- Many schools are running into debt with suppliers. The increasing enrolment driven by the 100 per cent transition policy is also straining resources.
- Such a situation only benefits corrupt school managers.
At the beginning of every year, the Ministry of Education repeats the usual warning that school principals must not hike fees.
But what happens? As soon as Form 1 students are admitted, their parents are invited to a meeting where new charges are callously and covertly imposed on them.
Head teachers have also mastered tricks to extract more money from parents of continuing students. Some charges could be justified but some are sheer theft.
The reason it is so easy to steal is that schools are poorly funded. The need for parents to pay some illegal but necessary levies is easy to justify.
In the end, secondary schools become too expensive. Many students drop out and some parents soon move their children to cheaper, albeit low-quality day schools.
The government must raise its capitation per student, which has remained stagnant and disappointingly low.
For instance, the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association says each learner has only been allocated Sh4,000 in the recently disbursed funds, instead of the promised Sh10,000 per annum.
Many schools are running into debt with suppliers. The increasing enrolment driven by the 100 per cent transition policy is also straining resources.
Such a situation only benefits corrupt school managers.
A well-funded education system would alleviate the need for schools to resort to fee hikes, making education more accessible to all.