With only 14 days left to the commencement of the 2023 academic calendar, parents in Nyeri have expressed their concern over the government’s decision to revert to school fees charged before Covid-19 pandemic.
Those who spoke to KNA say that the move will spell doom for many parents whose businesses are yet to recover from the effects of the pandemic. They also argue that they will be required to think of ways of keeping their children in school given that most school heads have already passed down the burden to them through new school fees structures.
According to Josephat Kang’ethe, a fruit vendor in Nyeri town, the government should have given parents more time to recover from what he termed as an ‘academic marathon’ that saw parents pay school fees in close succession in 2022. Kang’the, a father of three, says that most parents are also struggling to sustain their families given that the cost of living has been on steady rise.
“I am still trying to figure out how I will sustain my three children in school given the latest developments. What I am already sure of is that I will have to deal with school fees arrears this year,” says Kang’ethe.
“I appeal to the school heads to give more time to parents who cannot manage to pay the whole amount of fees at once,” he said.
Reverting back to pre-covid-19 fees structure means that parents will have to source between Sh 8,000 and Sh 10,000 more than they did last year to keep their children in school
In one of the school fees circulars seen by KNA for an extra county school in Nyeri county, the annual fee for 2023 academic year has shot up from Sh 35,646 charged in 2022 to Sh 40,645.
Mary Nyambura, a business woman who has one child in secondary school says that the government should equally consider reviving the National Constituency Development fund which she says helped to support school children through bursaries.
By Wangari Mwangi and Joyce Kiragu