Learners return to school amid delayed release of capitation

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu and Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang. [File, Standard]

With five weeks left to the end of second term, schools are struggling to remain afloat since the government has not released capitation to sustain learning activities.

And the weight of the cash crisis has now been shifted to parents with various schools demanding learners to clear fees ahead of reporting back from mid-term break.

The Standard has established that several schools have written to parents notifying them students with pending balances will not be allowed in class. 

“Dear parent, this is a reminder to clear the pending school fees balance for second term on or before 30/06/2024,” read a message from one of the parents.

Another message seen by The Standard warns that the students will not be allowed back to the institution with pending fees balance.

“Dear parent ensure that you have cleared second term school fees on or before 1/07/2024 as your son returns from the midterm break. Students with fees arrears will be required to report back with their parents or will be sent back,” states the text message.

Dozens of school heads interviewed lamented that running day-to-day operations is an uphill task without capitation funds.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) chairman Willy Kuria said day secondary schools are shouldering a greater burden as they solely depend on capitation to fund operations.

Kuria who is Murang’a High School principal, indicated that the situation is not very different for boarding secondary schools where head teachers face double predicament of delay in government funding and direct fees paid by parents.

“Schools did not receive the full amount of capitation funds they were set to get for the first term,” said the KESSHA boss. 

In junior secondary and primary schools, head teachers revealed they are not only struggling to meet their day-to-day activities, but also straining to supplement the teacher shortfall and necessities for the Competency-Based Curriculum. 

Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (KEPSHA) chairman Johnson Nzioka warned of a precarious situation in primary schools because they exclusively depend on government funding and are not allowed to charge any extra fees.

According to Nzioka, the state of affairs extends to junior secondary domiciled in primary schools.

While launching the fourth National Education Sector Strategic Plan 2023-27, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu announced that schools will receive capitation for the second term in the course of June. He said schools will get 30 per cent capitation for the second term.  

Parents on the other hand have called on the government to release the capitation funding to ease pressure put on them to clear their arrears. Silas Obuhatsa, chairman, National Parents Association on Sunday said that the funding from government will compliment funds raised by parents. He also called for government intervention to help parents be provided with a lenient payment plan.