A parents’ association Monday threatened to move to court to halt Form One selection to force the government to take disciplinary action against principals who have ignored its directive on school fees.
This came as Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i asked County Education Boards to revoke appointments of any Board of Management in schools violating the fee guidelines.
Kenya National Association of Parents (KNPA) Secretary-General Musau Ndunda, however, did not disclose the exact day the lobby would move to court, but said its lawyers were preparing court documents.
The selection will be launched on January 21.
“We are targeting the Form One selection because we want the government to feel the pain of failing to enforce its own guidelines,” said Mr Ndunda at a press conference in Nairobi.
“We want a consent order that will allow us as parents’ association to pursue individual teachers who ignore this guidelines.”
On Monday, Dr Matiang’i advised parents to only pay the fees indicated in the gazette notice and report to county education directors, incidents of any students turned away for not paying higher fees.
He asked county education boards to ensure strict compliance with the policy guidelines.
“The directors should take appropriate action, including revoking the appointment of any Board of Management in any schools where the guidelines are violated.
“Boards of Management in schools are expected to run schools within the set ceilings with austerity measures in place to ensure that the cost of education is affordable to all parents in order to achieve access and quality education for all children,” said Dr Matiang’i.
COMPLY WITH RULES
On Sunday, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang ordered county directors of education to furnish his office with a list of all schools, which have flouted the guidelines.
The list is required to name the school, amount of fees in 2016 and other levies that are being charged.
Dr Kipsang acknowledged that some schools have disregarded the fee guidelines, set their own fee structures thereby continuing to burden parents with extra levies.
Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia also directed county directors of education to ensure compliance.
“Appropriate action will be taken on those who do not comply, in accordance with the code of regulation for teachers,” said Ms Macharia.
“It should be noted that a Gazette notice has a force of law and should be implemented by all parties concerned.”
Mr Ndunda alleged that about Sh22.5 billion was collected by school heads as extra charges and demanded an audit of the cash.
“As parents, we are tired of being exploited and that is why we will not get tired of moving to court because we believe that is where we can get justice,” said Mr Ndunda.
He asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to live up to his promise last year that the 2015 school fees, which was not used due to a five-week teachers’ strike be carried forward to 2016.
SCHOOL HEADS WARNED
Mr Ndunda also dismissed latest efforts by the Ministry of Education to demand an audit of fees, saying that it clearly reflects its failure in ensuring that Kenyans have access to affordable education.
“You cannot ask schools to give you their fee structures in a day when you had a whole month to audit it. They will provide a fake one. Let the ministry ask parents,” said Mr Ndunda.
He said the government must be concerned with the high dropout rate in secondary schools which he attributed to high schools fees.
Under the guidelines, released by the government in March last year, parents are supposed to pay Sh53,554 for boarding school, Sh9,374 for day schools and Sh37,210 for special need schools, while the government provides a subsidy of Sh12,870.
However, some schools have introduced charges including many that are already catered for by the government, while some schools charge students for services provided by the national government, such as funding county education boards.
Deputy President William Ruto has since warned of disciplinary action against school heads who have ignored the guidelines.