Tough Time for Parents Ahead of KCPE Results

Tough Time for Parents Ahead of KCPE Results

Parents of learners who took the Kenya Certificate for Primary Education exam are looking forward to the results being released this week, even as they struggle to balance the Christmas season and return to school on a tight budget.

Most parents have abandoned plans to travel upcountry to save and plan for their children’s Form One admissions early next year.

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu announced last week in Kisii county that the KCPE results will be released this week, assuring parents and students that the examination results will be flawless.

“We provided a credible exam that was completed with integrity. I can assure you the results will be free of any irregularities,” Machogu said.

Parents who spoke yesterday expressed their dissatisfaction, saying it’s a difficult time for them because of runaway inflation, which has ruled out carefree spending during the holidays.

Jane Adara, a parent of a standard eight candidate in Nakuru, said she expects her son to do well in the exam but lacks funds to send him to school.

“I believe my son will do well in the exams, but I cannot guarantee him a place in Form One because I lost my job and am still trying to get back on my feet. I have to deny my family the joy of Christmas in order to return to school,” Adara said.

According to Alex Muendo, a parent at Makueni Girls, it is not prudent for the government to adjust fees while parents are still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus, which resulted in job losses and a significant drop in income.

“I am struggling to enrol my child in school at a time when the majority of us have lost our jobs and have not recovered since Covid-19.
Another student is expected to start Form One.

“I wish the ministry had given parents more time to settle before making the decision,” Muendo said.

Gloria Anyango, a parent at St George’s Girls in Nairobi, echoed this sentiment.

“I have two students in Extra County schools, and another will start Form One in January. This is a heavy burden I am carrying, and the government is changing the school fee structure. Does this mean my children will drop out?” Anyango said.

This came to light as the government announced new school fee guidelines for National and Extra-County boarding schools, with parents expected to pay Sh53,554 in addition to the Sh45,000 they paid last year.

Those with children in public schools in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Thika, and Eldoret will pay Sh40,000, an increase from Sh35,000.

The biggest elephant in the room, according to Kenya Secondary School Heads Association national chairman Kahi Indimuli, is the payment of school fees in the new year.

Indimuli praised parents for their resilience, saying despite the compressed academic calendar, parents struggled to keep students in school.

“Many of our parents have struggled to meet the school fees in the last four terms even when the government lowered the school fees by about Sh8,000. I know the trend will continue,” he said.

Indimuli pleaded with the government to increase school capitation, saying principals will face numerous challenges when students return.

“With the new resource requirements caused by the Grade 7 transition, I anticipate a problem when schools open unless the government moves quickly. It’s a fine line to walk for the sake of the child,” he added.

Silas Obuhatsa, the national chairman of the Parents Association, said the burden of education is weighing heavily on parents this Christmas.

The Standard - Monday 19th December 2022

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