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Principals deny using uniforms to exploit parents

The 46th Kessha conference is set to take place from Tuesday June 27 (FILE)
The 46th Kessha conference is set to take place from Tuesday June 27

Secondary school heads have denied doing business with uniforms in their institutions at the expense of parents.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chair Indimuli Kahi said the perception is not true and no principal would want to turn his or her school into a money-minting trade by selling uniforms to parents.

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Speaking in Mombasa after a tour of the Sheikh Zayed Hall where the 46th Kessha conference is set to take place from Tuesday Tuesday till Friday.

The allegations come amid complaints from parents that they are forced to buy specific kinds of uniforms from specific sellers, raising questions about the genuineness of the whole process.

However, Kahi said principals usually provide an avenue through which parents can easily access the uniforms, lest they be forced to buy uniforms at exorbitant prices and which may not be of the required colour, quality or shade.

He said schools are also subjected to the public procurement process by the government and that schools usually advertise for the supply of uniforms in the local dailies and in their websites.

“Meaning whoever will apply will competitively be picked. After this person has been competitively picked, there are two things,” he noted.

Kahi explained that after a supplier is picked, parents will be told to buy the uniforms from that specific supplier or the supplier will be asked to take the uniforms to school.

He also said uniforms should be separated from boarding items including mattresses, beddings, among other things.

The Kessha chair said the 46th conference will be looking at different issues that affect education including the Finance Bill 2023, which President William Ruto has assented into law.

“We are aware of the PS the other day, when he was making his comments to Parliament, he clearly indicated that with what is being given in the budget there is a possibility of one million students going to lack capitation,” Kahi noted.

“As we get into the implementation of that Finance Law as far as education is concerned, we must take cognizance of that red flag that the PS had already given,”he said.

“I’ll back him on that. We need to look for more funds so that we are able to get all our children to get capitation,” the Kessha boss said.

He however pointed out that principals want the capitation increased from the current Sh22,244 per secondary school student.

The over 9,000 secondary school heads expected to meet at the conference will be deliberating on how to completely transition from the 8-4-4 system which is coming to its tail end and usher in full the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC).

“Since the university funding and scholarship method has been changed by the Kenya Kwanza administration, Higher Education and Research PS Beatrice Inyangala will be speaking on the new approach in getting to tertiary institutions and how students will get there, ” he further said.

The principals will also discuss the preparation for take-off of CBC in senior secondary schools which will be ready in two years’ time.

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