Education Cabinet Secretary, George Magoha, has hit out at private schools following a fresh row over the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) funding.
Speaking during an inspection of newly-built CBC classrooms in Mang’u and Gatundu High Schools on Sunday, January 16, Magoha said that the Ministry will not offer any financial lifeline to the private learning institutions.
The Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) national chairman, Charles Ochome, had on Saturday, January 15, appealed to the government to finance private schools in order to put in place necessary infrastructure for the upcoming Junior Secondary School transition.
The CS, however, maintained that parents had a choice on where to take their students and that those who chose private institutions should be ready to foot the bills.
“If a Kenyan chooses to take a child to a private school with all humility, let that Kenyan pay for it. It is a matter of choice.
“As far as the government is concerned, I am the Minister for both public and private and I am asking all those private schools who feel they must take part in this Junior Secondary to create stand alone Junior secondary schools in their primary schools or they can do exactly what we are doing in our secondary schools, but at their own cost,” stated Magoha.
He further advised private schools that desired to join in the CBC transition to fix the CBC classrooms within their primary school wings or foot the bill to build new classes.
He advised parents who termed the directive exorbitant to transfer their students to public schools where tuition was free.
“If you want free primary school, come to us, we have the capacity and teachers. If you want day secondary school, which is also absolutely free, come to government because it is paying for everything.
“As far as boarding is concerned, government is paying for all the tuition and what you have to take care of is just the residence and the food,” he added.
Ochome, in his appeal, had claimed that private schools were struggling with resources and setting up the infrastructure such as classrooms and buying academic materials for the upcoming double intake was a major challenge.
He argued that it was unfair for the government to pump billions into public schools without offering any financial help to private institutions.
“We, at the Kenya Private Schools Association, plead with the government to consider extending financial support to private schools in form of concessional loans payable with interest for the establishment of facilities for junior secondary schools.
“This will assist establish adequate learning facilities for the junior secondary schools now that the public schools facilities are already overstretched,” stated Ochome.
The developments come even as the government spends Ksh8 billion in the construction of new classrooms in public high schools to cater for the new CBC cohort.
On January 13, CS Magoha launched the first CBC classrooms at Simerro Secondary School in Siaya County.
At the event, Magoha also revealed that the second phase of the project was slated to take off in April 2022 and promised that the infrastructure would be ready before elections.