School heads push for increase in student fees

Free education is meant to increase primary to secondary school transition. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Secondary school heads are lobbying Parliament for fee increase of up to Sh17, 773 per student annually citing rising operation costs and maintenance of class rooms and desks.

The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) said they require Sh91,646 to run national schools against the set budget of Sh75,798, leaving parents to top up with Sh15,848.

They want fees for extra county schools to be increased by Sh17, 773 to Sh80,452, county boarding schools by Sh7,537 and day schools by Sh6,257 to Sh28,501 excluding lunch.

“This is the most reasonable fee to be levied in our schools taking into consideration the cost of living, and balancing it with the desire to have quality and affordable secondary education,” said Kessha chairman Indimuli Kahi.

Kenya last year introduced free day secondary education allocating each student Sh22,224, in a review aimed at boosting transition rates from primary to secondary schools.


Increased enrollment

One year down the line, school heads said they are experiencing increased enrollment that has put pressure on resources, especially food and utilities like electricity.

The school heads said the current fees structure does not include extra costs of teaching subjects such as art and design as well as power mechanics.

They added that they lack adequate cash for travel and extra curriculum activities like drama and sports.

The reduced fees that came with free day secondary and payment of Sh22,244 per student by taxpayers was targeted at achieving 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary schools.

This has stretched school infrastructure such as class rooms, dormitories and labs, hurting the quality of learning.