Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has defended the directive issued by his ministry, requiring parents of learners in National schools to pay school fees through the eCitizen platform.
While speaking to education officials on Monday, February 5, the CS noted that the new school fee payment system was aimed at ensuring transparency and openness in the management of schools in the country.
Further, he stated that the money would still belong to the schools for use.
The move to have parents pay fees through the government’s digital platform had met a lot of criticism as Kenyans stated that the ministry intended to collect revenue from the payments.
However, the CS refuted the claims, asking education officials to articulate government policies and initiatives whenever occasion required them to counteract misinformation about the work the government was doing.
“The money belongs to the respective schools,” Machogu stated.
Machogu on the Draft National Education Sector Strategic Plan
On the other hand, while opening a discussion on the Draft National Education Sector Strategic Plan, Machogu stated that the government was committed to ensuring access to inclusive quality education at all levels of education, including junior and senior schools.
The Principal Secretary for Education and Research Betty Muganda added that the plan will consolidate the gains made in higher education.
Announcement of the New Payment Plan
The Ministry of Education announced the transition to the new payment system on February 5, stating that the changes would take effect immediately to enhance service delivery.
In addition, the ministry directed national school principals to ensure that all parents from their institutions provide their bank account details in a listed format.
Among the details required for submission include the bank account name, account number, code and branch code.
“The directorate of e-citizen in partnership with the Information Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), Ministry of Information, communication and the Digital Economy and the National Treasury have been coordinating the onboarding of all government services onto the e-citizen platform to enhance service delivery,” read part of the letter sent to school principals by the ministry.
The eCitizen Payment plan was introduced in June 2023, for implementation by all government entities as a digital initiative that promised to redefine public service delivery.
During the launch, the head of state noted that his vision for the platform was clear, to collect a targeted Ksh3.2 trillion in annual government revenue, as well as streamline processes, foster transparency, minimize corruption, and enhance efficiency.