By Kiplat Kapusia

West Pokot Senator and Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio has cautioned head teachers in the county over raising school fees.

Concerns had already been raised over school heads in the North Rift region raising school fees and sending away learners to get it.

This  has  affected  the education standards as well as overburdening parents in the region.

The West Pokot Senator urged school heads in the county to strictly follow government school fees guidelines.

Speaking  to the press in  Kapenguria, Mr Poghisio said the biggest problem facing parents was poverty.

“Parents can’t afford to pay fees because they have large families that are difficult to manage,” said Poghisio, asking head teachers to consider their predicament and charge the minimum fees stipulated by government.

“Why should they add extra fees to burden these poor parents?” he wondered.

He argued that Kenyans pay taxes and that the government was giving back the same money to schools as capitation, hence parents cannot be taxed further in form of supplementary tuition.

He called on head teachers of schools, tertiary colleges and other higher education institutions  to empathize and allow learners to stay in school as parents continue looking for money.

“They should be allowed to pay the money in installments throughout the year. School fees can be paid anytime from January to November because it must be paid,” he said.

Mr Poghisio suggested that school managers should work out ways of earning the school some extra income so that parents are allowed time to look for school fees.

“It is advisable that parents take the initiative to discuss and commit by signing how they are going to pay,” said Mr Poghisio.

The sentiments were supported by Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto, who suggested that since parents are faced with numerous challenges of drought and hunger, they might as well be allowed to pay fees in kind.

“It is hard to sell livestock at the moment. It is difficult to pay all the fees. Barter trade is working in some schools outside West Pokot and it should be embraced here too,” said the MP.

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