Principals urged to implement cost-cutting measures to keep learners in school

School principals have been encouraged to implement cost-cutting measures in their institutions as one way of retaining learners in school.

The aim is to review and reduce the operational expenses per student annually from Ksh15,000 to Ksh12,000 to enable students to remain in school, especially after receiving bursaries.

Speaking during a bursary distribution event for needy students at Duncan Ndegwa Ngangarithi Secondary School, Nyeri Town MP Duncan Mathenge stated that in his constituency, there are 14 day schools that have accrued a debt of Ksh32 million from outstanding school fees and a debt of Ksh28 million to suppliers.

“The push for cost efficiency in school operations aligns with the overarching goal of promoting sustainable learning environments and ensuring that learners have the support they need to thrive academically,” he said.

The MP added that the amount of school fees principals are demanding is much higher than what parents can afford to pay.

“With the injection of Ksh4,500 from bursaries, parents will only have to pay Ksh7,500 annually, which is divided into three terms. This means that every parent in Nyeri town will only have to pay Ksh2,000 per term. However, this arrangement will only apply if teachers agree to review and cut operational expenses,” he explained.

Students listen to Nyeri Town MP Duncan Mathenge after he handed the bursary.

He added that on average students in day school within Nyeri Town Constituency are missing 10 days of school per term due to lack of school fees.

“In all our schools only a handful of students are able to learn the whole term without being sent home for school fees. We came up with a plan to increase our allocation to students in day schools from Ksh2,000 to Ksh4,500 per year,” he said.

The MP stated that they have synchronized their disbursement process with the actual release of funds from Treasury.

“We realized that the CDF is not released in one go. We have put plans in place: the first disbursement of Ksh2,500 will be in the first term, representing the third quarter of the financial year, and the second disbursement of Ksh2,000 will be in the second term, representing the fourth quarter. This leaves the parents to only pay the fees for the third term,” he said.

According to the school Principal Nancy Njeri Njuguna, the bursary scheme has had a significant positive impact since many parents are struggling to afford school fees, especially in the face of the high cost of living.

“The bursary programme has provided much-needed financial relief to families, enabling students to continue their education without facing the burden of excessive fees and the importance of such support in creating equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their economic background,” she said.

By Amos Kiarie

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