Are UPE and USE school heads swindling money?

Parents in Kween district have said government funds for universal education are not being used in a transparent manner. They said as a result, they are being told to pay more to sustain their children in school. School heads have, however, denied any wrongdoing.

Stephen Kiplangat, from Kaproron sub-county, said since 2005, parents with children in Universal Primary Education have been paying between sh15,000 and sh20,000 per child in school. Those with children in Universal Secondary Education schools have been paying a minimum of sh100,000, according to Kiplangat.

School heads said the money they charge parents is to cater for their children’s lunch at school.

“When they want to renovate teachers’ houses, the schools call the parents to raise funds for the activity. What parents do not understand is how schools use the money from the Government?” said Kiplangat.

In 1997, the Government introduced free primary education to enable education for all. Ten years later, it also introduced Universal Secondary Education. However, the programme has been dogged by among others financial impropriety and unwillingness by some parents to render support for their children.

There are instances when school heads have been accused of inflating the number of pupils in order to get more funds from the Government. Many parents are reluctant to provide lunch and scholastic materials for their children, expecting them from the Government.

- May 26, 2014
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