• National Parents Association threatens to sue schools blackmailing parents to pay extra cost to keep children in schools.
• Chairman Nicholas Maiyo says some schools taking advantage of CS Magoha's invitation to parents with the capacity to voluntarily support schools as blackmail.
The National Parents Association has threatened to sue schools forcing parents to pay extra money as a condition to keep their children in schools.
The association on Wednesday said though schools collect money under “PTA”, no school has ever forwarded these collections to the National Parents Association.
Chairman Nicholas Maiyo said the association welcomes Magoha’s proposal for willing parents and partners to come forth and voluntarily provide material support to schools, that do not offer blanket approval for the infamous Extra Levies.
He said it is unfortunate that some school heads have taken advantage of the invitation to exploit and blackmail parents to pay extra costs to keep children in schools.
Maiyo said lack of such support from a parent should not keep a child out of school.
“For the avoidance of doubt we will challenge any misguided step by any person towards making this request for financing a component of school fees or a condition for our children’s education in any manner,” he said.
Maiyo added, “It is voluntary and has to be orderly. It has to be within the proper structures of Part VIII of the Basic Education Act, 2013 wherein the National Parents Association (NPA) is the sole voice of parents and the sole channel to convey and secure parental consent on matters affecting learners”.
According to him, what Magoha is saying is that these collections should now be aligned with the respective stakeholders (in this case the National Parents Association), matched with the actual need the Cabinet Secretary for Education, s of the schools, and properly applied towards the circumstances and learning requirements of the respective school.
“As parents of Kenya we are pleased with the candid, innovative and financially sound proposals made by Magoha on the financing of Basic Education, save that the same are being misunderstood to re-introduce illegal, exploitative and fraudulent levies that nearly sank our education system in the recent past,” he said.
Maiyo said education governance is a demanding discipline that calls on all sector stakeholders to reflect intensely on the country’s education goals as they seek resources to support learning in schools.
“We need to recognise our society’s diversity in terms of access to quality education vis-à-vis their access to finance. Some regions of our country have been long marginalised in terms of resource distribution; some places are chocking with congestion and lack of physical space, while others are beset with dire security challenges that even getting learners or teachers into a classroom is a miracle in itself,” he said.
“In all the foregoing distressful circumstances, parents – who in that capacity are not education experts – are themselves a desperate lot and often fall victim to fraudulent stratagems that force them to pay for this or the other item that would be declared necessary for their children’s learning”.
Maiyo said all parents want is to see their children have the best education.
“We make enormous sacrifices to ensure this happens. We actually know that this will cost a tidy sum. Those in our midst that are able to pay this amount will voluntarily do so, the rest of us will go the great length of giving whatever we have and approaching the wider community to solicit and secure more support so that the schools are well resourced,” he said.