The Covid-19 Education Response Committee recently came to the conclusion that 19th October should be the date for schools reopening. Following the recent debates on schools reopening, this seemed like the much needed news.
However, parents are now anxious over the increased school fees ahead of schools reopening.
Nicholas Maiyo, the Chairman of Kenya Parents Association highlighted the issue while speaking to the press. He asked the government to consider reviewing the fee guidelines. He claimed that parents had depleted their savings during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Most Parents lost their jobs in March and May, and may not be able to raise the second term fees. The government should review fees guidelines. We are in very difficult times,”Mr. Maiyo said.
Adding on his concerns, some parents fear that the school fees in both private and public schools would increase significantly. This is because parents will now have to buy hand sanitizers and face masks to their normal budget.
The government promised to distribute two masks per students. Each mask costs 35 shillings, and parents will have to pay for them as well.
Parents explained that these are difficult times. Some lost their jobs, and others got laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some also said that October is too soon, and that the government has not given them time to prepare themselves financially for schools reopening.
“The cost of taking the children back to school is too high. We need adequate preparation. It is not just about the fees. There are many other incidentals,” one parent said.
“We simply don’t have money to take children back to school. So many people have lost their jobs and businesses are failing. Is there a school which will accept children without fees?” he questioned.
Other than fees, parents will also have to cater for other essential items such as stationery, school uniforms, transport to school among other things.