The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Prof. George Magoha has warned principals against making unreasonable demands on Form One students before admission on Tuesday, May 3.
Magoha issued a stern warning to school heads when they announced the placement of Form One students, accusing them of denying admission to deserving students because of random items not approved by the ministry.
Exercise books, novels, classroom readers or set books, mathematical sets, atlases, photocopy papers, and fullscreens are included in the list.
In addition, the Secretary of Education prohibited schools from requiring schools to report students with non-educational items such as hockey sticks, matches (pangas), and hoses (gembes).
The drastic move, according to CS, was in line with the government’s mandate to make basic education affordable. He vowed to save the parents from the burden of unnecessary expenses.
“We are committed to ensuring that the parents of learners attending Form One are not burdened with unnecessary requirements that increase the cost of education. The idea here is to enroll a Kenyan child in a public school that where secondary school is free,” he added
Magoha said President Uhuru’s government has allocated funds for education in public schools and will cover the cost of classroom equipment. He also threatened any principals who were turning students away because of things with legal repercussions.
“Principals should be careful when listing requirements as part of measures for the cost of education. Don’t stop the child from going to school, if you do, I’m still the head of this ministry, I’ll come for you, Magoha warned.
According to Magoha, the Elimu Scholarship Program will provide financial aid to 9,000 students. 4,000 scholarships will be allocated to urban informal settlements.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta, with urban slums being a major problem, 4,000 scholarships will be for the less fortunate students in these areas. Another 5,000 will be distributed across the country,” the CS said.
He also said that students enrolled in boarding schools would be given priority in providing bursaries.
“Students enrolled in boarding schools should be given bursaries and scholarships as day schooling is free. However, boarding school well-wishers and philanthropists are encouraged to consider covering other non-tuition related expenses such as school uniforms and the cost of personal effects for children in need,” he explained.
38,797 students were assigned to national schools, 214,960 to additional county schools, 258,456 to county schools, 726,311 to sub-county schools, and 2,045 to special needs schools.