As grade seven students continue to enroll in various Junior Secondary Schools across the country, parents in Kakamega County are concerned over high cost of uniforms and stationery, fearing their children may be denied admission for failing to fulfill the school requirements.
The distressed parents are now appealing to the Government to intervene by taming ballooning expenses in order to allow the pioneer students to settle as quickly as possible.
A spot-check conducted by KBC revealed that several parents in Kakamega County were stranded after they were turned away by respective school heads for failing to fulfill the school requirements.
It emerged that it was mandatory that the reporting students should have bought full uniforms and other stationeries as instructed in the admission letter.
"The school has instructed us to purchase specific uniforms that are only available on the school grounds or in selected shops. Prices at these outlets are intolerable," said Rose Madaga, a business lady in Kakamega.
"I fail to understand how a Grade 7 student is required to buy more than 6 story books plus over 16 writing books to secure admission; this educational system is more expensive than the previous 8.4.4," added Fred Machabe, a parent at Kakamega Primary School.
Furthermore, the business community in Kakamega County have little to smile about since most parents are directed to purchase their school requirements from specific entities, compared to previous seasons when they sold uniforms to students as they were joining schools.
"School heads have entered into our business forgetting their responsibility, they demand a student to buy uniforms from school or selected shops. We as business people are not selling like before, most of our stocks are lying in our houses for we have no one to sell to," said Madaga.
"Teachers should do their jobs and stop meddling in our business; we rely on this job for to sustain our families and students," she added.
The outcry comes barely a day after Dickson Ongonjo, Kakamega County Director of Education issued a stern warning to parents who will fail to enroll their children in Junior Secondary Schools that legal action will be taken against them.
"It is the responsibility of every parent to cater for his or her child’s education. We urge you to cooperate with teachers to ensure students have a conducive environment to study in," said Ongonjo.
Ongonjo issued the warning at Kakamega Primary School where he was accompanied by Prof. Charles Ong’ondo, Director of KICD, to witness the admission of Grade 7 students to Junior Secondary School.