The Ministry of Education has issued directives to ensure that school administrations do not compel parents to purchase uniforms from schools or from specified suppliers.
Speaking at Parliament Buildings today before the Select Committee on Implementation, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. Ezekiel Machogu told MPs that a circular sent out to Regional and County directors of education in May 2023 bans schools from undertaking any sale or prescription of sellers of school uniforms to parents.
“The right of every child to free and compulsory basic education is enshrined in Article 53(1)(b) of the Constitution. Our position as the Ministry is that any measure that has the effect of locking out children from school, would be a contravention of this right. This is the case with the prohibitive cost of school uniforms as well.” Stated CS Machogu.
Making his submission before the Committee in a session chaired by Kajiado Central MP, Memusi Kanchory, the CS outlined that Regulation 67(3) of the Basic Education Regulations, 2015, clarifies that no institution shall prescribe a specific supplier of school uniforms or any other materials for the parent or guardian.
“How will you ensure that the circular is adhered to, to ascertain the stoppage of practices where schools stock uniforms and compel parents to buy or, direct parents to purchase uniforms from specified dealers?” Posed Kanchory.
In response, Prof Machogu indicated intentions by the Ministry to note and process the names of non-compliant schools for necessary action within the provisions of the law.
“In preparation for the next Form 1 intake in 2024, the Ministry has also issued a directive to school principals that no school will direct parents to any particular outlet for the purpose of purchasing uniforms; and no school will stock any uniforms and boarding related items whatsoever.” Assured the CS.
On 8th March, 2023, the National Assembly passed a Resolution on Standardization and Production of School Uniforms following a Motion by Gathoni Wamuchomba seeking the house’s intervention to address the escalating costs of school uniforms, terming it prohibitively expensive.