Parents lament mistreatment of their children over fee payment failure

A teacher teaching PHOTO COURTESY

Kilifi, KENYA: Parents at Kibaoni Primary school in Central Zone of Kilifi North Sub County are crying foul over the locking up of their children in a room for failure  to pay tuition fees.

The parents who did not want to be identified for fear of their children being victimized, accused the school head teacher Mr. Raymond Tinga and the Parents Teachers Association chairperson Patrick Madenje of frustrating and tormenting their children while at school.

The angry and  parents told Baraka fm that teachers have been locking up children in a dark room in the school for failure to pay the extra levies meant for tuition and examinations.

“We are forced to pay sh. 2,250 for our children who are in class 5-8 and sh. 1,050 for pupils in class 1-4,” said the Parents.

“The tuition is conducted from 6.00 am to 8 am before the normal classes and from 4.00pm to 6.30pm in the evening before they break for homes and those who did not pay are locked up in a dark room which resembles a cell which is at the school; our children both boys and girls are put together without  the teachers caring what might happen to them while they are by themselves,” added the parents.

They also blamed the chairman for going against their agreement during a parents meeting that class seven and eight pupils should have lunch at school; which is to be done under special arrangements.

“We don’t want class seven and eight pupils to roam around during lunch hours and we passed that they would be having lunch at the school but the head teacher turned down the agreement,” said the parents.

Moses Karati, Kilifi Country Director of Education  on Thursday told Baraka FM  that he had received a call from one parent who complained of the same issues.

“Whatever the school is unnaceptable. All children should be allowed to sit for their exams without being charged,” said Karati.

“I am following up on the matter and want the head teacher to tell me who authorized the school to charge money from the parents and send some pupils home due to such faults. No child should be sent home because of food and if there is a program then it should be followed accordingly and teachers should not segregate children since it has a very negative impact on them,” said Karati.

Karati faulted public schools for running their affairs like private schools; demanding levies from parents yet tuition was abolished.

Meanwhile, speaking to Baraka FM on phone, the head teacher refuted the allegations saying he is not aware of the  situation.

The school Board of Management chairperson Erick Serem said he is not aware of the matter and promised to come back to us after two hours, which he didn’t.

In a letter dated 30th March 2017, Kilifi North Sub County Director for Education Ismail Barrow warned the head teacher against charging extra levies which is contravenes the constitution of Kenya (2010) chapter 53 article (1(b)and the Basic Education Act 2013 of free basic education and 29(I) on levies.