A section of parents in West Pokot have raised concern over claims that some school heads in the region are sending learners back home over fees arrears.
Speaking to the media in Kapenguria on Thursday, the parents said the practice was exposing learners to vices such as drug abuse and teenage pregnancies as many opt to loiter on streets in major towns.
They thus called on school heads to consider other options other than sending learners back home since the move disrupted learning thereby compromising the education standards in the region.
The parents lamented that some school heads in the region had developed a habit of sending students home to collect fees immediately schools open without minding their wellbeing.
A parent, Phillip Lomong’in noted that some parents may not afford timely fees payment owing to the economic challenges occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.
Lomongín appealed to the Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof. George Magoha to intervene adding that besides Covid 19 economic impact, most parents in the drought prone region were needy. “It is elusive to have zero school fees balance in this region. Selling livestock which is our major source of income at this time is difficult because the market has become unreliable,” he argued alleging that some schools send away learners with a fee balance of as low as Sh500.
Another parent Caroline Chemtai urged school heads to retain learners in schools and allow them to pay the fees in installments throughout the year. “School fees can be paid anytime because it must be paid, sending learners home only interferes with their concentration in school especially at this last term of their academic calendar,” said Chemtai.
She appealed to the government to consider reducing fees owing to Covid-19 pandemic which has led to collapse of most parents’, sources of livelihood.
By Richard Muhambe