Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has told parents not to pay any fees beyond what is stipulated in the official guidelines.
Dr Matiang’i has added that schools need written authority to levy such charges.
“Don’t pay extra fees outside the guidelines,” he said while addressing officials of the National Parents Association executive at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology in Africa (CEMASTEA) on Friday.
Dr Matiang’i said schools charging extra levies should post the letters of authorisation from him on the schools’ notice boards to demonstrate that the extra charges were within the law.
In the fees guidelines, students in day secondary schools are expected to pay Sh9,374 and those in boarding schools Sh53,553 while the government pays Sh12,860 for every student in public secondary schools.
Dr Matiang’i said that parents should insists on two sets of receipts for school levies, the Sh12,860 capitation fees the government paid for students under the free day secondary education, and another receipt for the fees they pay directly to schools.
He also appealed to parents to be actively involved in the education of children.
“There is need for a parental revolution [for them to] take an active interest in the education of their children.
“Parents should ensure that the learning environment for their children is fit for the acquisition of quality education,” said Dr Matiang’i.
Dr Matiang’i disclosed that the government had spent Sh350 billion to finance free primary education (since 2003) and the free day secondary education (since 2008).
He said the money should have enabled the schools to attain 1:1 pupil-to-book ratio but regretted that this had not been attained, hence compromising the quality of instructions that learners are entitled to.
He challenged parents to ask the right questions to school administrators, particularly on books of accounts relating to school finances and expenditure.
“What Kenya needs is a parental revolution that will see parents get involved in the management of education,” Dr Matiang’i noted, saying the government cannot move around in all the schools in the country.
“You must help our children. You are our foremost inspectors of schools. You are our ears on the ground,” Dr Matiang’i said.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang urged parents to visit dormitories where their children sleep saying they need to have knowledge of the conditions their children live in while in school.
Present during the meeting were members of the NPA Sarah Kithinji, Oray Adan, Dr Osborne Mabalu, Mohamed Omar, Rose Otial, Patrick Lumumba and Onesmus Kauwi.