Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has defended education CS Prof. George Magoha on compelling parents to pay third term fees by sending children home.
Magoha had last week told parents to pay third term school fees arrears for their children, warning that those who fail to do so will have their children sent home.
The CS directed principals to ensure parents settle fees arrears but urged that students from humble backgrounds or whose parents lost jobs due to Covid-19 pandemic be spared. “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,” the CS said.
The directive has since been criticized and lauded by a section of parents in equal measure. Some parents asked the CS to be considerate as they were still struggling as result of the effects of the coronavirus.
Speaking at NEP girls’ high school where he distributed revision books for both primary and secondary schools, Duale said that he was in support of the CS.
“I think people misunderstood the CS. What he meant is that parents who are able to pay school fees must do so and principals and head teachers know these students,” he said.
He regretted the backlash that followed the CS statement noting, “Let us be honest with each other. Our children in school need to eat. We also have other bills that need to be cleared like electricity. How will the schools run if we refuse to pay the fees?” he posed.
Duale however urged head teachers to be sympathetic to needy parents. “Amongst us are parents who lost their jobs during this pandemic. Some were forced to close their businesses,” he said.
Recently, the government released Sh 9.3 billion capitation funds for primary and secondary schools countrywide.
By Erick Kyalo