Tuesday, May 01, 2007

In response to the announcement of free tuition for Secondary Education...

I say Kudos. Again and Again. Good move. A lot of people just saw an increase to their spending power. And therefore the economy gets a boost with these move as well. That's simple economics.

Now many will want to interject here and tell me how that's only about 20% of the entire cost and that boarding costs are the highest and blah and blah... Did anyone ever give you a 20% raise in your annual income? Did it make a difference to you? Or would it if anyone gave you a 20% raise to your income right now?

That is the weakest of that argument since many will say that the tuition fee amount does not constitute 20% of their earnings. I'm willing to bet it probably does for most because your kids usually school where you can afford, including demographic decisions since secondary schools are usually allotted that way, save for national schools.

The real issue is, is there a need for boarding schools? Is there a need to assess the allocation of schools to students so that they are closer to home and have the option to go to school and return home and thus, the parents rent or mortgage payments can cover parts of fees; because students that don't board won't need to pay for boarding. Why are Kenyans so hell bent on boarding schools anayway? Where, after experience, we all know we went into and spent the next several weeks counting days until we could go home? These are the moments when growing teens most need a stable environment, one where only parents can provide. The reality is a safe haven, where no matter what happened at school, 8 hours later, they can return to and have time to regroup can only be provided at home. With the exception of a few homes where home is a wretched place to be. And those can be identified and boarding subsidized by the government for these students. But those who want to board at a cost to them should definitely still have that option.

So again, great that the tuition was scrapped. Very happy. Now let's explore other ways to reduce these other costs. The way I see it, the simplest way is to scrap boarding schools or make them as optional a choice as it's possible to be! At the very least, it's food for thought, aye?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw this too & I'm impressed. I'm for boarding school though. Kids need structure & parents need to get away from their kids (believe it or not). I know that I did very little reading in boarding school so I can only imagine how much less I'd have done was I not a boarder. But, to each one his own. Go Baks!