Homes bear school fees pinch – KNBS

Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 13:44 | By
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Education PS Belio Kipsang at Arap Moi Primary School, Kajiado. PD/Christine Musa

Families with school-going children were among the hardest hit last month by the high cost of living even as inflation rate eased by 0.1 per cent from 9.1 per cent in December.

According to monthly inflation data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the country’s overall rate of inflation in January stood at 9.0 per cent, following a drop in the cost of some food items, offering a slight relief to Kenyans.

Pressure on the prices of education services and products was more pronounced, especially among households with school-going children, as schools reopened just after December festivities.

Education index soars

“The education index increased by 0.9 per cent between December 2022 and January 2023. This was mainly driven by an increase in tuition fees for pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools in the same period,” KNBS Director General Macdonald Obudho said in his monthly inflation update.

Parents have over the years raised concerns over exorbitant school uniforms, stationery, and school fee hike amid the high cost of living. These costs could even hike further this month ahead of form one intake from next week.

Prices of products and services in the alcoholic products and recreational division also surged by 1 per cent in January 2023 while the rest of the items used to estimate inflation rates slumped by less than 0.5 per cent. The just concluded festivity in December offered a major boost for recreational activities as demand increased, leading to increase in costs in the general tourism sector. The price impact of the festivity spilled over to other interlinked service providers in the food and alcoholic divisions.

Kenya’s inflation has mainly been influenced by changes in prices of food commodities, energy, and transport, all of which takes up to 57 per cent of households’ spending.

But the cost of food items, though still high, has been declining lately. For instance, in January, the surveyed food products like maize grain (loose) and cowpeas reduced by 1.4 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively in January.

Potatoes prices were down by 4.7 per cent. The transport index was not affected between December 2022 and January 2023 as the prices of diesel and petrol remained unchanged in January 2023.

The decline in overall CPI highlights the gradual easing of inflation that the country anticipates in the first quarter of the year should the projected economic slowdown have minimal impact on key sectors.

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