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Outcry over high cost of living as schools reopen

It was a busy Monday in Bomet County as schools reopened following a long break after a reorganized covid-19 inspired calendar that saw students go for four terms consecutively in last year’s education calendar.

Speaking on Friday in Nairobi during the release of 2022 KCSE results, Education PS Belio Kipsang noted that the school calendar would revert to normal ahead of Monday 23 reopening of schools.

High school students from different schools are seen jostling in matatu terminals and some making their ways through the town, doing shopping ahead of countrywide school reopening today. Photo by Lamech Willy

Parents and their children were on Monday morning seen by KNA crowding various supermarkets and bookshops to restock personal items as well as stationeries.

At the Bomet Town main bus terminus, scrambling for slots in public transport was witnessed, with bodaboda riders making their way into the area carrying students from various rural homes.

In an interview with KNA, Julius Korir a resident of Mogogosiek village in the Konoin sub-county said that parents are struggling with the financial crisis to take their children back to school.

Korir pleaded with the government to have a look and slash tuition fees in public institutions to give precedence to lowering the cost of living saying he was forced to sell his cows to raise school fees for his four children in various secondary schools in the county.

“There is no money at all. Everything is very expensive and yet the prices of our agricultural products have remained the same,” he said.

“On Saturday at Mulot market, I was forced to sell my only two cows at a measly Sh 40, 000. I had no option. We used to rely on maize crops and beans in this region but since the onset of lethal necrosis disease in 2012, production has remained dismal and unpredictable”.

As for Mercy Chemutai from Bomet town, the school reverted calendar will be a relief to her in remitting school fees for her three children thrice a year from the past straining experience from the previous schedule.

Ms Chemutai, who is a mama mboga, said her vegetable trade at Bomet market was not adequate to raise sufficient funds that are required to foot the bills of her children, she urged the government to intervene and make education free from primary to secondary level.

“What mama mboga like me, who are making the bigger population of this country are urging our government is to make education free at all levels, living cost is ever skyrocketing daily, how are we going to meet the cost of education for our children?

She however expressed her optimism in paying her children’s school fees through bursaries offered by the national government and the County.

Her plea to the Government is to ensure that the skyrocketing cost of basic commodities is tamed to relieve parents and the general populace in the country.

By Lamech Willy

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