Monday, February 10, 2014

KNUT AND KUPPET HAVE NO ROLE IN DETERMINING SCHOOL FEES . ......................................... The Kenya national union of teachers and the Kenya union of post primary education teachers have come together to challenge the presidents directive on arbitrary fee hikes in secondary schools . These unions are oblivious that education has been turned into an exclusive club for the rich and able , accounting for the increased levels of illiteracy . For unions that squander no opportunity to tear into each other , forging a united front at this juncture is ominous . It portends evil and gives the impression they abet the practice of fleecing parents , perhaps because they stand to benefit somehow . What is the role of these unions in the management of schools ? What business do they have with policy formulation and operational matters ? Issues of school fees are outside the mandate of these unions . The lame excuse given by school heads year in year out for increases in fees is the delay , not failure , by the government to remit fee subsidies to schools . Granted , there could be delays but what happens after the subsidies are finally released ? It is a safe bet that most of this money goes to enrich school heads , the bursars and members of school boards . Education officials are part of the syndicate and turn a blind eye for monetary considerations . KNUT made perfunctory noises when tuition fee , another milk cow , was banned in schools . There are syndicates , fashioned alongside the extortionist mafia , running secondary schools , having capitalised on a vacuum created by the ministry of educations inability to rein in school heads who in turn run schools like personal companies , lording it over students and parents alike . Principals go out of their way to avoid meeting parents but when they do , their attitude is defensive and condescending . The cabinet secretary for education merely talks tough and it will be interesting to see what he does . will he enforce the presidents directive and ensure headteachers stick to the ministrys guidelines ? In a televised interview , he said the government will once more 'start controlling schools ' . That was an indictment on the ministry's lackluster performance and loss of control over school heads . If the trend in which senior government officials are veted for accountability and suitability was to be extended to schools , only one in every one hundred headteachers would pass scrutiny . Given that many principals are in job groups G and N , the lives they lead and what they own are way above their means .

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