Contract NYS to make school uniforms for sale
The directive issued to school heads recently by Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria to stop selling students’ uniforms or force specific shops on parents came out as disturbing.
This is more so because he stated that the ban is a bid to crack down on the suppliers who are allegedly colluding with schools in the trade and consequently exploit parents, who could be forced to buy uniforms at extortionate prices set by the managers of the leaning institutions.
I would have thought that this is yet another lethal tentacle from the honourable CS.
The minister’s directive displays the wayward situation our dear nation is in, an exemplification of a government that lacks control of its elements.
The choice would have been left to the parent or guardian to make as to where they buy the uniform conveniently. Otherwise, the government should open a shop.
The ‘Hustler’ Establishment seems to have selective amnesia or coming to be with reality belatedly. The bigger bulk of uniform suppliers consists of “hustlers’, I would guess, who should be considered for such kind of seasonal businesses. Too ineffective for a state to have a stand on.
How many times are school uniforms bought in a year? Logistics to get the items from the relatively few shops can be costlier than picking them up at the school to some, if not most, of the parents and guardians.
I am entitled to think; so, knowing the character of our leaders, who would know how much of the ‘potato’ would be picked by an authoritative leader alone from the keepers for every item sold, now that he would have created a huge market for the merchandise? Quite a deal.
That brings up the high-tech collusion of one man or cohorts and a squadron of suppliers. And it is very possible by the way matters are run in our country. Why can’t we work out and establish a limit on how much a set of uniforms should cost a parent?
The ministry should allow the suppliers to only surcharge for the deliveries if they are not tailors, which won’t be extortive, and they will draw a salary for it.
A longer-term solution would be to give the contract to the National Youth Service (NYS), which could be with the suppliers as the unit’s strategic outlets through tenders. That would generate tangible revenue, which the country is in dire need of.
The process would be more organised for both parents and schools as the greedy middlemen—politicians being amongst them—will be put parallel to the equation.
Democracy allows a CS to guide wananchi, not dictate decrees without soothing etiquette. A solution ever runs close to a problem.
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