually for hostels

EDUCATION
By Winfrey Owino | Apr 26th 2022 | 3 min read
A secondary school dormitory. [File, Standard]

New parents at one of the top girls' schools in Nakuru County have decried overpriced fees which they are required to pay before their children are enrolled in the institution.

This comes about a year since the Government, through the Ministry of Education, reduced the yearly secondary school fees by thousands of shillings following the Covid-19 pandemic break.

A letter to parents of the Catholic-sponsored institution, which The Standard is in possession of, shows that Form One parents at the institution are required to pay Sh25,000 for beddings and uniforms and another Sh55,300 annually for hostels.

The parents have been asked to pay Sh22,200, Sh18,700 and Sh14, 600 as boarding fees, also known as hostel fees, for terms one, two and three respectively.

A snippet of the calling letter that was sent to new parents of St Bakhita Bahati Girls Secondary School. [Screen Grab]

In its communication, the school has directed the parents to make the payments via mobile money transfer (m-pesa) or to specific bank accounts in Equity and KCB.

“The management reserves the right of admission in the hostels. The hostels must be paid before the term begins,” the school management has communicated in its letter to the parents.

Then went on “Parents are required to submit bank slip bearing student’s name to the office for issuance of receipts. The hostels are run under Catholic values and traditions,”

On the other hand, the document provides a list of 24 items ranging from beddings, clothing to personal effects and some stationery which the student must have on the reporting date.

Additionally, the Bahati-based secondary school has also asked the parents to part with a separate Sh 25, 000 for mattress, two blankets, a bedcover, a cup, a spoon, a plate and school uniforms.

The document was signed by the management of the institution and bears an official stamp dated April 25.

The Standard has spoken to a former parent of the institution (she sought anonymity to protect her job) who said she transferred her daughter from Bahati Girls’ because the total fees was too high.

“My daughter joined Form One at Bahati Girls’ in 2019. After the pandemic, I could not afford to pay the school fees, pay the hostel separately and still buy her learning materials. It was too much and that is why I decided to take her to another school,”

She says her daughter is now a Form Three student at Nakuru Girls High School where the school fee is affordable to her.

In 2021, the ministry reduced the school fees after the period of the academic year reduced from about 40 to 30 weeks.

Students in national and extra-county schools located in major towns (Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Thika, Nyeri and Eldoret) are supposed to pay a maximum of Sh45,000 annually.

This was revised from the previous structure, in which the fee was around Sh55,000.

Other learners in county and sub-county secondary schools in other parts of Kenya besides the seven mentioned major towns are supposed to pay an annual maximum fee of Sh35,000.

Parents whose children are in special needs schools are supposed to part with a maximum of Sh10,860 yearly.

According to the state, each secondary school learner receives Sh22,244 as subsidy yearly. The amount of money is disbursed in four instalments across the year, with each quarterly payment by the State being Sh5,560.

The Sh22,244 remitted to each student’s account should cater for learning materials, medical insurance and activity charges.

“Following the shortened Academic Year from 39 weeks to 30 weeks, for the Academic Year commencing on July 26, 2021, to March 4, 2022, the Ministry of Education has revised fees guidelines payable by parents,” read the PS’s letter to all school-heads.

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