Parents should brace for tough times ahead as secondary school heads mull increasing fees to address infrastructure challenges in learning institutions.
"When we attended the national schools Form One selection, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha talked a lot on fees payment and ensuring that we maintain the fees structure. We will maintain it, though we have given our challenges and what we wish done," said Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) chairman Kahi Indimuli.
The Kessha chairman said the CS did not give express permission to principals to increase fees.
"I want to clarify and defend the principals, because they are now being seen as enemies of the people. Others are saying 'we are finished; now we are going to the times we used to pay Sh100,000; principals will finish us'," he said.
Mr Indimuli clarified that what the CS said was that in order to address the challenges of infrastructure, the boards of management can sit down with the parents and identify those who are ready to support infrastructure improvement.
"And it should not be by force, parents should be willing, those are the CS's words and that is what we shall go by. Don't crucify principals, it is very clear on what should be done."
He went on to add: "As Kessha we have presented the challenges of school fees guidelines and fees capping in 2014. Today is 2019. Naturally, inflation has come in and prices of commodity are no longer the same," he elaborated, saying principals were waiting for Prof Magoha's nod on these matters.
Mr Indimuli said electricity and water tariffs are some of the major financial challenges principals face in learning institutions.
"You have some money but when the bill comes it eats everything in one month, so it negates the gains of the Free Primary and Day Secondary Education Policy. If the government gives me with one hand to pay electricity for one year and it take everything again in one month, then something must be done," he insisted.
The Machakos Boys High School principal said educational institutions receiving capitation from the government should be provided with special tariffs for electricity and water.
"Then we will not talk about increased fees because these tariffs will have been brought down. I hope primary school heads will join me on this," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Indimuli has urged other stakeholders to support the roll-out of the competency based curriculum (CBC). He called on the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to prepare junior secondary schools for the CBC.
"We have two years to go; there must be deliberate efforts in ensuring that we are well prepared to receive the products from primary level. We are asking for infrastructure funds to be well distributed so that it takes care of 1.4 million children who will be transiting from primary to secondary levels," said Mr Kahi.
"CBC is here with us and we are the drivers. I was happy when CS Magoha said none of the one million plus candidates has had his or her results cancelled. I wish when it comes to my time, I will deliver a 100 per cent results," Mr Kahi said.