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Parents protest extra fees ahead of school reopening

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Parents protest extra fees ahead of school reopening

Parents protest extra fees ahead of school reopening.
As schools reopen tomorrow, some parents are protesting the financial burden of paying extra levies levied by schools in flagrant violation of the law.
Parents struggled to pay fees for four terms in 2021, and 2022 will be no different due to the addition of an extra term.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that many families are struggling financially as a result of the depressed economy, which has seen people lose jobs and livelihoods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects.
Some school principals have ignored Ministry of Education directives not to charge extra fees, instead of collecting the money through various devious methods to avoid detection. Each extra charge costs between Sh3,000 and Sh8,000 on average.
Parents say they feel held hostage by the school administration because they are unable to withdraw their children from school and thus must pay the extra money. Those whose children are candidates for national examinations are the most affected.
Remedial teaching fees
One common method is what most schools, particularly boarding schools, refer to as “motivation fees.” Some institutions refer to the funds as “remedial teaching fees,” and they are paid to teachers who work outside of school hours in the evenings and on weekends.
Exam fees, curriculum development fees, and tour fees are some other terms that are used.
Some schools have also failed to follow the ministry’s instructions to reduce fees after the ministry shortened the terms in the revised school calendar. 
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According to Nicholas Maiyo, chair of the National Parents Association, there has been a decrease in the number of complaints about illegal levies. 
“The problem is widespread but not as much as it used to be. It’s probably after the Teachers Service Commission wrote letters to show cause to some principals who were flouting the rules.”
He stated that any principal who requests additional fees will be held accountable.
Parents have accused school administrators of requesting additional fees to cover class trips, teacher motivation, and infrastructure.
Students in some schools are required to pay Sh4,000 for class trips, Sh2,000 for teacher motivation, and Sh5,000 for infrastructure improvement.
The chairman of the Kenya National Parents Association, Nicholas Maiyo, stated that parents are already burdened and should not be asked to pay additional levies.
“Let the schools engage us as parents before asking for any extra charges. They should also seek authorisation from the ministry.”
The reopening comes at a time when over 50 schools have yet to be renovated after being burned down by students during unrest.
As schools reopen, Prof Magoha has warned principals against levying additional fees.
The CS also asked headteachers to allow children who did not wear uniforms to return to school.
“Public primary schools are free and, therefore, no children should be sent home. For secondary schools, 75 per cent of the ones we have are day schools and only 25 per cent are boarding schools and therefore no Kenyan child should be out of school,” said Prof Magoha.
According to the CS, capitation funding for the third term will be distributed to schools by the end of this week.
He stated that the government had already paid national examination fees for all children and warned school administrators against requiring students to pay exam fees.
Parents protest extra fees ahead of school reopening.

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