School Reopening: New 2021 Fees Structure Proposed

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    Education CS George Magoha addresses the media at Pwani University in Mombasa on Wednesday, September 9, 2020
  • Education stakeholders and parents have proposed a new school fee structure that will be discussed on Monday, November 16 in a meeting with CS George Magoha

    The fee proposal is expected to be adopted in the CS's plan for the mass reopening of schools alongside the 2021 academic calendar as ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta

    On Friday, November 13, parents, school heads and stakeholders advised Magoha to adjust school fees to reflect the period that students will be in schools. 

    They argued that if shorter school terms are adopted, then school fees should be revised downwards. If the terms are longer, then the government has to cushion parents by offsetting some amount. 

    An image of Uhuru Kenyatta
    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking in Parliament during the State of the Nation Address on Thursday 12 November 2020.

    “We must calculate, per week, what it costs to keep learners in schools and parents just made to pay for that,” Nicholas Maiyo, the National Parents Association chairman disclosed. 

    Most of the stakeholders argued that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected parents through the loss of jobs and also supporting other family members and relatives. 

    Another proposal tabled before Magoha requests that holidays should be reduced and the curriculum should only focus on teaching critical areas of every subject. 

    Education CAS Zack Kinuthia agreed with parents that there is a need to have the term periods correspond with the fees parents will be requested to pay. 

    "No parent should be worried because we will not burden them. We need to have a discussion centred around the issue and state funding," Kinuthia assured. 

    School heads also demanded more than the Ksh 14 billion the government provided, arguing that upgrading schools and ensuring social distancing demands more. 

    The fee payment issue has dragged on ever since schools were shut down in March 2020 and even beyond the partial reopening in October the same year. 

    CS Magoha has kept on wavering his stance on the matter. He changed his decision to offset fees from parents and directed them to pay, causing an uproar among stakeholders. 

    "Parents are taking advantage, please take the little money that you have to school, if you go with nothing, you will have to be interrogated, if you can pay, then you must pay," he declared.

    File image of a congested classroom in Kenya