The Presidential Working Group on Education Reforms [PWGER] has proposed that the Ministry of Education (MoE) be responsible for formulating a comprehensive policy framework regarding dress code across all educational levels.
A report submitted to President Ruto by the committee led by Professor Munavu highlighted that school uniforms had become a financial burden for parents due to collusion between school administrations and suppliers.
The collusion compels parents to buy uniforms from specific suppliers endorsed by the school administration.
Earlier this year, Moses Kuria, the Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Industry, banned schools from engaging in uniform sales.
Kuria strongly criticized schools for collaborating with tailors and uniform retailers to generate profits at parents’ expense.
He emphasized that teachers should prioritize academic pursuits and the transition to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
“The Ministry of Education has been very categorical that our schools have no business selling uniforms; our teachers need to focus on academia and helping our children to transition to CBC and other objectives that the ministry has set,” stated Kuria.
His statement came in response to grievances expressed by parents, who accused schools of transforming the uniform business into a profit-making venture for their own gain.
The parents lamented being compelled to buy uniforms exclusively from designated stores, resulting in higher costs than other uniform outlets.
As a result of these concerns, Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba introduced a motion in March to make school uniforms affordable for all students.
“Some schools want parents to pay uniform money to specific school accounts, a move that locks out many children whose parents cannot afford,” she added.
The legislator underscored that school uniforms should be accessible to students in both public and private schools.
She further noted that the escalating cost of uniforms had become a financial burden for ordinary citizens.