Questions on DP’s directive on KCSE certificates.

Posted: July 21, 2014 in GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

By Nicholas Cheruiyot, Bomet.

Many questions abound over the directive by Deputy President William Ruto that all secondary schools heads let go of KCSE certificates that they hold as collateral for school fees unpaid by school leavers.


While its a welcome news to many form four leavers who yearn to have their certificates, it may rub respective secondary schools’ management the wrong way. Many schools are debt-ridden partly due to unpaid school fees and expenses like employing teachers to plug the yawning deficit that the government has failed to fill.

Has the government put in place  mechanisms to ensure that the plan will lead to a win-win situation for schools’ management, school leavers and the government? It remains to be seen whether the government will pay up all the debts that school leavers owes the schools. Only genuine cases of those who cannot pay up need be considered for fee waiver by government. If that isn’t done, the taxpayer risks paying school fees for parents and gaurdians who can do it.

What will stop unbehaved secondary schools students in their final year and the parents from not paying school fees if getting the crucial KCSE certificate is guaranteed? While the idea may be well intentioned, it may be hijacked by irresponsible people who think they can enjoy  schools’  facilities and leave without paying. What happens to others who need to use the schools facilities thereafter?

Another question that begs answers is whether Ruto’s order was just another road side one or a well thought out plan that has considered the feasibility of the idea. Not long ago the Dp ‘directed’ that power connection fee charges to remain the same but the reality is that the fee has now doubled. Will the latest one come to pass?

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    It is not a roadside declaration anymore. We have a standing Circular, which contained a directive to schools, signed by the then PS for Education, Prof. Karega Mutahi to the same effect, following a parliamentary motion in 2010.

    The DP was reviving a policy, which is even entrenched in the KNEC Act, to the effect that it unlawful for any person to hold a certificate issued by KNEC. We have long confused examination with tuition. The two are not the same. Certificate, as some lawyer wrote in the Daily Nation last Friday is not a collateral for paying fees arrears. If we look at this way, there should not be any argument over to release or not to release them. You cannot hold the property of another as a condition for him/her to refund the money he/she owes you. We only do such things in the villages. In law, you can be held to have stolen the property. Two, Principals have been subsidizing the operations of schools through the very high fees parents who can pay have paid. Schools that actually owe suppliers money have been taken to Court, and some of their movable property attached. And the 14billion shillings they are talking about! Serious audit and verification of ,money owed to suppliers must be determined by an Independent audit firm otherwise, that is a big big joke. We can not be sure.

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