Parents Want Direct Line to Report Schools over Illegal Fees
Parents have requested the Ministry of Education to provide a direct line to report schools which charge illegal levies.
These illegal levies have been called “motivation fees” by schools and are not allowed to be charged to parents without the permission of the government.
This is after the Principal Secretary to the State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education Dr Julius Jwan issued a warning that the government will take action against government schools that sent learners home to collect teacher motivation fees.
The PS termed the practice unacceptable saying that the government will hold the perpetrators responsible for not reporting the cases.
Parents have been complaining for years but their complaints have been falling on deaf ears with teachers working together with board members to extort parents.
One of the parents speaking to Teacher.co.ke said that some representatives are part of the ‘motivation fees’ scheme without any shame.
“I once attended opening day in one of the extra county schools in Homabay County and the administration in conjunction with the parents’ representatives told us that we will pay whether we like it or not,” said one parent who identified himself as John.
Schools have been charging illegal fees from parents with the pretext that their children will be given the best treatment once teachers are motivated. This makes desperate parents empty their pockets for unnecessary levies.
It has also been revealed that many learners are denied clearance and are told that they have to pay the motivation fees for them to be cleared.
In a related article, the Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof George Magoha warned public schools that are not following guidelines the Ministry issued regarding school fees.
The CS also directed the county and sub-county directors to report schools that are charging illegal fees that are not in the admission letters.
The CS’s directives came amid concerns raised over some schools flouting the guidelines and still charging illegal levies which are overburdening parents and guardians.
Principals have also been reported to be forcing parents and guardians to only buy items from certain suppliers and instructing them to make the payments to schools leading to the schools charging up to twice the normal prices.
The Ministry of Education also instructed schools to admit Form Ones even if some may not have the full school fees.
“Following the disbursement of funds to schools, Principals are directed to keep all learners in schools and avoid wasting any class time by sending learners home for school fees, amid a shortened academic calendar,” warned CS Magoha last week as he announced that funds have been released to schools.
The Cabinet Secretary for Education warned that the government is keeping a close eye on proceedings and that this is to ensure no child is put at a disadvantage.
The following is the full statement from the Ministry of Education
RE: CHARGING OF ILLEGAL LEVIES BY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Ministry of Education issued new guidelines on fees payable by parents on 16th June 20211 Vide circular Ref: MOE.HQS.3.13.3. However, it has been reported that some schools continue to charge fees outside the guidelines leading to dissatisfaction from the parents and guardians.
The Ministry has received numerous complaints from parents, sponsors of needy students, and the general public regarding schools charging illegal levies.
It is noted that schools recover these levies upfront before crediting money paid as fees into the students’ fees accounts. This makes students have false arrears leading to them being sent home.
Where lunch program is in place, the same should be made optional and be reasonable taking into consideration the reduced term or academic year.
Your attention is drawn to the Basic Education Regulations 2015, Section 44, 45, and 46 on free and compulsory education which states as follows:
Section (44): No public school or institution shall issue alternative fees structures other than those approved by the Cabinet Secretary.
Section (46) The members of the Board of Management of an institution which contravenes regulation 44 or 45 shall jointly and severally be guilty of an offense under the Act.
You are notified that any unreported case(s) of a school(s) charging illegal levies will attract sanction on the responsible officer. Your reports should be submitted to the director secondary vide email address: email@example.com for compiling and further processing.
Any school that desires to charge amounts above the stipulated fees must make a formal request to the Cabinet Secretary and will only charge after written authorization has been granted,
No child will be sent away for non-payment of such fees. Schools are ordered to display their fees structure prominently above the revised guidelines be refunded or treated as prepayment of fees for continuing students.
In view of the above, all the County and Sub County Directors of Education are directed to report to the Principal Secretary any Board of Management whose institution is charging illegal levies with immediate effect.
1: Cabinet Secretary
2. Administrative Secretaries
3. CEO Teachers Service Commission
4. Chair, National Parents Association