The Director of Schools Audit Services in the Education Ministry, Victoria Angwenyi, has directed Heads of Secondary schools not to send away fee defaulters.
She instead tasked the school heads to offer guidance to parents on the options available for boarders and day scholars to gauge their financial capability to avoid unnecessary disruption of their children over fees arrears.
Speaking during the 46th Annual National Conference of Principals and Exhibition at a Mombasa hotel, Angwenyi, however, said parents were obliged to supplement the government capitation with fees for schools to run smoothly.
He divulged that the government, through the Ministry of Education, was footing Sh22,244 of fees for boarders in public secondary schools and Sh57,974 for students with special needs in public secondary schools.
Capitation funds the tuition component, including the teachers, textbooks, and all learning materials, while school fees paid by parents cater for boarding facilities and food.
Angwenyi said that the matter of sending students home due to delayed capitation should not arise because all tuition components on capitation are available at schools.
“The main challenge teachers experience is when there is a delay in paying school fees by the parents to feed the students,” Angwenyi said.
On the matter of school fees being increased, Angwenyi said that the government is working to moderate them and make sure that they are affordable to parents.
However, she noted that all public schools have a limit on school fees paid and elaborated that boarding schools pay Sh45,000 and Sh53,000 for National Schools.
“The Budget was read and approved the other day, so if we give false promises of increasing the capitation, where will the ministry get the funding from,” she answered when asked whether the government had any plans to increase the capitation.
The principal of AIC Kibomet, Gilbert Wamalwa, noted that the delay of capitation this year has greatly affected both the welfare of the students and the running of the schools.
“We have had some schools being taken to court because of delayed payments to suppliers who have had a difficult time understanding that there has been a financial crisis in the country,” Wamalwa said.
Wamalwa affirmed that there is a need to have principals sit down with parents to get them well-educated about capitation to avoid further misunderstandings and neglect of responsibilities.
Tom Shavisa, Principal at Senende Boys in Vihiga County, talked about the importance of having students registered with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
The government, in collaboration with NHIF, provides health cover to all high school students from public Institutions called Edu Afya.
Edu Afya offers dental, optical, inpatient and outpatient, and overseas treatment cover in case a student needs specialized treatment overseas, whereas NHIF caters for everything, including travel logistics.
“In the event of the demise of a student, the immediate family receives a sum total of Sh500,000, which helps the family with burial arrangements,” Shavisa said.
“This has been an ongoing project in our schools, and we have witnessed many students benefiting from the Edu Afya Health Cover,” he concluded.