The Ministry of Education has directed schools that have charged fees outside the guidelines to refund or treat the extra funds as prepayment of fees for continuing students.
In a circular on Tuesday, Education Principal Secretary Paul Kibet also directs that no child be sent away for non-payment of such fees and that institutions should display their fees structure prominently on their notice boards.
In addition, the PS notes that schools that desire to charge amounts above the stipulated fees must make a formal request to the Cabinet Secretary and will only be allowed to charge extra after written authorization has been granted.
The circular by the Ministry comes days after parents complained of schools charging illegal levies outside the guidelines leading to dissatisfaction.
“The Ministry has received numerous complaints from parents, sponsors of needy students and the general public regarding schools charging illegal levies,” read the circular in part.
According to the Ministry, it has been noted that schools recover these levies upfront before crediting money paid as fees into the students’ fees accounts. This makes students have false fees arrears leading to them being sent home
Schools are also at the same time being urged to be reasonable where lunch programs are in place, making it optional taking into consideration the reduced term or academic year.
The recommended fees for national schools is set at Ksh 45,054, county schools at Ksh 35,035 while day schools are free.
The Ministry to further emphasize on matters quotes the Basic Education Regulations 2015 Section 44, 45 and 46 on free and compulsory education which states that no person or Board of Management in a public institution of basic education and training shall alter or increase fees without written authority from the Cabinet Secretary adding that no public school or institution shall issue alternative fees structures other than those approved by the CS.
The regulations also state that the members of the Board of Management of an institution that contravenes regulation 44 or 45 shall jointly and severally be guilty of an offence under the Act.
The PS in reference to the regulations has put on notice County and Sub County Directors to report to the Principal Secretary any Board of Management whose institution is charging illegal levies with immediate effect noting that any unreported case(s) of a school(s) charging illegal levies will attract sanctions.
“Reports should be submitted to director secondary via email address firstname.lastname@example.org for compiling and further processing,” he said.
Sourced from EKenyan