- The 14-year-old topped in the school and region and had been invited to join Mama Ngina Girls High School in Mombasa.
- The government is also providing core textbooks to students.
The high number of needy students seeking assistance from well-wishers to pay their secondary schools fees has cast a dark cloud over the much-hyped free day secondary school that the Jubilee administration promised Kenyans.
For the past one week, the media has been awash with appeals from hundreds of needy students who fear they might not report to their respective schools by Friday for lack of fees.
And to respond to their requests, well-wishers have come forward in droves, promising to help the students secure admissions to schools where they have been invited
This week, a girl who scored 373 marks in the 2017 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations at Kalimakoi Primary School in Makueni County had to be counselled at Makindu Sub-County Hospital after she contemplated committing suicide in protest over her parent’s inability to enrol her in a secondary school.
The 14-year-old topped in the school and region and had been invited to join Mama Ngina Girls High School in Mombasa.
On Tuesday, acting Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i insisted that education in day secondary schools was free. He advised public day secondary schools not to charge any levies on learners for whatever reason.
Dr Matiang’i said the government was now paying tuition and its related activities for all students and no school should unilaterally impose any levy on day scholars. Parents should meet and agree on how their children would get lunch while at the school, he advised.
Dr Matiang’i said this when he toured Jamhuri High School, Ngara Girls High school and Kenya High School in Nairobi County to monitor the process of admission of Form Ones into secondary schools.
But even as it puts on a brave face that there is free day secondary education, the government is at the same time, asking students from needy families to seek financial assistance from alternative government and private interventions.
The financial support can come from the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF), county government bursary funds, Equity Bank Foundation, Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation and Cooperative Bank, among other charities, it says.
“With assistance from all these interventions, the ministry wishes to advise all Form One students to be ready to report to the schools they have been selected, to join,” said Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang’ on Sunday.
But despite thousands of students applying for these scholarships, only a handful get opportunities.
This year alone, there were 1,000 beneficiaries of the Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly initiative, bringing the total number to 19,005 since its inception but those who were left out were more.