Makini School has taken over Bhayani Nursery and Primary School in Kisumu in an expansion drive that cements the group’s presence in the Western Kenya region.
The acquisition for an undisclosed amount increases Makini’s Kisumu campuses to three out of five countrywide.
In a statement Thursday, Makini said its managers, Scholé, will lease the Bhayani school property from the Shree Lohana Mahajan community in Kisumu.
The private schools group also announced an additional investment of over Sh100 million in its Western Kenya campuses. Scholé also plans to open a high school in 2020 in the Makini Kibos campus and expand its boarding facilities to accommodate Class Six to Form Four students.
“With the Bhayani’s decision to close the school, Scholé saw an opportunity to support the Lohajan Community Trust by leasing the land at the current market value [in a 15+15-year lease].
"Since the property was already built for a school, it enables an easy transition to continue providing education in area without a need to repurpose the property,” said the school in a response to the Business Daily’s queries.
Makini charges up to Sh45,000 per term for its Kisumu unit while school fees at Bhayani, which has operated for over four decades, went for up to Sh9,000 a term for students in Class 3, according to a 2014 fee structure on the school’s website.
Makini will absorb the over 250 Bhayani School learners who will complete their primary school education as Makini pupils on a bursary scheme that will include partial tuition, uniform, textbooks and lunch.
Current Bhayani pupils will continue paying school fees as per what they were paying as Bhayani community school pupils. Additionally, current Bhayani teachers and support staff will be trained and hired by Makini.
The UK-based Schole has been on an expansion drive since it began managing Makini Schools in May 2018 when it formed a consortium with South African private education firm ADvTECH Ltd and healthcare and education investment firm Caerus Capital to purchase the Makini Schools business from the Okelo family.
The expansion is financed by three investors. ADvTECH owns 71 percent, Scholé owns 25 percent and Caerus Capital owns four percent. The original school properties are on a long-term lease with the Okelo family.
The new Makini Kisumu campus will house Class 2 to Class 5 pupils. Makini Migosi will be home to daycare to Class 1 learners. Makini Kibos campus will be the site for Class 6 to Form Four students.
High-end private education in Kenya has been attracting global investors, with international entities such as SABIS and ADvTECH-owned Crawford entering the market last year.
Investors in the sector are attracted by the high premium that wealthy Kenyans and expatriates working for multinationals, missions and non-governmental agencies place on education.
Kenya led African countries in terms of tuition fees at elite schools in a 2017 International Schools Database survey, ahead of the average annual fees in cities such as Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Abu Dhabi and South Africa’s Cape Town — whose fees were nearly a third of what the Kenyan schools charge.
Makini, however, said it had no plans to switch from the Kenyan curriculum to an international one.