Education CS George Magoha proposes that parents be listed on CRB over fees arrears. He proposes that names of parents and well-off citizens who deliberately refuse to pay school fees arrears for their children so that they can access their certificates, be referred to the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs).
Magoha highlighted that schools should undertake an audit of cases where parents have genuine reasons for being unable to pay fees arrears so that their children can get their papers.
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He added that only needy cases would be considered, noting that many owners of the held certificates were capable of paying off their arrears and that the rest should pay up or be listed on CRB.
“It is not true all certificates being held are for those students who cannot pay their school fees; there is a sizeable number who can afford to pay but have refused,” Magoha stated.
“If you are a teacher and you have never gone back to pay your fees arrears, then you should be reported to the CRB and get blacklisted,” the CS warned when he appeared before the National Assembly Education Committee on Thursday.
Members of the National Assembly want the government to implement an earlier policy that barred school heads from withholding KCSE certificates of students over unpaid fees.
The National Assembly Education Committee, chaired by Tinderet MP Julius Melly, stated a majority of Form Four-leavers are missing out on career and employment opportunities in public institutions for lack of the KCSE certificates.
“Many suppliers are not paid because schools are broke due to the many arrears. Schools need the balances yet students have left. This must be addressed even if it means arrears should be waivered,” Kilome MP Thaddeus Nzambia stated, pinpointing the fact that schools were weighed down by huge debts.
The MPs want the CS to rein in on county education directors and have them supervise the process and legal action taken against parents with the capacity to pay but haven’t done so.
Magoha responded that he would implement government policies to the best of his ability, adding that officers who are not ready to work have no business being part of the sector.
However, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion while speaking on phone blasted the CS for such a move, stating that the government should stop playing politics with school heads.
“Forget about that move. I still insist that certificates should be released only when someone clears his/her fees,” Sossion argued.