Covid-19: Parents to pay Fees Despite School Closure

A teacher and students inside a classroom at Kawangware Primary School, Nairobi, on October 5, 2015.

A teacher and students inside a classroom at Kawangware Primary School, Nairobi, on October 5, 2015.

Parents may continue paying school fees after all despite schools’ closure if the latest developments are anything to go by.

It now emerges that a number of private schools have devised a new way that would compel parents to continue paying school fees.

Schools belonging to Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) and the Kenya Association International Schools (KAIS) developed an online studies strategy to ensure that students continue learning remotely.

Some 60 international schools in Kenya, which host more than 15,000 students hopped onto the bandwagon and demanded that parents pay for the service.

The Kenya Private School Association led by their National Chairperson Mutheu Kasanga
The Kenya Private School Association National Chairperson Mutheu Kasanga (center) and other members address the press.

The officials argued that the schools have staff that demand salaries explaining that unless school fees are paid, the institutions may be forced to close down indefinitely.

KPSA and KAIS have a combined staff of more than 400,000 people.

Some parents, however, lamented that the institutions were charging exorbitant fees despite the fact that students are no longer going to school physically.

In an earlier meeting, the two organisations had agreed that school fees would be subsidised by between 15 per cent and 50 per cent.

“We agreed that schools will offload all charges that are paid by parents when children physically attend schools such as boarding, transport, food, electricity and water charges,” stated Mutheu Kasanga, KPSA national chairperson.

The two organisations defended the international schools’ decisions to continue charging fees arguing that the Coronavirus conditions had affected all industries and institutions must exploit new ways to survive.

“These schools only get revenue three times a year in January, May and September through fees. If they do not charge a fee for the online learning they will close shop,” Kasanga added.

In his address on Monday, April 27, Education CS George Magoha disclosed that he was not opposed to schools charging fees as long as parents vet the quality and agree to the terms of the payment.

“If they (parents) are satisfied with the content I have no problem,” he noted. The CS also announced the extension of school opening dates from May to June 2020 but maintained that the national examinations would still be carried out as planned.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha at KNEC Offices in Nairobi on December 18, 2019
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha at KNEC Offices in Nairobi on December 18, 2019
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