Secondary school principals have ignored directives by the Education CS to reduce fees and stop illegal charges levied on parents before schools reopen next week.

In August, the Education ministry released new guidelines for fees payable this year. If implemented, national school parents would pay Sh45,054, down from the initial Sh53,544.

For extra-county and county schools pay Sh35,035, down from  Sh45,000.

The new fees were a reduction of Sh8,500 in national schools and Sh5,500 in extra-county and county schools.

Education CS George Magoha, while announcing the reduction, said it was necessitated by the short 2021 school calendar. It runs for 30 weeks from the traditional 38 weeks previously.

If parents had already paid the initial fees, Magoha ordered the funds be refunded or carried forward to the second term.

However, the order could fail as parents who spoke to the Star revealed the institutions are still charging the initial high rates.

No form of refund or carry forward has been issued in sampled schools.

In Loreto Girls Secondary School, Limuru, a national school jointly managed by the Catholic Church, the annual fees is capped at Sh75,000.

A parent seeking anonymity for fear of retribution said the institution has asked parents to pay Sh35,000 for the second term fees.

The parent has also shared a copy of the bank receipt for his payment of the second term fees.

This means parents will have to part with Sh30,000 more than the recommended annual government fees.

The parent told the Star, “We are paying extortionate fees. Even as I am texting, I am from the bank paying Sh35,000 for second term… this is the price we all have to pay for a dysfunctional system.”

A fee structure seen by the Star for Dagoretti High School, an extra county school, showed that parents have been asked to pay Sh16,100 for second-term fees; the parents will this year be required to part with 53,544 in annual fees.

The school also requires parents to pay an extra Sh3,000 for students taking computer studies.

At Kapenguria School, another extra-county school, the annual fees payable are set at Sh56,350. Parents are required to pay Sh22,200 as schools reopen on Wednesday.

This is Sh21,350 more than the recommended fees of Sh35,000 set by the Education ministry.

At Moi Forces Academy, Lanet, a national school, the institution has retained the initial Sh53,554 fees. But parents are asked to part with Sh16,137 when schools reopen.

In Kampaso Secondary School, a county school in Kabianga, Kericho county, students will be required to pay Sh15,750  when they resume for second term. The annual fees are capped at 48,000.

Other extra-county schools violating the fee guidelines include Friends School Kaveye, charging 42,535 annual fees. Students are expected to pay Sh7,000 as they return next week.

At St Luke’s Kimilili, parents will pay Sh40,535 this year, including Sh12,530 payable upon reopening.

St Anne’s Musoli parents will pay Sh42,020 for the whole year, with Sh14,100 set for the second term.

In Kamahuha Girls,  parents will part with Sh39,560 this year and Sh10,500 to be paid when the students report.

St Michael’s Eshirumbwe, a day school in Western Kenya, has also asked parents to pay Sh3,300, according to a note sent to parents and seen by the Star.

This is despite the fact that the government has outlawed the payment of fees in day schools.

The Education ministry under e Free Day Secondary Education pays Sh22,244 to all secondary schools, in effect rendering day schools free of charge.

The institutions sampled have also cautioned parents that students reporting without the full fees will not be allowed to settle in school.

National Parents Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo says the situation is true of many schools that have defied the government fees directive to charge more than the recommended amount.

Maiyo, speaking to the Star on the phone on Tuesday, said the association so far has received about 150 complaints of overcharging.

He called on parents to inform the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and forward the details for action.

“We are compiling a list of schools that have ignored the directive on fees and have been forwarded to the association. We will engage the TSC and the Education ministry for action,” Maiyo said.

The Star has also established that the TSC has so far asked more than 200 school heads to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for violating the fee guidelines.

In September, theTSC interdicted Nakuru High School Principal Mike Yator for breaching school fees guidelines.

However, the TSC’s actions remain unclear regarding other school heads defying the fees directive.

Schools reopen on October 11 for the second term running until December 23.

The 15 million learners in primary and secondary schools closed for a 1en-day holiday on October 1.

The term traditionally scheduled to run between May and July comes at the end of the year following disruption of the traditional January-December calendar.

The calendar was disrupted by the closure of learning institutions for nine months in mid-March 2020 following the outbreak of Covid-19.

In August, Magoha further ordered public secondary schools to refund parents the illegal fees charged beyond those which the government has recommended.

The Education Ministry in a circular further outlawed schools from sending students home for failing to clear any extra arrears that exceed the set fees.

The recommended fees for national schools is set at Sh45,054, county schools at Sh35,035 while day schools are free.

“Any fees collected above the revised guidelines should be refunded or treated as prepayment of fees for continuing students… No child will be sent away for non-payment of such fees,” the circular dated August 9 reads.

The circular notes that the ministry had received complaints about schools charging illegal levies outside the guidelines.

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