Parents in several schools across Siaya County have protested to the government after some head teachers allegedly demanded that they pay some levies to enable their children sit for the grade three national assessment.
According to a spot-check by KNA, several head teachers had imposed payments of between Sh100 to Sh400 per pupil which they demanded from the grade three pupils, ahead of the week long assessment that kicked off last Monday.
At Awelo primary school in the outskirts of Siaya town, parents cried foul that they were being forced to pay Sh150.
A parent, who did not want his identity revealed for fear that his child may be victimized said that the school’s deputy head teacher, a Mr. Ogoye had told the pupils in a parade last week that the levy was compulsory.
At Sifuyo primary school in West Ugenya, the school administration was forced to refund Sh150 that it had imposed on grade three pupils, following the intervention of senior government officials.
The school administration, through a senior teacher, Richard Ochieng, had collected the money from more than half of the pupils, before they received a call from the education office demanding to know why there were going against the government directive.
The county director of education, Joseph Wamocho confirmed that several cases where teachers had imposed a levy for the national assessment have been reported.
Wamocho said that complaints had been received from Awelo primary school in Siaya, Kayieye in Gem and Sifuyo in Ugenya, where the teachers tried to block some pupils from participating in the national assessment while demanding for payment.
He said that at Kayieye primary school, pupils who had not paid Sh150 were sent home after the head teacher insisted that they first bring the money before they were allowed to sit the exams.
“We have sent a team of education officers to the affected schools,” he said, adding that anybody found to have acted against the government policy will face stern action.
Wamocho said that the sub county directors of education, curriculum support officers or any official found to have worked in cahoots with the head teachers to impose a levy against the government policy will equally be disciplined.
“The government policy is that there should be no extra levies and anybody found doing so will be disciplined according to the existing regulations,” the director added.
By Philip Onyango