New effort to save parents from school uniform nightmare

A parent selects School uniforms at a store in Mwembe Tayari, Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Alarmed by the high number of parents struggling to afford the list of items required for Form One students, an organization in Siaya has embarked on an initiative to provide needy students with school uniforms.

Tiji foundation has partnered with the ministry of Education and is keen on easing the burden on parents as form one students started reporting to school.

This comes as a number of needy students turned up in some schools without all the requirements while some parents claimed they had to spend nearly Sh50,000 to buy all the items required.

At Maseno School, a student who travelled all the way from a Mombasa orphanage turned up at the institution with only an empty box.

Spot checks across a number of schools during the Form One admission exercise as well as interviews with a number of parents established that the list of requirements had drained their pockets.

And it is upon that background that the foundation has embarked on a mission to ensure that learners are not turned away for lacking uniforms.

Through the initiative, Tiji foundation will provide needy students with school uniforms as they report to take up their form slots in the various schools.

Timothy Odhiambo, the director of the foundation said that they had received reports of several needy students turned away during the first day of form one admission for lacking school uniforms.

“We have done our calculations and parents spend about Sh50,000 to buy school uniforms and other requirements before even paying school fees,” said Odhiambo.

According to Odhiambo, through the initiative, schools will contact the organization for any case of a needy student reporting without school uniforms. The organization will then send the school uniforms.

“The goal is to ease the burden on parents and ensure that learners are not sent home for lacking school uniforms,” he said.

 “We have requested the schools not to send the needy learners home and instead contact us. We will provide the uniforms,” said Odhiambo.

As part of the efforts to ensure the initiative is a success, the foundation has partnered with three banks who will help with the acquisition of the uniforms. Parents will then pay for the uniforms over a period of time during the time the learners are at school.

Siaya Deputy Speaker Oduor Odong’o said the move will help several parents who have been struggling to buy uniforms to their learners.

“We have been receiving several requests from parents who wants help to enable them take their children to school. Some of them have been looking for bursaries and school uniforms,” he said.

On Tuesday, a number of parents told The Standard that they had been compelled to postpone the reporting date for their children because of being unable to buy school uniforms.

“I managed to get county bursary but I still do not have money to purchase uniforms. I will take my daughter to school on Thursday,” said a parent at Ngiya Girls.

The Standard
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