Friday, February 21, 2014

Kibaki govt to blame for high school fees, PS tells court

PHOTO | FILE Education PS Belio Kipsang. In papers filed in court, Dr Kipsang accuses Kibaki’s government of not establishing institutions that would regulate and set guidelines on school fees payment as envisaged in the Education Act 2013.

PHOTO | FILE Education PS Belio Kipsang. In papers filed in court, Dr Kipsang accuses Kibaki’s government of not establishing institutions that would regulate and set guidelines on school fees payment as envisaged in the Education Act 2013. 

By THOMAS KARIUKI
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The Education ministry blames former President Mwai Kibaki’s government for the agony parents are facing in paying school fees.

In papers filed in court, Education Principal Secretary Dr Belion Kipsang accused Kibaki’s government of not establishing institutions that would regulate and set guidelines on school fees payment as envisaged in the Education Act 2013.

“The outgoing government did not have the time to constitute the institutions established under the Education Act passed on January 25, 2013,” Dr Kipsang alleged.

He also said that the government pays a subsidy of Sh10,265 and Sh1,020 for every student in secondary and primary schools respectively.

Tuition fees have been banned under the Act and no school ought to change any except for extra levies instituted in schools, Mr Kipsang held.

“For boarding schools, the government allowed the schools to charge students not more than Sh18,000 as tuition fees over and above the Sh10,265 paid by the government,” he said.

According to Mr Kipsang, the current government took shape fully in June/July 2013 and it would be unfair to claim that the Cabinet Secretary of Education Prof Jacob Kaimenyi had neglected and refused to implement the Education Act 2013.

The Kenya National Association of Parents, which has taken the Education ministry to court, accused Prof Kaimenyi for not regulating school fees and offering guidelines on fee payment.

Mr Musau Ndunda, the secretary general for the parents association, held that the Cabinet Secretary failed by design to prohibit payment of admission fees in public schools.

Pointing an accusing finger on the Teachers Service Commission, TSC and its secretary general Mr Gabriel Lengoiboni, Mr Ndunda said that they violated the constitution by deploying principals and head teachers to execute duties of administration, financial management and control.

He called on the court to restrain the schools heads from deploying and assigning duties of admission, financial management and control.

“I ask this honourable court to issue orders against charging of school fees and other charges,” Mr Ndunda said.

Dr Kipsang said that schools have been seeking approvals to levy higher fees to offset the effects of inflation.

The Board of Governors, BOG and District Education Boards, DEB did reign in on schools on unwarranted increments of school fees and other charges, Kipsang alleged.

Kipsang said that boarding schools parents cater for boarding fees and other extra costs occasioned by the presence of the students but which should be approved by the Cabinet Secretary for Education.

“I have issued circulars to all schools dated February 7 2014 directing all schools to abide by the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education in 2005 on procedures of charging extra levies and secondary education guidelines issued in 2008,” Dr Kipsang said.

A task force was also formed on Monday to look into the cost of secondary education and make recommendations on fees which will be ready for implementation in second term, he said.

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