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Fires: School Principals under fire over high cost of damages

Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has faulted some school Principals who are overcharging parents to foot bills for damaged properties by fire in their institutions.

Speaking in Kakamega, Oparanya said he had received numerous calls from parents complaining about the current trend where schools had fixed the charges without their involvement.

He said schools must involve certified engineers to evaluate the cost of damages, and write a report that should be scrutinised and approved by school boards.

He particularly cited Kakamega High School where parents have been asked to pay Ksh10,000 each to cater for the two dormitories destroyed by fire.

He lamented that Principals were taking advantage of the school unrest to make money.

This came as parents of the school protested the costs of damages slapped on them amounting to Ksh22 million.

The parents say the amount is too high and the order to pay fees areas unfair. Each student is expected to report back in the company of his parent or guardian and pay 9,823 shillings in addition to outstanding fees if any.

The high school principal Gerald Orina has, however, defended the decision saying it was arrived at after a board meeting that included parents’ representatives.

A breakdown of the amount shows the bill of quantities done as per assessment by a public works officer stands at Ksh 12,185,540.  CCTV installation in the building is estimated at Ksh 695,420  and double-decker beds costing Ksh 4,194,400.

The school will also donate a mattress, two blankets, and two bedsheets to the students whose items were burnt in the fire.

On Saturday, November 6, 2021, two dormitories in Kakamega high school were destroyed along with the belongings of 560 students in a fire incident.

The Ministry of Education has maintained that parents will foot repairs of the schools destroyed by their children.

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