Education is said to be the best equaliser of disparities in regard to socioeconomic status and the best gift the government can give the youth. But despite its being an essential pillar, education is becoming a luxury to the many students from poor families.
The situation is a result of the high cost of living, fuelled by the government’s act of yanking off subsidies on consumables and increasing taxation on fuel and electricity for industrial and domestic use, among others.
This has caused more harm than good to the common mwananchi, not to mention the burden of raising school fees for their children joining secondary school children this week amid the hard economic times.
It is good the government is implementing its 100 per cent transition policy. But it should not be just about placing students in secondary schools and issuing admission letters. There is more to it, like school fees and other requirements, especially for national boarding school students.
The Education ministry should enforce standardisation of fees among secondary schools. For students from poor families, it should not be doom and gloom but rather an opportunity to make their dreams come true.
And while the government has forbidden schools from selling uniforms to students due to the steep prices, there is still a lot of issues to be addressed.
MPs should be responsible enough and use the funds disbursed by the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) to give bursaries to all needy students. Information about NG-CDF is in the public domain; we expect it to be used well in supporting needy students to join Form One.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu ought to carry forward the legacy of his departed predecessor, Prof George Magoha, of 9,000 scholarships for needy students.
No student should be left out, regardless of their family’s financial strength. Together, in our own small ways, let’s help every Kenyan child to realise their dream of getting an education.
This is a busy week for parents seeking to ensure their children rise to the next class. But it is also amid very high cost of living.
The former Education CS, the late Prof George Magoha, had an initiative to ensure all students are admitted to Form 1, and now Junior Secondary School. His ambition was to ensure a 100 per cent transition of students from primary to secondary school irrespective of the parents’ financial status or the students score.
Ensure the plan continues.