Uncertainty and confusion reigns as parents demand clarity on Junior Secondary School fees

As the Ministry of Education in Kenya prepares to open Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), parents are calling on the government to provide clear information on school fees and infrastructure requirements.

At a recent stakeholder meeting to discuss JSS at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in Nairobi, parents expressed uncertainty and confusion over the government’s plans for the start of JSS, with some questioning why they had not been informed about the requirements and fee structure for the level.

Cecilia Ratemo, a parent, said, “So far, nobody has communicated with us in regard to what needs to be done, bought, and the fee structure of the schools.”

Another parent added, “There are schools that will be merged and we do not know whether our children will be affected. There is so much uncertainty about what is happening.”

Parents have also demanded that the government increase capitation for primary and secondary schools, with the National Parents Association calling for an increase from KES 1,450 to KES 1,750 for primary schools and KES 22,500 to KES 25,500 for secondary schools.

However, the association has said that they will not accept any fee payment for JSS, as the government had promised free education from pre-primary to university level.

National Parents Association chairperson Silas Obuhatsa while speaking to Nation said, “The issue of fees should not apply anywhere because JSS is being domiciled within primary school premises. Children going to Grade 7 is like transiting from Class 6 to Class 7 in the 8-4-4 system. The government promised education will be free from pre-primary school to university. As parents, we are insisting that the government should be very careful with the issue of paying school fees for JSS learners. We shall not accept to pay school fees for JSS.”

Additionally, parents have raised concerns about the number of teachers being employed, with Thomson Osoro, a parent in Busia County, stating, “They want to employ 30,000 teachers and that is almost close to one teacher per school. The minister must come out and take responsibility.” Head teachers have also noted that many schools do not have the required infrastructure to start JSS.

The Ministry of Education continues to assess schools set to host the first Grade 7 students, checking for items such as infrastructure, classrooms, libraries, laboratories, and the size of host schools.

According to the guidelines, institutions must have more than 45 students joining JSS, with those that do not meet the requirement within a two-kilometer radius expected to be merged.


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