School Embraces Barter Trade for Fees

By Raisa Okwaras

A secondary school in Uasin Gishu county has shown the highest level of goodwill in these tough economic times. The school has awarded parents and guardians the option of paying school fees by bringing in goods as barter trade.

According to the administration of Uasin Gishu county’s Rurigi Secondary School, parents can bring non-material items like foodstuffs from the farm, firewood, and building materials. These will then be used in place of the school fees.

This move comes in about two weeks after Form One students reported to their respective secondary schools. However, with the tough economic conditions prevailing in the country right now, some parents had financial constraints that made it hard for them to take their children to school.

In addition, some secondary schools have a lengthy requirements list that adds up to tens of thousands, something which caught the parents off guard. Some requirements go to as high as ksh.33,000.

For instance, Spencer Olaka who is a carpenter and a parent to a student in Rurigi Secondary School is one of the parents who benefit from the new arrangement. He comes to the school to repair and make furniture and mattresses in a bid to keep his child in school.

This is beneficial to all parents since the majority of the students in the school hail from the area, with most of the parents and guardians being peasant farmers. Hence, the school came up with a new system to avoid students being sent home for failing to complete their school fees.

This has resulted in a rise in enrollment in the school which will see an increase in the literacy levels in the area.

Even though the Ministry of Education publicized the 100 percent transfer policy, some students among the 1,171,265 students are yet to report to secondary school.  

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