Several schools in Kenya sent learners home for school fees a few hours after Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha directed parents to clear school fees for the third term.
Students who were reporting back to school from the mid-term holiday were barred from accessing the school compounds.
The parents who spoke to the Standard Gazette decried over the high cost of living occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, they pleaded with schools to give them enough time to clear school fee balances while their children continue to learn.
The majority of the learners asked to go back home were secondary school students.
“My son left for school in the morning but he was turned away at the gate. Only students with zero balance were allowed in school. The situation we are at now as parents will force our children to stay at home as we look for schools,” said one parent.
On Monday, Prof Magoha told parents to pay school fee arrears noting that the majority who have not paid can afford it.
“Our population is a very interesting one. The majority of people not paying fees can afford to pay. Therefore, I am requesting parents, who are still refusing to pay, to pay the fees without further delays,” Magoha said.
However, he requested school heads not to send home learners from humble backgrounds or whose parents lost jobs due to the pandemic.
“I ask the principals to double check and confirm that the child they are sending home is not from a poor family or a family where the parent lost a job,” he added.
At the same time, he announced that the government had released ksh2.8 billion and ksh6.5 billion for primary and secondary schools, respectively.
He revealed that the government would soon release another ksh6.5 billion funding to schools.