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New Makini School Owners Kicking Out Students, Asking Parents To Build New School

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

New Makini School owners, Scholé, are reportedly kicking out some students in their school over operational space crisis which has hit the school one year after takeover.

According to a document presentation in our possession, the owners are also mulling the idea that parents build a new school, and rent it to them.

Scholé bought the school from the Okelo family, with investment from AdvTech, a school operator based in South Africa early 2018.

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However, Scholé claims that they only bought the school (name), and not the land and structures hence leaving the school in a fix on where to run their business. The document further indicates that they are not sure of getting funding from their sponsors, AdvTech.

“The Okelo family retained ownership of the land and buildings – they are our landlord and we pay her rent. The State House property was not included in the long term lease – the Okelo family had other (non-educational) plans for the site. However they were willing to rent it to us separately, initially to December 2018,” reads part of the document.

The company, Scholé, pays for the lease every year, and the current lease expires in December this year, which will leave the owners with just the name, threatening a business collapse, as the management admits that they might not find a solution that accommodates all parents and their students.

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“We may not be able to find a solution that works for everyone, but our aim is to seek a solution that satisfies as many parents as possible,” adds the document.

With the company running out of options and time, they are now promising the parents that “all children (will get) places in the Ngong Road schools”.

Among the options available for the school include continuing with the lease or looking for another property to run the school.

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The option of finding an alternative property is already proving an uphill task for the management, which is already complaining that the current location is in one of the most expensive parts of Nairobi.

“There is little available property in the area; that which is available is extremely expensive. It is likely that we will need to find something further away or more expensive than the current site,” adds the document.

What worries the parents most is that the quality of education at the school, which has been a top performer in the country, could go down due to the unsettled nature being experienced currently.

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The management is also suggesting an increase in school population in order to cater for rental expenses, but this will only promise survival of the school, but not quality of education.

“We could increase the size of the school to 440 children (which) would make a rent up to KSh8.8 million affordable or 600 children (which) would make a rent up to KSh12 million affordable,” says the management.

As another option, the school has identified three properties; at Ole Kejuado Road, Kileleshwa, Kileleshwa Estate and Arboretum Road, State House, which they term as potential locations where they can put up a new school.

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However, in a surprise turn of events, the owners are suggesting that “a consortium of parents could choose to be our property partner. You could get together and create a fund to buy a property, which you then rent to the school affordably.”

If the available options for the school flop, it means that the school could sink, just a year after takeover, or the the new owners could be forced to turn back to the initial owners for help or resell it back.

Makini group of schools was founded in 1978 by Dr Mary Okelo along with her late husband Dr Pius Okelo. It has 8 schools on 4 campuses in Nairobi and Kisumu, with 3,200 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, at the time of the takeover.

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Students pay at least Ksh250,000 per year, making it one of the most expensive schools in the country.

AdvTech,, one of the sponsors of the takeover, is a provider of private education in Africa,operating in more than 117 educational sites in Southern Africa.

Scholé has operated schools in Zambia and Uganda since 2012.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. Believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye.
Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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