Principal Secretary Jwan has said that a list of principals who have violated the fees guidelines will be forwarded to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for action.
“We have compiled a list, and we are referring some cases to TSC for action where we have gathered sufficient evidence,” Jwan explained.
According to Education Cabinet Secretary prof. George Magoha, TSC has initiated disciplinary proceedings against several principals who have violated school fee payment guidelines.
Magoha mentioned an August 9, 2021 circular in parliament last week, which also directed schools to stop charging illegal levies.
According to Magoha, the circular specified the action to be taken in accordance with Section 46 of the 2015 Basic Education Regulations.
The CS urged parents to remain vigilant in schools that continue to charge extra levies.
“The Ministry receives reports from parents about schools charging the illegal levies including remedial fees. Investigations will be conducted,” Magoha stated.
All Secondary school principals have also been asked to admit all students as schools reopen for term two today that will last 11 weeks, ending on December 23rd.
PS Basic Education Jwan Julius also directed school administrators to listen to students to understand their complaints as the 2nd term begins.
“We want school heads to listen to their students’ problems because there are many indiscipline cases which must be contained,” said Jwan.
Jwan was responding to the growing number of school fires reported across the country.
The PS also wants the principals to harmonise their fee accounts in order to account for any additional money paid by parents during term one admissions.
According to Jwan, most schools sent out outdated fee structures to parents, which were used to pay term one fees, resulting in an overpayment.
“We are asking the heads to ensure they roll over to the second term, the extra money parents might have paid during term one so that they do not pay extra money again,” said Jwan.
Jwan stated in an August 9 circular to school principals, “Any fees collected in excess of the revised guidelines will be refunded or treated as prepayment of fees for continuing students.”
He also stated that all extra levies levied on parents in excess of the fees guidelines would be refunded. Jwan added the funds to be carried over to the second term, and parents were asked to pay the correct balances.
The PS, on the other hand, directed that no student be sent home for failure to pay second-term fees.
“We have encouraged heads of schools to talk with parents and agree how fees will be paid so that no child is sent home. This is a short and tight term that no time should be wasted,” Jwan explained.
The government reduced this year’s fees by up to Sh8,500, citing the effects of Covid-19, which shortened the school year by nine weeks.
Parents of children enrolled in national and extra-county schools in towns are expected to pay a maximum annual fee of Sh45,000.
Those whose children attend county and sub-county secondary schools must pay a maximum of Sh35,000 per year, while special needs schools must charge a fee of Sh10,860.
Nicholas Maiyo, the chairperson of the National Parents Association, stated that parents will work hard to pay fees but will not pay illegal levies.
“We are in agreement as parents that we shall make all efforts to pay fees. But we shall not pay even a coin towards those extra levies,” Maiyo stated.
According to Maiyo, most schools continue to include illegal costs in the fees they charge parents.
“Some of these funds have not even been receipted. “They call them all kinds of names, and their parents are coerced into paying this money,” Maiyo explained.
According to Jwan, Ministry of Education reports show that schools recover these levies upfront before crediting money paid as fees into students’ fees accounts.
“This makes students have false fees arrears leading to them being sent home,” Jwan explained.
Indimuli, on the other hand, believes that parents should not send their children to school if they do not have the necessary funds.
“For the entire first term, Form Ones used monies that were disbursed to cater for continuing students, this is not sustainable,” Indimuli explained.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced that the government has set aside Sh17.8 billion to cover second-term fees for continuing students as well as settle outstanding bills for Form One students.
Sh15.8 billion will go toward Free Day Secondary School, while Sh2.2 billion will go toward Free Primary Education.