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Makini School fees row intensifies

 Makini School pupil
A Makini School pupil takes part in online voting. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG 

The dispute over second term fees at Makini School has intensified after the parents’ association committee asked members to withhold payments for e-learning.

The parents-teachers association (PTA) committee has rejected demand for fees citing earlier reassurances by the private school that e-learning lessons would be provided to the pupils for free.

“Indeed, the school management has proceeded to unlawfully bill the parents for Term 2, 2020 much as the Ministry of Education has not promulgated the calendar dates for Term 2. This exhibits lack of sincerity, trust and truthfulness on their part. The school management has also obstinately continued to disregard the concerns raised by parents,” the PTA committee chairman, Nixon Bugo, said in an advisory to parents dated May 22.

“In lieu of the foregoing, we strongly urge all our parents to continue being guided accordingly by the resolutions of the PTA of May 13. Kindly also note that the PTA shall keep you informed /updated on the next course of action as guided by the concerns and input from parents.”

South Africa’s private education firm AdvTech Group owns the school which enrols pupils mostly from middle class backgrounds.

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AdvTech Group, which acquired Makini from Mary Okello in May 2018, also owns Crawford School in Kiambu county.

The management of Makini in a letter to the PTA committee dated May 20 insisted that e-learning is “not free and cannot reasonably be expected to be".

“To date we have been able to continue paying the teachers in full. Our ability to keep doing so if parents withhold fees will be seriously undermined and we urge you not to take route of encouraging parents to do so. Our children at Makini need an operational school to return to and our teachers deserve to be protected as far as possible so that they are ready and available to resume contact classes,” it said.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story erroneously indicated that ADvTECH also owns Brookhouse International School. The organisation does not have any stake in the institution.

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