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Government should probe levies charged by schools

Saturday August 17 2019

By LETTER
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Mwiti Marete's opinion (Daily Nation, August 15, 2019) was interesting.

Each and every detail of the subject he complained about has been bothering me as a parent with a child in school.

I always hold the view that if teachers really want to be honest about the issue of school trips, they should realise that this is not school money.

It belongs to parents and they should account for every shilling paid for the trip.

For your information, it is not just a problem with public schools, private schools are equally notorious.

They are so shameless that they even isolate, victimise and stigmatise a poor child if his or her parents do not pay for a trip.

I have paid many times for trips for my child, not because I am willing to, but to protect my child from this trauma.

I never understand how the schools budget. Travelling within Nairobi region will cost you less than Sh200 from one end to the other, but schools will charge Sh1,000 per child for the same journey.

When we went to school, we never went for school trips other than the Nairobi Show, which was once a year. And not everyone went.

JIMMY KIMS, Nairobi

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I find the issue of school expenses extremely annoying and frustrating. I have a child at a private primary school in Nairobi, and one who is now in Form One.

We are forced to pay Sh1,000 every month for so-called extra classes. The thing is, children generally report early because most are dropped off by parents who go to work.

The school's argument is that classes start officially at 8am, and since teachers report to class early, there is a need to pay them for that extra class.

After each end of the month, children are harassed and the harassment is extended to parents — "umelipa pesa ya extra class (have you paid for the extra class)?" Children will keep on pestering parents because they are also under pressure.

ILLEGAL

An average class has 40 pupils, which means each class pays Sh40,000 per month. The thing is, this money is paid directly to the teachers.

I learnt from my friend, a bursar in a Nakuru school, that this is done to ensure that there is no record of payment because the charge is not legal in the first place.

What hurts most is to see the government faking seriousness with its directive against extra classes, tuition and extra fees.

The government keeps on issuing orders and yet it is helpless when the same orders are defied by public servants.

DANIEL NJAGA, Nairobi