KESSHA: Students Should Be Allowed to Have Mobile Phones in Schools

Acknowledge Receipt of Capitation or Miss Funds, Heads Told

Seventy-two secondary schools missed capitation because they did not acknowledge receipt of the previous disbursement.

The government released Sh24 billion in capitation two weeks ago.

Director of secondary schools in the Education ministry Paul Kibet said on Tuesday principals should adhere to the laid out guidelines for smooth running of schools.

Once schools get the money, they should acknowledge receipt through the National Education Management Information System (Nemis), for them to be factored in for subsequent capitation.

“Some 72 schools did not acknowledge receipt of the capitation released for January and July last year,” Kibet said.

This is despite the Education ministry issuing a circular in July last year, specifically requesting principals to adhere to the guidelines provided.

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He spoke at the 46th Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association annual national conference at Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa on Tuesday.

By January, 3,000 secondary schools had not acknowledged receipt of the capitation funds for July last year.

The result of non-acknowledgement, apart from missing out on the subsequent capitation, is the ministry assuming that the schools are illegally extorting funds from parents to run the schools.

“Because how then are you operating if you do not get the money from the ministry? It means that you have not received the money and since you are not complaining, you are getting this money from somewhere. Most likely the parents are paying this which is an illegality,” Kibet said.

He also cautioned principals and schools’ boards of management against expelling students without informing the County Education Boards.

The Education Guidelines of 2015 for handling indiscipline in schools stipulate that should a school’s board of management arrive at a decision to expel a student for indiscipline, that decision should be communicated to the County Education Board within two days.

After the lapse of two days, the BoM’s decision becomes null and void if it was not communicated to the County Education Board.

“The County Education Board has the right to instruct the supposedly expelled student to report back to school and action could be taken against that school,” Kibet said.

He said informing the County Education Board protects the school from any legal redress.

“Please, adhere to such simple procedures,” Kibet told the principals.

The ministry also noted that some deputy principals are executing mandates that they do not have like suspending students.

Powers to suspend a student lies solely with the principal and cannot be delegated.

Even the principal cannot suspend the student unless the board of management approves that decision.

“We have a case where a student was suspended indefinitely. That is an illegality,” Kibet said.

He noted that when such a case is brought to the ministry, the decision will be to instruct the student to report back to school immediately regardless of the crime the student committed.

“Do not introduce rules that are not approved by the BoM. These rules must also be subjected to public participation before they are approved and applicable,” Kibet said, adding that principals should not assume certain actions are acceptable because they had been used before.

For instance, most schools ask students who sneak out of school to come back with a roll of barbed wire despite that not being in the school’s approved rules and regulations.

Some schools also allow transfer of students mid-year, which is wrong, Kibet said.

Transfers, according to the Education Guidelines of 2015, should be done at the end of the year.

This is to make it easy to reconcile the books.

In some cases, parents demand for refund after they transfer their students from one school to another in the second term.

For communication with the Education ministry, principals must quote their Unique Identifier Code (UIC), also known as the Nemis Code.

This helps identify the particular school that is communicating because some schools have common names which may be confusing.

Kibet also urged principals to appraise themselves with all the legal instruments available to them or which might be used against them.

These include the Children’s Act, the Public Health Act, the Public Finance Management Act, in addition to the normal TSC Act and the Basic Education Act.

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