Principals Unite to End School Uniform Cartels: A Win for Parents

It’s time to bid farewell to the reign of school uniform cartels. In a remarkable turn of events, principals across the country have come together to form a body that will regulate uniform pricing and put an end to excessive fees. That’s right, no more breaking the bank for your children’s uniforms. Get ready for affordable and quality outfits that won’t leave your wallet weeping. Let’s dive into the details and rejoice in this victory for parents everywhere.

A Promise of Relief

Finally, parents can breathe a sigh of relief. The association’s chairman, Indimuli Kahi, assured both parents and the Ministry of Education that this long-standing issue will be resolved once and for all. The team, comprised of county and national officials from the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA), is taking matters into their own hands to ensure that uniforms are not only of high quality but also affordable.

Mr. Kahi vehemently denied the allegations that their members have transformed educational institutions into money-making machines through the sale of uniforms. He stressed that public schools are subject to public procurement procedures just like any other entity. However, parents have been calling on the government to take action against principals who charge illegal fees to students. It’s time to put an end to these unfair practices.

Uniforms Made Accessible

While addressing concerns about the profitability of uniform sales, Mr. Kahi acknowledged that there is room for improvement. The association recognizes the need to provide parents with a convenient and cost-effective way to purchase uniforms. At Machakos Boys High School, for instance, the administration combined the costs of boarding and uniforms, leading to confusion and inflated prices. To rectify this, the school heads have agreed to separate boarding items from uniforms, clearly outlining the cost of each.

To ensure transparency and fairness, Mr. Kahi explained that organizations advertise the provision of goods and invite bids from providers. The principals’ recommendation for parents to purchase uniforms from specific stores is not due to any backroom deals with suppliers. It simply means that the supplier who successfully went through the bidding process was awarded the tender. Additionally, efforts are being made to make it easier for parents to pick up uniforms at schools, further streamlining the process.

Empowering Parents, Holding Principals Accountable

The concerns raised by parents, particularly those from rural and extra-county schools, have not gone unnoticed. They have accused principals of turning their schools into profit-driven enterprises by charging exorbitant prices for uniforms. Moreover, some principals have been imposing additional levies and hidden fees in violation of the Education Ministry’s standards. Parents are calling for government intervention and strict action against such indiscretions.

Education stakeholders, led by Silas Obuhatsa, the chairperson of the National Parents Association, have pleaded with the government to address these issues promptly. The Ministry of Education’s principal secretary, Belio Kipsang, has also urged KESSHA leadership to control uniform prices across its members. This united effort is vital in ensuring that parents are not taken advantage of and that their voices are heard.

A New Era of Fairness

This development marks a significant victory for parents in Kenya. The formation of the regulatory body by principals is a step towards eradicating the exploitative practices that have burdened families for far too long. With transparent pricing, quality uniforms, and accountability, parents can look forward to a more equitable educational experience for their children.

Let us applaud the principals who have taken this bold step to rectify the system and prioritize the welfare of parents. Together, we can build a future where all children have access to affordable and high-quality uniforms, empowering them to focus on their education without unnecessary financial strain.

As we celebrate this triumph, we hope that other sectors will take inspiration from the collaborative efforts of the principals and work towards a fairer and more inclusive society. Remember, parents, your voices have been heard, and change is on the horizon. The era of school uniform cartels is coming to an end, paving the way for a brighter and more affordable future for all.


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