Students of most schools in Kiambu on Monday returned to their respective learning institution after enjoying about a week of half term break.
A spot check by the Kenya News Agency painted a near rush moment reminiscent to the New Year opening day situation.
The rush for transportation started on Sunday afternoon and intensified this morning with some of the parents taking a moment off their busy workstations to see their children board their means to school, some of them taking complete day-off to drive or escort their children up to school.
“I cannot take chances. I must take my child until I ensure she has been booked in just as I picked her last week,” Mrs. Njeri Maina, commented. She has a child at St. Scholastica Girls Boarding Primary School, Nairobi.
To most parents interviewed, the day was another stressful moment, most of them indicating that school managements expects them to clear fees balance barely a month after they drained their account for the new year reporting.
James Ng’ang’a from Ndumberi who was taking his son Nairobi to connect a vehicle to Tala in Machakos says that besides the fees arrears, the schools would expect parents to buy additional books they came up with during the first half of the school period.
“The school normally has additional demands to parents that were not previously mentioned in the school proformas hence surprising them with materials they had not budgeted for or expected at all,” he lamented.
Most parents appealed to school administrations to be compassionate and allow them to pay at their own pace, arguing that every parent knows their responsibility and would always pay the fees whenever they received any form of income.
Ng’ang’a says that apart from the boy he was escorting to Tala and whom he had just taken there some two weeks ago, he has a form three girl also who boards and a second year student in Mt. Kenya University.
He says he depends on a few coffee plants, vegetables, three lactating cows and some poultry to carter for all family needs including school fees.
However, the stress seems to bother not only the parents as the children too feel the financial pressure.
Edgar Mugure, a form two student in Ololaisser High School, Kajiado, complained of inadequate pocket money for simple utilities in school including supplementing food ratio through additional snacks and bites at the school canteen.
“I was promised that I will be bought new shoes and a replacement of my tattered sweater but it seems I will have to survive with this since my brother who reported to form one exhausted all the money my parents had,” Mugure complained.
By Lang’at Edwins