KENYA: Catholic Bishops Express Concern over High cost of Secondary Education

NAIROBI, FEBRUARY 6, 2015(CISA) – The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops through the Commission for Education and religious education has expressed concern over the high school fees being charged in public secondary schools in the country.

In a press statement sent to CISA, the bishops urged the government to make education affordable for all students as the continued levying of extra charges in public schools will have the effect of driving up the cost of education beyond the reach of the majority of Kenyans who are already facing challenges due to the prevailing high cost of living.

“Unregulated school fees may lead to some bright but needy children being locked out from high school,” read the statement signed by Bishop Maurice Crowley the Vice Chairman of the catholic bishops commission for Education and Religious Education.

The bishops urged the government to ensure that the children‘s right to education is protected and enforced by ensuring that no child is locked out of any public school over failure to pay school fees.

“In this regard, the government must ensure that constituency bursary funds are made available to all schools across the country, and that these funds only benefit the poor and vulnerable children,” said Bishop Crowley.

“As such, the government must move beyond issuing school fees guidelines and enforce the same guidelines in schools. These guidelines should take into account the cost of basic commodities in the district where the school is located,” he added.

The bishops further urged the Ministry of Education to move beyond issuing circulars on school fees guidelines in public schools, to crafting a bill and lobbying the National Assembly and Senate to legislate school fees and limit levies.

The statement also called upon the Boards of Management of public schools and Parents Teachers Associations to also take responsibility and ensure that approved fees are paid on time and develop a paying plan with the parents/guardians who have difficulties in paying.

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