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Parents struggling with school fees advised to go for Day Secondary Schools

The Government has advised parents who are unable to take their children to schools of their choice, owing to lack of fees, to enroll them in Day Secondary Schools.

Nyeri County Director of Education, Jane Njogu, noted that many parents whose children performed extremely well, but find it hard to take them to boarding schools due to the high fees, tend to keep such pupils at home instead of looking for an affordable institution, where they could learn from.

She says the trend is detrimental to the education of such children since it ended-up demoralizing them further and denying them an opportunity of getting an education.

“For those parents whose children performed well, but who are now finding it hard to take them to boarding schools due to the cost implications, our advice is for such families, to take the learners to a Day School nearby. The government is catering for learning in Day Secondary Schools and therefore parents should exploit the opportunity and ensure their children acquire education. In fact, contrary to belief, many of these Day Secondary Schools are posting very impressive marks in national exams and therefore parents should not look down upon them as being of lesser status,” Ms Njogu stated.

She also noted that lately, elected leaders and individuals have been coming out in support of children from poor backgrounds who have joined Form One but are currently struggling to stay in school due to lack of school fees.

The Director singled out Tetu, Nyeri Town, Mathira East, and Mathira West, as some of the areas where lawmakers have stepped in to support the education of learners from poor families, who are pursuing their education in Day Secondary Schools.

Currently, the alumni of Kagumo High School, are also offering scholarships to bright students who have been admitted to the premier institution but cannot enroll due to lack of school fees.

“While the Government may wish to offer bursaries and scholarships to every needy student, the reality of the matter is that this is not possible. The Government can only do as much to address the plight of needy children joining Form One. Fortunately, a number of Members of Parliament (MPs) and individuals have taken the challenge and offered financial assistance to learners who cannot manage to pay school fees due to financial challenges. We have seen such initiatives in Nyeri Town, Mathira East, Mathira West, and Tetu where the respective legislators, have gone out of their way to provide bursaries for paying for lunch and other needs in Day Secondary Schools, to ease the pressure on the parents who are struggling,” she explains.

On the status of attaining the 100 percent transition mark from class eight to Form One, Njogu says the County has already hit the 97 percent mark.

She says the Government is planning to undertake a massive mop-up exercise in all eight sub-counties with special emphasis on the informal areas, to ensure no child who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) last year misses out on joining Form One.

“As far as enrollment in Form One is concerned, we have managed to attain a 97 per cent transition rate, as of today. We have employed the help of Chiefs and Deputy County Commissioners in this exercise and plan, to move into all the informal areas in the County visiting every house to make sure no child eligible to join Form One is left behind. To trace these learners, we are using lists provided by primary school heads, to know the number of pupils who sat for their KCPE last year in their individual institutions,” she pointed out.

On Monday, the government launched a countrywide mop-up exercise, to ensure all who sat last year’s class eight examination transit to secondary school.

Basic Education Principal Secretary (PS), Dr Belio Kipsang, directed all County Commissioners and chiefs across the country, to ensure that all those who sat KCPE exams in their localities, report to Form One.

“We are working with the Ministry of Interior, to ensure that we attain 100 per cent transition. As of Friday, we were doing slightly above 70 percent, and I believe as data continues to stream in, we will be doing good and by the end of this year, across the country, we should be at 80 percent,” said Dr Kipsang.

The PS who was speaking at the Mama Ngina in Mombasa, also warned that any parent who fails to take their children to school would be prosecuted.

“It will be a big mistake for parents to leave children at home, while we have day schools where education is free and fully funded by the government. Our priority is to ensure that nobody stays at home,” said the PS.

For the country to attain a 100 percent transition rate, the government will have to ensure that all the 1.4 million class eight students, who formed the last cohort of the defunct 8-4-4 system find a place in a secondary school.

By Samuel Maina

 

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