Schools Reopening: 4 Extra Costs Facing Parents & Teachers

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    Education CS George Magoha addresses the media in Nairobi on Monday, September 21, 2020
  • Parents and teachers are set to finance some expenditures when schools reopen on Monday, October 12, 2020, after the government opted to share the cost of upgrading institutions.

    An Education Ministry training manual signed by Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang and Director-General Elyas Abdi detailed how the government, teachers and parents will share responsibilities.

    In the document, the government indicated that parents will facilitate purchasing of desks. The government fears that its Ksh 1.9 billion allocation towards this project may not cover all public schools. 

    622,257 desks will only be offered to 5,254 secondary and 5,136 primary schools. Parents and teachers will add more desks in an effort to facilitate social distancing. 

    Pupils attend a parade at a primary school in Kenya

    Secondly, parents and teachers were directed to cover the cost of purchasing masks. It would require over Ksh 1 billion for the government to offer two masks per student. 

    Parents Associations, Board of Management (BOM) and County Education Boards were also tasked with hatching resource mobilisation strategies to aid in upgrading schools. 

    “Participants may have to come up with extra learning rooms, additional finances, staff (teaching and non-teaching staff), ICT infrastructure, sustainable supply of running water and sanitisers and sanitising facilities,” the document states. 

    The fourth requirement listed is a directive to parents, teachers and BOMs to find and convince potential donors to partner with schools. 

    Teachers and a few select parents will be taught on how to create startegies and maintain policies. The donors will aid them in ensuring that schools set measures which curb the spread of Covid-19. 

    This includes having clean running water and hand washing points, construction of extra classrooms and availing sanitisers. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation during the National Covid-19 Conference in Nairobi on Monday, September 28, 2020. His deputy William Ruto skipped the event.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation during the National Covid-19 Conference in Nairobi on Monday, September 28, 2020.

    On Monday, September 21, Education CS George Magoha assured parents that no student would be sent home over fee arrears. He stated that parents will cover the cost of tuition fees only

    "For boarding schools, the tuition part is also free, and teachers are not animals, they are ready to listen to those parents and we should treat every case as it comes," Magoha stated.

    Apart from facilitating upgrades and asking parents and teachers to cover some costs, the government also initiated the requirement of 11,000 additional teachers to reduce congestion of students in classrooms ahead of students sitting national exams. 

    Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) will start on March 22, 2021 and end on March 24, 2021. Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams will follow, starting on March 25, 2021 and ending on April 16, 2021.