Following the publication of school fees caps by education CS Prof. Kaimenyi, the uproar from school heads has been as expected.
Day schools have been directed not to charge school fees exceeding kshs 9,374 while as boarding school should not charge more than 53,553.
This is still way high considering the sprawling poverty in kenya but it is far much better considering that some ‘prestigious’ national school charge more than twice that amount. Insanity, I know, unless these schools are holiday resorts.
Kenyans are of cause used to this.There have been numerous declarations of school fees caps for as long as school fees has been unaffordable and in all those instances no school head had bothered to even look at them leave alone follow them. It is just a song, a siren song to lull the masses.
Kenyans are not known for lowering commodities or services prices if lowered costs of doing business demands so. Look at the rogue matatu industry for inspiration and case study. Whenever the price of oil go up by two bobs or five, like terrible barbaric thieves, they immediately hike their fare by at least 20% margin but look what they have done since the price of oil started going down precipitously. Not a penny dropped on their prices.
Something I have never understood is how do headteachers get away with murder? How do they justify all that school fees that they demand? We all know that teachers are paid by the government and the same goes for building the schools and so on, so, there are few unknown costs.
A quick rough estimation will show you that a boarding school kid spend kshs 70 for food par day. A lot of kenyan family actually spent far much less than this for daily sustenance. This comes to about kshs 2100 in a month and this is on the high side. So,in a school term of three months, this kid will spend Kshs 6300 give or take kshs 1000. In my high school days I probably went to see the nurse no more than five times and so I never spent anywhere close to kshs 1000 for medical bills in four years. With ironing and electronic entertainment such as TV and heating water my electricity bill usually comes to kshs 500 monthly and a high school kid is neither ironing nor heating water nor watching TV everyday. So kshs 200 per month would do for him and he is sharing this with other kids so divide that by six. Books? Do the math and you will see that a boarding school kid spend no more than kshs 4000 a month which gives us kshs 12000 a term and 36000 a year and that is in the best national school. School do not buy bansen burners everyday, do they?
You will find that most of these schools have their own farms and cows for milk. I know because my school had all those so these school fees could even comfortably go down to at most kshs 20000 for a humane school head. But we are talking about merciless thieves who even insist that naive and helpless parents buy school uniforms at designated place often owned by these heads or relatives where prices are double if not tripple. As always remember not all of them are evil.For how long will kenya government allow this blatant exploitation to continue? How many more kids’ dreams will the government watch get shattered due to exorbitant school fees by these animals called principals before the government step in?
Kenyans must unite in supporting prof. Kaimenyi as he try to save us from these rogue head teachers and we must all applaud him. Parents must insist on paying school fees as per the guidelines provided and there is a deviation from this, a strong reason must be given. Bravo prof. Kaimenyi we are all with you and in this we are together. KNUT, shame on you!