The High Court has extended orders suspending the Ministry of Education directive ordering parents to pay school fees via eCitizen.
While delivering the ruling, Justice Chacha Mwita stated that the government would not be affected in any way whatsoever by the suspension pending the determination of the case.
Justice Chacha directed the case to proceed for mentioning on April 17, 2024, offering relief to parents ahead of half-term breaks and the commencement of the second term.
Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) joined the case as interested parties which was slated to be heard today prior to the postponement.
KUPPET secretary-general Akelo Misori (left) and chairman Omboko Milemba (right) during a press briefing in February 2022
President William Ruto had defended the move, stating that the directive aligns with the government’s initiative to streamline payment processes under its one pay bill number 222222.
“Payment of school fees through eCitizen won’t be stopped since it helps to eliminate the payment of extra levies by some schools. We have reduced 3,000 government paybills to one. Some people have been operating personal pay bills and collecting government money. That will stop,” he stated while meeting the Kenyan diaspora in Tokyo, Japan.
Backing up Ruto’s plans, Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok also announced on February 5, that going forward more schools were to be enrolled into the program.
“To ensure a smooth rollout, the new payment system will be implemented in phases beginning with national schools and subsequently extending to extra county and county schools,” Bitok clarified.
On their part, led by the KUPPET Secretary General Akello Misori teachers have called on the government to respect the court orders.
Speaking in Kirinyaga after meeting the union representatives from the central part of Kenya, Misori clarified that the union did not oppose technology, but rather called for public participation before implementation.
He further argued that if implemented without public participation, students from less fortunate families would not be able to go to school.
Ministry of Education directed all National school parents to make payments through the eCitizen portal or the government pay bill number 222222.
School headteachers were also requested to submit their bank account details for analysis before implementation of the order.
President William Ruto during an interview on February 9, 2024.