Deputy Speaker Calls for Standardization of School Uniforms
National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Gladys Shollei challenged the ministry of education to review its policy on school uniforms and shield Kenyans from ever-rising costs.
The lawmaker stated that most of the students were still stuck at home even after receiving bursaries because parents could not afford to meet the cost of uniforms and food.
The Uasin Gishu Woman Representative claimed that schools have been exaggerating the uniforms required and locking out a number of students.
“We have to bring the cost of education down. The cost being charged for food is quite high. Some are above the normal rates. There is a bit of game being played by headteachers. The cost of uniforms to is too high for the parents to afford. What happened to the good old days when I could go to mitumba and buy a pair of black shoes?
Let’s standardize uniforms. Parents can’t afford a pair that costs more than Ksh1000 while she can get a similar shoe at Ksh300 at mitumba.
Why should we have to buy tracksuits, fleece, sweaters, several ties, short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts and trousers?” she questioned.
She further challenged members of parliament to work with headteachers in identifying needy students to make sure that no child misses joining secondary school.
“The best hack is to work with headteachers in primary schools because they know the needy students, their families, their homesteads can even tell you that this child misses school because of lack of food so if you use headteachers in primary school, they will flag the children to you even before they exams are done.
By the time the child is in class eight, they already know this is one of the good students who has a challenge and they become priorities when issuing bursaries,” she noted.
Speaking during an inspection tour of grade seven transition activities in Kajiado County on January 31, Education Principal Secretary (PS) Belio Kipsang issued a directive for uniform vendors to ensure that uniforms are affordable.
“We are saying the uniforms should not be expensive but of good quality for every learner in our JSS institutions to boost their morale,” he cautioned.
At the same time, Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria questioned the need to have compulsory school uniforms in schools.
He stated that school uniforms had little to no effect on learners receiving quality education and hence schools should not institute any type of clothing policy.