Machogu warns principals against hiking school fees

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Parents with children in secondary schools will not be subjected to extra levies, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has said.

Machogu warned principals not to levy any illegal charges against the recommended fees.

"I wish to state that the boarding fees charged in public secondary schools will remain unchanged in 2024. Schools will continue to receive funds based on accurate enrollment data submitted by principals through the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS)," he said.

"Parents are having challenges now and we don’t want to subject them to more suffering. The government provides Sh22,450 for tuition and boarding schools will only charge something small for students' upkeep," he added.

The CS was speaking at Karen Leadership Centre, Nairobi, on Wednesday, during the 2024 KCB Scholars flag-off.

Machogu said parents are undergoing economic hardship and it will not be prudent to raise fees.

He noted that about 70 per cent of students who sat the 2023 KCPE exams had enrolled in secondary schools across the country and the government will mop out the rest to ensure a 100 per cent transition.

"The Ministry is so far impressed by the ongoing exercise with more than 70 per cent of all those placed in secondary school having already reported. I wish to assure you that we will make every effort to ensure all the 1,400,329 KCPE 2023 candidates have joined the schools they were placed in," Machogu said.

The CS announced that the government has given out scholarships through the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation and Equity Group Foundation, as well as awarded 9,000 Elimu Scholarships in all 47 counties to needy and vulnerable learners who attained 280 marks and above in the 2023 KCPE examinations.

"For affirmative action, candidates with special needs and disabilities who attained below 280 marks were eligible. Learners from vulnerable and marginalised groups with 250 marks and above were also eligible," he said.

KCB Group CEO, Paul Russo, said they will give an opportunity to tens of youths to not only dream but also achieve these dreams.

"Education stands as one of our fundamental pillars, given the crucial role it plays in shaping one’s future and future success. We seek to enhance access to inclusive, equitable, and high-quality education, aligning with SDG number 4," he said.

He further said, that through the programme, more youths will access resources, training, and the networks required to become the next generation of leaders.

"KCB strategically invests in the education sector as a catalyst towards youth empowerment and securing a better future for this country. Our commitment lies in nurturing talent, fostering ambition, and contributing to the dreams of the Youth," he said.

At least 4,657 students from 537 schools have benefited from the scholarships across all 47 counties.

In the last 16 years at least Sh1.2 billion in school fees has been issued and this year 1,000 students are set to benefit.

The funds will go towards paying tuition fees for all four years of secondary school, transport, buying uniforms and set books, regular mentorship sessions and psycho-social support, as well as school fees covering the university or tertiary institution they qualify to.

Russo said KCB has partnered with Kodris Africa, to offer coding lessons at discounted rates and allow KCB customers the option to pay in instalments. The programme has been approved by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KIDC) to roll out the first coding courses for primary and secondary school learners.

KCB Foundation Director Mendi Njonjo underscored the transformative impact of the KCB scholarship initiative on the lives of aspiring students.

Njonjo emphasized the Foundation's commitment to breaking down barriers to education and creating opportunities for those who may otherwise be left behind.

"Today signifies a pivotal moment for KCB as we embark on the mission to foster inclusive, equitable, and high-quality education. This is a significant step forward in our commitment to breaking down barriers and opening doors of opportunities," the director said.

National Bank Managing Director Odhiambo George appreciated the collective efforts of stakeholders and partners.

"As we embark on this transformative mission, KCB and NBK stand shoulder to shoulder, united in our commitment to empower the next generation with the tools they need to thrive," he said.