School leaders are pushing for an increase in capitation and end-of-session fees

Headmasters stretch during the annual Kenyan Secondary School Headmasters Conference at Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa. April 22, 2022. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The five-day annual conference of secondary school principals ended yesterday with a raft of resolutions, including a push to increase capitation and boarding fees to keep facilities running smoothly.

The more than 8,000 school leaders who met in Mombasa also called for the promotion of teachers in grades D1 and D2 to encourage career growth of school leaders in grade D3.

They also called for the creation of the position of senior chief principals, as well as sending more deputies to large schools to facilitate their administration.

This came as the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) asked school leaders to “kamkunjis‘ and psychiatrists to deal with runaway indiscipline, including cases of school arson without corporal punishment.

Reading the proposals, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) national secretary Abdi Noor said school heads should be allowed to exclude candidates who register for exams but escape from class.

“We decided to review the head and board fees. The Ministry of Education should issue the capitation and a disbursement circular in a timely manner,” he said.

Principals also called for the timely release of draft Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) for Junior Secondary students in January next year.

The directors called for their medical system to be reviewed, stating that some of the services in some hospitals were not being provided.

Directors proposed that the Government should increase the per capita fee from Sh22,244 to Sh30,000 and boarding fees by at least 13 per cent to help the institutions now running on debt.

They called for the appointment of additional deputy principals to be responsible for boarding services and guidance and counseling at large schools to cope with the increased student numbers following the introduction of 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.

The chairman of the TSC, Dr. Jamleck Muturi, advised school leaders to implement an integrated disciplining strategy through regular training kamkunjisDiscussions with psychiatrists and support from a guardian to contain unrest.

Muturi, flanked by TSC directors, said there was a shortage of 114,581 teachers and noted ATS 2.5 billion has been set aside for tutor recruitment in the current financial year.

He said 6,000 secondary school teachers will be trained ahead of the start of the junior secondary class in January next year.

Curriculum Reforms PS Prof Fatuma Chege said the ministry is in the process of forming two committees to oversee the smooth implementation of the CBC curriculum.

Prof Chege told school leaders not to panic about the dual-intake plan, saying it will only last two years.

She implored rectors to adopt CBC, noting that various universities are already adapting their courses to the new system.

She argued that some secondary schools have additional facilities such as labs and classrooms that would help anchor junior secondary.

“You shouldn’t panic about double dosing. This is a temporary measure. You shouldn’t worry about the age of the students entering Junior Secondary either, because in the past we’ve had grades one through six in our secondary schools,” she said.

Kessha Chairman Kahi Indimuli said school leaders would carefully handle the issue of school uniforms and avoid denying students access to education, adding that they fully support the CBC.

“We urge Kenyans to be patient with us because we are human. We will not be an obstacle for children to join our facilities,” he said.

He called on the Ministry of Education to set up the CBC Implementation Committee in good time to push for timely adoption of the curriculum among teachers.

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