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Parents fail to pay fees owing to 'free certificates' directive

13 October 2014, 15:14 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - The Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association has said that the government’s directive to Principals to give students their certificates before they clear outstanding fee arrears is derailing schools’ development projects.

The association’s national vice chairperson, Kahi Indimuli said that most parents of Form Four students are not paying fees as they know that their children will sit for the exams and be given their certificates, after all.

“The headteachers are finding it difficult to run schools when parents are not in a hurry to pay school fees, especially for the Form Four students,” said Indimuli.

He spoke at Chavakali High School in Vihiga County during the Prayer Day for the Form Four candidates as they prepared for their national exams that are set to commence this week. 

Indimuli said that although the directive by the government was a noble one, it should have been brought at a time when the government could waiver the students off their huge fee arrears immediately they step into Form Four so that they can be given an ample time to study.

He said that in his school, for instance, Form Four students alone had debts of up to KES 3 million, which was derailing many projects that were to be undertaken.

“The sad bit is that Principals want better results in their respective schools and cannot send students home while others are busy learning. So, we have to keep them in school as we hope that parents will pay the remaining fees to no avail,” he said.

He asked the government to pay the free education subsidy for students in both Primary and Secondary schools on time so that it can help seal the gaps left by parents who fail to pay fees, and at the same time begged the government to increase it to a sizeable amount.

Indimuli said that the school, which moved from position 102 in 2012 to be position 8 nationally in 2013’s exams, was bracing for a tougher challenge and an improved grade in this year’s examination.  

Earlier in the year, the government issued a directive to schools not to withhold certificates of their students after they have sat for their exams regardless of whether they had cleared with the institution or not.  

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