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Crawford, Sabis schools sued in fees row

Crawford International School
Crawford International School under construction in Tatu City, Kiambu County on April 26, 2018. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Parents of Crawford International School and Sabis International School have sued to block the institutions from demanding full fees for online lessons during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In court documents, the parents using the initials CIS and SPG respectively termed the action by the schools’ board of directors unlawful and a breach to consumer rights.

Their suit comes barely a month after a similar one was filed by parents of Brookhouse School demanding a fee discount of at least 30 percent.

“The same rate of fees and charges of 100 percent that the (Sabis) school is demanding when the school is in session, amounts to a contravention of consumer rights between the schools and parents, violates article 46 of the Constitution, is unfair…and unlawful,” reads the petition by lawyer Omwanza Ombati.

Under the certificate of urgency, the parents note the school failed to offer fee discounts despite its campus in Runda remaining shut and not incurring overhead costs such as electricity and water.

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“In our network of schools, we are not giving discounts right now…since our operations are running smoothly despite the pandemic,” said Sabis Director Robert Kleynhans in a phone interview.

Sibis operates more than 70 schools globally.

Crawford parents through lawyer Michael Muchemi Ndegwa said by imposing full fees for online classes, the institution had failed to take into account realities presented by the closure of schools.

“Crawford International School has continued to levy disproportionate high fees, which still include exam fees for cancelled exams and proceeded to offer unregulated email-based and patched up online learning,” he said.

As the economic impact from the pandemic begins to bite, fears are rife that top private schools could be driven out of business due to loss of fees, their main source of income.

Makini Schools has not been spared with parents threatening legal action against the institution for demanding full fee payment for online classes.

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