Parents with children in secondary schools will have to part with more money starting January 2023 after the government ended fee subsidies for public schools.
The move will be a big setback for parents who are already feeling the pinch of harsh economic times.
Students in national and extra-county schools will pay Ksh53,554, up from the present Ksh45,000.
Those with children in public secondary schools outside the towns of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Thika, and Eldoret will part with Ksh40,000, up from Ksh35,000.
As parents enjoy the Christmas and New Year holidays, they will need to factor in additional fees ranging between Ksh5,535 and Ksh8,500.
Equally, children in Special Needs Secondary Schools will pay Ksh12,790 from the initial Ksh10,860 per year.
The subsidy ended by the government entails Ksh19,053 for boarding equipment and stores and a top grant of Ksh12,510 to cater for assertive devices and any other additional personnel needed.
Previously, the government had subsidised the fee parents were paying in the 2021/2022 school calendar, noting that it had only 30 weeks instead of the usual 39.
However, in strict adherence to the government’s free day secondary school education policy, the state will provide a Ksh22, 224 subsidy for each learner in a boarding school equal to those in a day school.
This will include tuition, for which the government allocated Ksh4,144, medical insurance Ksh2,000, Ksh1,500 for activity, and Ksh200 for strengthening mathematics and science in secondary education (SMASSE).
National Parents Association chairperson, David Obuhatsa, however, urged the government to consider parents’ challenges.
‘‘Since Covid-19, parents have been going through difficult times, especially in these hard economic times,’’ Obuhatsa stated.
Revised school calendar
Obuhatsa urged the government not to strain the parents further, adding that learners should not be forced to wear school uniforms.
Metrine Akinyi, a parent at the Lwak Girls’ Secondary School in Siaya, complained that the country was still recovering from the General Election, drought and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Justifying the return to old fees, Education PS, Julius Jwan, argued that the revised school calendar for 2023 will have longer weeks.
‘‘Given that the academic calendar will revert to 39 weeks from 30 weeks for the academic year commencing January 23, parents will continue to pay approved fees,’’ he confirmed.
According to the new calendar, term one starts on January 23, 2023 and ends on April 21, 2023 while the second term runs from May 8 to August 11, 2023 followed by a two-week holiday.
Students will be on a three-day half-term break between June 29 and July 2, 2023 with the end-term holiday running between August 12 and 27, 2023.
The third term will commence on August 28 until November 3, 2023.