The Ministry of Education has warned schools against forcing parents to purchase desks or uniforms as they enroll pupils to Junior Secondary School (JSS).
Mombasa County Director of Education Peter Magiri said that the government will avail capitation for JSS and directed primary school heads to procure stationeries from suppliers as they await the monies to be disbursed by the government.
Some parents have been complaining of being forced to purchase desks, uniforms, 26 exercise books, 13 text books, photocopy papers and foolscap rims among other requirements.
“No child should be asked to buy desks, books or stationeries as the government is going to avail funds for these requirements,” said Magiri. He was speaking during a meeting with primary school heads whose schools were approved to host junior secondary.
Magiri said that schools had no authority to sell desks and uniforms, urging principals to leave that to contracted suppliers and traders. “Why should parents be asked to buy 26 books, yet the syllabus is yet to be finalised,” asked the education official.
Magiri further warned parents to be on the watch out for private schools not approved to offer JSS.
Mombasa has 97 public schools where 89 were approved to host JSS with the remaining eight set aside as feeder schools. The number of private primary schools stands slightly above 400, but only around 280 registered candidates for the inaugural KPSEA exams.
About 34,000 children who sat the exams in the county are expected to join junior secondary school. Magiri said that all schools approved by the government will be registered and issued with a registration certificate from the ministry.
He added that the county education board will start issuing registration certificates next week and that any school without a registration certificate will not be allowed to operate.
By Shamim Musa and Mohamed Hassan