By Johnson Chengo
Jomvu constituency Member of Parliament Badi Twalib has directed that no child in his area will pay even a cobble when joining junior secondary school.
He was speaking at Badi Twalib Junior Secondary School after storming the institution over alleged allegations that the school head was charging parents Sh6,500 for lockers and other charges which amounted to Sh8,500.
This was after a section of parents from the school raised complaints to his office over the matter calling for the school head Mary Ocholla to be removed.
“This is an order I am issuing here today, no child in all six public primary schools in my constituency will pay even a shilling to join junior secondary school,” Twalib said.
The school board of management chair Elmeleck Baya was put to task to explain the charges even as the government had announced Sh15,000 capitation for every child joining junior secondary school.
The MP however established that the fee was agreed upon by parents and BOM members of the school after they held a meeting last year.
According to the BOM chair, parents unanimously agreed that new parents bringing in children for grade seven classes will have to pay Sh6, 500 for a new locker.
“Let us not make it look as if the head teacher is at fault here, we all agreed on this amount during our meeting,” said Baya.
He added that parents also agreed to pay Sh300 for water services to ensure that pupils learn in a hygienic environment.
However, the monies new parents paid were refunded.
About 1.2 million children sat for the inaugural national grade 6 KPSEA assessments last December and began transitioning to grade 7 on Monday this week.
Twalib promised that the Jomvu NG-CDF kitty will continue supporting the school, announcing a number of development projects lined up for the school in the 2022/2023 financial year.
“We have already delivered 160 new desks to this school which is higher than the government standard rate of 120 students, so I don’t expect to hear anyone being charged for desks,” he added.
“As for the water issue, I will have a sit down with the relevant officers at the county to ensure that the matter is resolved. We are also going to build three new classrooms, 12 new toilets and also adjust the perimeter wall,” Twalib said.
The school is also expected to get four new classrooms for the Badi Twalib senior secondary school, science laboratories and an administration block.
He warned the parents to stop bringing their personal issues and politics to the school and accuse each other over baseless allegations.
“I am aware some of you had already formed an illegal Bom team and were planning to push the head teacher away. Let us not bring politics in our children’s education, support the head teacher and teachers so that they can mentor our children,” he said.
Twalib’s move comes days after the Mombasa County director of education Peter Magiri warned that no parent should be forced to purchase desks or school uniforms from schools as they enroll children to Junior Secondary School.