Secondary school heads have been warned against increasing school fees as parents and students prepare for first term, which kicks off next week.
Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi and Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said action shall be taken against principals found to have hiked fees.
Speaking yesterday during the release of this year's KCPE results, Kipsang said examination fees must also be struck off the fees structures.
He said the Government will settle examination fees for all candidates in public schools by March next year.
"We are warning school heads that are still sending fee structures to parents with increased fees that we shall punish them," said Kipsang.
He said all learners who get free education money will benefit from examination fees waiver. Kipsang was responding to questions raised by Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) chairperson Kabiru Kinyanjui.
"We kindly urge the ministry to give us the guidelines that will clearly tell us who benefits and who does not. We also request that the money is paid early enough," said Kinyanjui.
Kipsang said: "We shall make one tranche payment to all schools in time so that Knec can register them."
Prof Kaimenyi said the Government is committed to providing quality secondary education that is accessible, equitable, relevant and affordable.
He said the task force he set up to come up with a realistic unit cost of secondary education made far-reaching proposals that once implemented will drastically reduce cost of learning.
He, however, did not directly address the maximum fees chargeable per school as recommended by the Kilemi Mwiria team.
Kaimenyi said before the full implementation of the report, his ministry has rolled out cost-cutting measures that all schools must comply with.
He pointed out that the Teachers Service Commission must rationalise teacher deployment for equitable distribution.
"This will remove the burden of hiring Board of Management teachers from parents," he said.
Kaimenyi said the establishment of new schools shall only be informed by their viability and mapping data on the recommendation of County Education Boards.
"This will ensure optimum use of available schools and consequently reduce the burden of constructing and equipping schools on parents," said Kaimenyi.
He said day secondary schools that do not have the minimum two streams will be merged, adding that class size will also be capped at 35.