Wednesday, February 5, 2014

SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS ARE A THORN IN THE FLESH OF PARENTS . xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I cant help but note that becoming a principal of a secondary school in kenya robs one of humanity and conscience . Similarly , i have never understood why school fees structures are written in such a way that it is never easy to arrive at the actual figure . It does not make sense to be given a fee structure in december only to be taxed with extra un-explained levies in january . When this happens , head teachers should have the courtesy of giving parents time to organize themselves financially . These are hard economic times . The ministry of education appears to have lost control over principals , something that has turned schools into the personal fiefdoms of individual head teachers. They dont follow directives from ministry headquarters and neither are they accountale to anyone but themselves .The exorbitant fees and obscure levies charged by most schools beg alot of questions . In most cases , a hand picked board of governors imposes whatever they think without consulting with the stakeholders . It is interesting that while this goes on , education officials at both levels turn a blind eye . Who exercises oversight powers in schools ? Why does the ministry come up with guidelines that no principal is keen to follow and it is reluctanct to enforce ? What happened to government subsidies and free education ? If the syllabus , diet and status of schools are the same , what accounts for the huge disparity in payment even when some of the schools perform dismally ? Is it not the ministry's policy that no student is sent away as it tends to interrupt the school learning programme and accounts for poor results ? Parents have over successive years complained of the high cost of education which favours the rich against the poor . Scores of students from poor families will not join secondary schools this year . The lucky ones among them will have to make do with computer packages then lapse back into illiteracy afterwards . The development of any country has a direct ratio to the level of literacy . With illiteracy on the rise , it beats common sense why the government is reluctant to invest heavily in education and make it affordable . An illiterate person is more likely to resort to crime to make ends meet than an educated one who has the power to examine and exploit avenues of opportunities . There are billions of shillings being spent on white elephant projects that can be channelled into making education affordable . It is my plea to the government that it reigns in errant principals and listens to the plight of parents .

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