By Mwakwaya Raymond
The current high cost of living will force secondary schools’ heads to adjust their fee structures so that they can operate optimally.
Increased prices of commodities, facilities and services are impacting on their various vote-heads and making it very difficult to run their learning institutions with the meagre capitation from the government.
The bold step to increase school fees is necessitated by the harsh economic conditions being experienced across the country.
Kenya secondary schools heads association (KSSHA) chairman Indimuli Kahi has decried the current capitation was ‘a drop in the ocean’ and would not change the deteriorating situation in schools.
According to him schools cannot run effectively because they are unable to meet their day-to-day budgets to run the learning institutions.
Kahi, addressing media on the sides of KSSHA’s 46th annual conference in Mombasa on June 26, warned schools would be forced to cut down several activities due to the prevailing circumstances.
“Several schools are operating on very absurd conditions and this cannot continue forever. What we shall do is to do away with some other school programs such as extra curriculum activities.”
Flanked by Kenya Commercial Bank senior relationship manager Virginia Mwangi alongside other dignitaries, the chairman criticised the Ministry of Education for dragging it’s feet in releasing funds to schools hampering smooth running of their programs.
“Headteachers can hardly budget for the funds by the government due to the way it’s being released. The government should now understand that the economy is really harsh and release the remaining amounts in full to enable head teachers manage their institutions without much hustle.”
He dismissed allegations that headteachers were engaging in school uniform business to raise funds for their budgets terming it as misleading.
‘We only advise parents on where to get these items and it’s not only uniforms but all the other required boarding equipment.”
However, the chairman, who is also the President African Confederation of Principals, said this year’s annual conference will chart a better way forward in running of schools as they have brought in specialists from various areas of the world to share with them their experiences on the same issues, especially the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).
‘We have brought on board experts from Estonia to speak about digital learning in regard to their country which is doing so well over there alongside others.”
On transition of junior secondary schools’ (JSS) students, Indimuli said, currently, headteachers were on the crossroads as they did not know which pathway to use when time comes for the students to join senior secondary schools.
‘There’s no clear path that we can authoritatively advice our teachers to use on picking students but we are hopeful things will work out well once we get there.”
On the just assented finance bill the chairman was equally worried on how the government will handle the one million students who are likely to miss on capitation.
“Let me hope that the 2023/2024 finance law will address this matter as the government is very much aware of it or else that will also be another huddle to cross.”
President William Ruto on June 26, 2023 signed the finance bill ascending it into law.