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Govt allows principals to increase school fees

Tuesday December 3 2019

SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association Chairman Kahi Indimuli, joined by Ministry of Education top officials, addresses a press conference at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, on October 1, 2018. The union's request to have principals raise school fees has been granted. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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The government on Monday gave school principals the go-ahead to increase school fees in order to fund infrastructure development.

Speaking during the release of Form One selection results at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the extra funds will go a long way in supporting infrastructure development, which he acknowledged is strained due to the 100 per cent transition policy that is now in its second year.

But Prof Magoha said the decision on whether to pay the increase should be left to parents to decide and no one should be coerced to pay.

The decision is a major boost to secondary school principals, who have been seeking more resources, citing poor capitation from the government.

UNION'S PLEA

But some principals are likely to take advantage of the change and compel parents to pay given that it is their children who will be benefiting.

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Earlier this year, the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association submitted a proposal to the government to have fees increased.

In their proposal, the principals wanted the fees in national or extra-county schools in urban areas raised by Sh15,848 to Sh91,646, up from Sh75,798.

This means that parents will pay Sh69,402, up from Sh53,554, while the government allocation was to remain unchanged at Sh22,244 for all school categories.

At the extra-county level in other parts of the country, principals wanted the charges raised by Sh17,773 from Sh62,679 to Sh80,452.

LOW FUNDING

Parents currently pay Sh40,535. For county schools, heads wanted to charge Sh70,216 from 62,679.

They wanted the government to raise its capitation for day schools from Sh22,244 to Sh28,501 per student per year.

Data from Ministry of Education indicates that Sh1.5 billion is allocated to secondary schools for infrastructure development.

But secondary school principles have indicated that they need at least Sh9 billion for infrastructure development.