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Get your fees refunds from schools- Government tells parents

CS MAGOHA says reopening of schools will be guided by Health situation; asks parents to prepare to stay with their children longer adding the government will not rush into a decision on reopening the schools.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha.

Schools have been ordered to refund all fees paid by parents for term 2 and 3. This is after education cabinet secretary prof George Magoha asked primary and secondary schools’ parents to collect all unused fees from respective schools.

On her part, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena on Tuesday, July 8 advised parents wishing to get school fees refunds to approach school administration and chart a way forward.. Her statement came a day after Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha confirmed that schools would remain closed until 2021.

This comes after Prof. Magoha on Tuesday announced that the 2020 academic year will be considered lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Magoha announced that all primary and secondary schools will reopen in January, 2021; when the infection rates would have declined.

Magoha, however, advised that parents could also choose to carry forward the amount to 2021 to cater for fees when schools re-open.

During a radio interview on Wednesday, the government spokesperson agreed to the concerns of parents; mostly those who had cleared their 2020 school fees. Most hit, though, are parents with children in private schools; considering the fact that such schools charge high fees.

Kanze advised parents to approach Headteachers and Principals of schools on the way forward.

“Parents will need to communicate and reach agreements with the schools, if they want refunds or the amount carried forward,” she advised.

She added that many schools opted to continue with online teaching; just to prepare the learners for national examinations, in case they were to be held in 2020. She said schools and parents can find ways of engaging the learners while at home for the remaining many months.

“They did not want their students to be unprepared if it was announced that exams would be held this year. These online classes are also being offered by different groups and I think (many parents) do not want their children to be idle.. You have to realize that there are still a lot of months left to the end of the year, so it is important for children to also be engaged while at home” she added.

NO KCSE, KCPE EXAMS IN 2020

On Tuesday, CS Magoha said there will be no KCSE and KCPE examinations this year. All learners in primary and secondary schools will have to repeat their current classes next year.

Kanze said public schools that had received school fees capitation from the government will have to utilize the money in other projects and should wait for guidelines from the ministry of education. The schools have already refunded funds meant for co-curricular activities after they were ordered by the ministry to do so.

According to Kanze, the decision to post-pone the national examinations was arrived after considering learners in remote areas; who may not have access to the current online teaching programs offered by KICD.

“You might have wi-fi and the child has their own mobile device for e-learning, but think about that child in a remote place and attends Makwekwe Primary School. They don’t have wi-fi. Don’t you think if we test them on the same level we will be violating that child’s rights?” Kanze posed.

This latest move by the government will be a big sigh of relief for most parents who have been pushing for fees refunds. But, this directive may add more insult to injury for teachers and support staff whose salaries are drawn from students’ fees.

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