The High Court on Wednesday suspended the government’s order directing all parents to pay school fees via eCitizen.
The court issued a conservatory order suspending the implementation of the directive by the Ministry of Education pending further directions from the court on February 13.
“That an interim conservatory order is herby issued suspending the Circular or letter by the Principal Secretary (Belio R Kipsang), Ministry of Education dated 31st January 2024, requiring parents/Guardians and or students to pay fees and or any other levies for all government learning institutions through e-citizen platform or any other Digital platform(s) until 13th February 2024, when the court will issue further directions in this petition,” read part of the court order.
The High Court’s decision comes just a day after a doctor from Nakuru County moved to court seeking orders to have the directive quashed.
Entrance to Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.
The Judiciary of Kenya
In his petition, the surgeon who works for the County government of Nakuru termed the initiative as illegal and that it violated the principles of good governance.
According to him, the programme was implemented without adequate public participation further noting that it would greatly inconvenience parents who pay their children’s school fees through non-monetary means.
On Wednesday, President William Ruto while addressing a delegation in Tokyo, Japan defended the decision stating it was geared at ensuring transparency and prudent use of funds for the benefit of learners.
“You may have heard the latest about school fees in Kenya, or money paid by parents for example in boarding schools. We provide resources for learning in all our primary and secondary schools through what parents pay,” Ruto stated.
“We are insisting because we realised there are illegal levies charged by the board of management of schools that go into accounts that nobody knows, we have insisted that all monies charged to Kenyans must be transparent.”
On January 31, the Ministry of Education released a notice directing all guardians whose learners are in national schools to make payments through the eCitizen platform.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang directed school principals to submit key finance information to the Office of the Director General, State Department for Basic Education before February 6, 2024
“The Directorate of e-Citizen in partnership with the Information Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy and the National Treasury have been coordinating the onboarding of all government services onto the eCitizen platform to enhance service delivery,” the circular read in part.
“As part of compliance with the requirements it is directed that parents/guardians make fee payments for their learners in your institutions through this platform.”
While commenting on the matter, Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary Julius Bitok stated the move would enhance accountability in public institutions across the country.
Bitok further noted the implementation would be done in phases, beginning with national schools and then to other schools.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu releases KCSE 2023 at Moi Girls High School in Eldoret.