Fearful that the government-imposed school fees will not cover all the activities in schools, Taita-Taveta secondary school heads have drafted an additional budget that they need approved by Ministry of Education.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KeSSHA) County Chair Mr. Daniel Mwakisha said the move was necessitated by the need to ensure normal activities in schools were not affected.
He said that all heads of secondary schools met and drafted a reasonable budget for their schools which was later approved by the County Education Board.
Speaking to KNA, Mwakisha said that the proposed budget was later forwarded to the County Director of Education to be sent to the Cabinet Secretary for approval.
If approved, all heads in secondary schools and Boards of Management will be permitted to impose additional charges on parents on top of what they have already paid as school fees.
“We have already forwarded the budget to the relevant authorities and we are hopeful we will get positive response,” he said.
He termed the proposed budget as reasonable and necessary to continue with normal operations of the schools which were not covered by the government fee directive.
Amongst some of the charges that parents will be compelled to pay include additional money to pay teachers employed by schools’ Board of Management (BoM) and money for lunch.
Parents will also pay for BoM meetings, development and for extra-curricular school activities including games. Others monies to be charged on parents include computer maintenance fee, money for development and money to fund academic programs.
A sample of fee structure from selected schools in the region shows that the additional fee has already been appended to the main fee structure.
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor Girls secondary school has an additional fee of sh 10,550 which includes sh 1,500 for ICT; sh 2,000 for development and sh 3,350 for activities. For Moi High School Kasighau, has added sh 13,905 to their fees. Some of the extra charges include sh 3050 for activities, sh 4,752 for BOM teachers, sh 2000 for development and sh 1,500 for computer maintenance.
County Director of Education Mr. Jonathan Nyamai said that the proposed additional charges were approved by the County Education Board and sent to Education Cabinet Secretary’s office for approval.
“We are still waiting for feedback from the CS’s office on the proposed budget by secondary schools in the county,” he said.
The schools heads have insisted that the government fee failed to address some core programs which if not funded might bring operations in schools to a halt.
Mwakisha cited sh 798 allocated for activities for a year stating the amount was woefully inadequate. He said that schools engaged in several activities including ball games, athletics, drama and music festivals that were funded from the activities vote.
He added that the desire to ask for the additional monies was guided by the view that should the schools fail to have extra money, even normal learning will be affected. He noted that all schools in the county had BOM teachers who needed to be paid their salaries by parents.
“Parents are the ones who pay for BOM teachers. If we fail to do that, we risk losing teachers and our education will be affected,” he said.
The government fee structure has not factored in the issue of teachers employed by school boards.
According to the government directive, day scholars are only allowed to pay a sh.9, 374 per year while boarders pay sh.53, 334.
By Wagema Mwangi