CS Machogu’s Stance on School Fees Hike Amid Capitation Cuts

July 9, 2024

Education Cabinet Secretary Mr. Ezekiel Machogu has issued a stern warning to school principals against increasing school fees in response to the government’s decision to maintain capitation at Kes.17,000 per learner per year, instead of the previously higher amount of Kes.22,244.

The government has directed headteachers to strictly adhere to Ministry of Education policies and guidelines, particularly concerning school fees.

“It is incumbent upon you, as school leaders, to strictly adhere to prevailing policies and guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Education, regarding illegal levies,” emphasized CS Machogu.

Last week, headteachers announced plans to raise school fees in light of the reduced capitation fees imposed by the government. Principals proposed increasing fees from Kes.53,000 to Kes.69,000 for national schools, citing inflation and the high cost of living as factors necessitating the adjustment.

Mr. Willy Kuria, National Chairman of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association, emphasized that the current fee structure of Kes.53,000 was insufficient to adequately fund national schools.

“There was a time when we had requested the state to raise school fees, aiming for it to be increased to Kes.69,000. The Ministry has our proposal for fee increment documented. The entire concept of school fees and capitation needs to be revisited,” Mr. Kuria asserted.

Despite schools being entitled to a capitation grant of Kes.22,244 per learner per year, they received only half of that amount this year.

Education Cabinet Secretary Mr. Machogu clarified that the government had set maximum fees that each level of school could charge.

“We have prohibited the collection of illegal levies from learners and their parents. We have also issued circulars capturing the legal position in Kenya,” added the CS.

Withholding Kenya National Examination Council certificates

Mr. Machogu further cautioned headteachers against withholding Kenya National Examination Council certificates due to non-payment of school fees.

“These certificates are not to be withheld by schools for any reason, including non-payment of fees. These are policy and legal requirements, and I urge you to strictly enforce them,” he emphasized.

Assuring stakeholders, Mr. Machogu stated that his ministry was actively creating a conducive policy and legal framework for an efficient education sector. He highlighted the finalization of a draft Sessional Paper and 13 Bills aimed at implementing recommendations from the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform.

These legislative efforts are slated for presentation in Parliament by year-end, marking the most comprehensive review of the legal and policy framework governing the education sector since independence. This underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring the relevance of education in the 21st century.

Encouraging school principals, CS Machogu emphasized the importance of preparing this year’s KCSE candidates thoroughly for the national examination.

“You have also played a facilitative role in ensuring the success of some of the reforms we have implemented. For instance, starting with the 2023 KCSE, the computation of the KCSE mean score includes English or Kiswahili or Kenya Sign Language, Mathematics, and the five best-performing subjects,” he noted.

Mr. Machogu commended educators for effectively transitioning candidates to the new marking system, which led to improved KCSE performance last year. The percentage of candidates meeting minimum university entry requirements rose from 19% (173,345 candidates) in 2022 to 22% (210,133 candidates) in 2023.

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