On Tuesday, October 19, students at Emmanuel Springs Academy in Makueni County were sent back home due to swimming pool construction levies.
Patrick Mutua, the headteacher, reminded parents in a letter dated Wednesday, September 29, to pay Ksh10,000 for each student for the swimming pool project.
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The private school stated that the fee, which was not included in the school fees, was in compliance with the requirements of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
“The school has started a swimming pool project to incorporate the much demanding CBC to ensure quality education to our pupils and also for their relaxation (leisure). Each pupil will pay Ksh10,000, broken into two instalments, Ksh5,000 in term II and Ksh5,000 in term III 2021,” the letter sent to each parent read.
Parents were also told to pay a Ksh1,000 laundry fee for students who had laundry issues. This laundry fee was to be paid directly to the uniform office manager’s cellphone number, rather than a pay bill number or the school’s bank account.
Some parents claimed that they had already cleared the majority of the students sent home’s school fees arrears. Some classes pay up to Ksh30,000 in school fees per term, plus Ksh2,000 in tuition and Ksh1,000 in examination fees.
In a month, parents will thus spend between Ksh39,000 and Ksh44,000.
“I was informed that my student was chased from class. I called the class teacher and informed him that I will not pay the money as I had cleared the school fee. Mind you, we also pay Ksh2,000 per year for the teachers’ motivation fee yet they (teachers) do not receive this money,” one parent complained.
According to reports, Nzioka, the director, is working with county education officials to extort parents. Some guardians claimed that one of the county’s top Ministry of Education officials lived in Nzioka’s residential houses.
On Sunday, October 17, dissatisfied parents wrote to the school director, citing 11 issues that they wanted to be addressed.
These included the school failing to share key information with parents, victimizing parents who raised concerns, poor parents-day organization and subsequent meetings, poor handling of cases involving lost items of students in school, and students remaining hungry during opening and closing dates.
Other concerns included congestion, the safety of students in dormitories, and a lack of clean drinking water.
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