Kenya News

Here’s the extra costs facing parents and teachers when schools reopen

Parents and teachers are set to finance some expenditures when schools reopen after the government opted to share the cost of upgrading institutions.

An Education Ministry training manual signed by Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang and Director-General Elyas Abdi detailed how the government, teachers and parents will share responsibilities.

In the document, the government indicated that parents will facilitate purchasing of desks. The government fears that its Ksh 1.9 billion allocation towards this project may not cover all public schools.

622,257 desks will only be offered to 5,254 secondary and 5,136 primary schools. Parents and teachers will add more desks in an effort to facilitate social distancing.

Secondly, parents and teachers were directed to cover the cost of purchasing masks. It would require over Ksh 1 billion for the government to offer two masks per student.

School kidsParents Associations, Board of Management (BOM) and County Education Boards were also tasked with hatching resource mobilisation strategies to aid in upgrading schools.

“Participants may have to come up with extra learning rooms, additional finances, staff (teaching and non-teaching staff), ICT infrastructure, sustainable supply of running water and sanitisers and sanitising facilities,” the document states.

The fourth requirement listed is a directive to parents, teachers and BOMs to find and convince potential donors to partner with schools.

Teachers and a few select parents will be taught on how to create strategies and maintain policies. The donors will aid them in ensuring that schools set measures which curb the spread of Covid-19.

This includes having clean running water and hand washing points, construction of extra classrooms and availing sanitisers.

On Monday, September 21, Education CS George Magoha assured parents that no student would be sent home over fees arrears. The parents will also cover the cost of tuition fees only.

“For boarding schools, the tuition part is also free, and teachers are not animals, they are ready to listen to those parents and we should treat every case as it comes,” Magoha stated.

President Uhuru Kenyatta declined to reopen schools on Monday, October 26, arguing that schools were not adequately prepared to effect social distancing.

Apart from facilitating upgrade and asking parents and teachers to cover some costs, the government also initiated the requirement of 11,000 additional teachers to reduce congestion of students in classrooms.

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