Form One students will report to their respective schools this week, as the 2022 school academic year begins.
As a result of the current economic slump, parents will have to spend extra for books, bedding, stationery, and sports equipment, among other things.
Principals’ new mandate that all Form 1 products be purchased at school has sparked opposition from parents.
In their calling letters to students starting Form 1, most secondary schools have advised parents not to buy any of the mentioned things outside of the school.
Parents should instead bring cash to pay for school supplies.
Parents argue that the teachers have overstepped their bounds and that the Ministry of Education should step in.
The majority of extra-county and county schools in Kisumu have told parents that school uniforms must be paid for on the day of reporting.
According to acceptance letters, most institutions charge between Sh5,650 and Sh10,500 for school uniforms. For jumpers, students must pay between Sh2,000 and Sh2,500, and for school identification cards, they must spend Sh350.
Some schools compel students to pay cash for shoes, blankets, a three-inch mattress, sweaters, and bed covers when they arrive to school.
Nyang’ori Boys High School students in Kisumu will pay more than Sh8,000 for their school uniform, which includes a Sh2,500 jumper.
Students will pay Sh250 for a school ID on the reporting day, according to the admission letters, but parents are free to shop for other necessities such as beds, blankets, and shoes at whichever store they want.
A three-inch mattress costs Sh2,000, and the school uniform at St Cecilia Girls High School Misikhu costs Sh9,300.
In addition, students must spend Sh250 for stockings, Sh1,020 for bed coverings, Sh400 for a bag, Sh2,250 for shoes, Sh350 for item marking, and Sh350 for school ID.
School uniforms will cost Sh7,300 for Malava Boys High School in Western.
The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), on the other hand, backed the schools’ choice to sell uniforms.
According to Secretary General Akello Misori, schools need students to wear a single uniform, and allowing them to buy their uniforms from other outlets “may compromise this.”
Parents proposed to the government yesterday that it issue a decree forcing schools to allow kids to purchase uniforms and other products from retailers of their choice.
The National Parents Association’s chairman, Nicholas Maiyo, blasted school officials for “money minting” methods.
According to Maiyo, principals are abusing their power and should stop manipulating parents.
Parents’ representatives wanted to know where the profit made by schools goes, and they asked the ministry to check into it.
So we’re inquiring of the authorities: “Does the profit go to the school account?” He enquired further.
“Imagine a school charging Sh1,100 for a trouser that retails for Sh950 in the market, with the Sh100 profit spread across several items.”
According to him, the total cost for all products is at least Sh1,200 per pupil.
He gave the example of a school with 2,300 kids, each of whom earned Sh1,200 from a variety of sources.
“They usually insist on us paying 100% of our school fees, but they collect money from doubtful products like school uniforms and other items,” Maiyo explained.
The Kenya Secondary Schools Association’s chairperson, Indimuli Kahi, praised the idea, saying it would make it easier for parents to commute by public transportation.
Kahi, on the other hand, was suspicious and cautioned school administrators against overcharging for the things.
The Machakos Boys School principal reminded school heads of the agreement struck during their Mombasa meeting.
He urged his colleagues to be reasonable in their requests, noting that roughly 1.2 million youngsters will return to school next week.
Schools forcing parents to purchase all school-required materials at the institution are causing a ruckus among parents.
This means that parents will pay the school cash for bedding, uniforms, and other basics like soap, buckets, basins, and even towels.
Parents and pupils will only attend school if they have the funds to purchase supplies.
Principals who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they are battling growing living costs and inflation while managing institutions with limited resources.
School costs for public extra-county and national schools, on the other hand, run from Sh35,000 to Sh45,000 each year.