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Makini School Parents, Teachers Clash With Management As Woes Worsen

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The Makini Group of Schools is facing a bleak future following a clash between the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of the school and the management, with the former accusing the latter of running down the school.

The company which took over the management of the school in May last year, Scholé, is allegedly trying to disband the PTA for advocating for better management.

According to a letter in our possession written to the Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof George Magoha, Scholé has seen the population of the school drop by 15 percent in just a year.

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

“The transition from the Okello family to Scholé was very secretive and disorderly, leading to the loss of 15% of the student population between the time of purchase to the present day. To date, and despite repeated requests for the same, there is very scant information regarding the strategic or operational plans Scholé has for the school, leaving the PTA, parents and the teaching fraternity with scant information and creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and intrigue,” reads the letter in part.

On top of it, Scholé is said to have fired at least 14 teachers and half of all support staff within all departments leaving the school incapacitated to run its affairs.

According to sources who spoke to this writer on condition of anonymity, most of the sacked teachers had been poached by the same management from other schools for their exemplary performance.

Read: Makini School Staff Complain Of Ill Treatment, Threaten to Down Tools

“The rationale of terminating the 14 teaching staff was absurd, with a last in first out principle used as a basis for termination. Furthermore, 3 of the 14 were from the class 8 cadre of staff, two months shy of the national exam exercise,” adds the letter to Prof Magoha.

Sources reveal that more retrenchments are looming in the once giant school, creating animosity and instability within the school staffers who feel job insecure.

It was intimated to this writer that court battles are looming, as the fired teachers have gone to court for unfair dismissals.

Read: Mary Okello Pocketed Ksh. 930 Million in Makini Schools Sale

Scholé bought the school from the Okelo family, with investment from AdvTech, a school operator based in South Africa in May 2018. Since then, the school has been unstable with reports that its State House Road branch could be closed as the lease is set to expire in December.

In what looked like a diss to the parents, Scholé suggested 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.”

The parents are now accusing Scholé of incompetency that is fueled by lack of experience in running a school of such stature.

Read: Kenya Pipeline Board and Managers Accused of Stealing Billions From Major Projects

“Scholé has been presented to the Makini fraternity and in the press as a reputable organization that has experience in the education sector in different parts of Africa. However, on closer examination we find that Scholé only began operations in 2012. Their brief foray into the education sector began with managing the opening of a school in Zambia for a mining company and only in 2015 did they acquire their first school; Kisubi High school in Kampala Uganda. The Makini Group of Schools is only their second acquisition,” reads the letter to Magoha.

Last week, the management of the School fired the chief operation officer Ms Jane Mwawasi under unclear circumstances, something that has caused jitters across the stakeholders of the institution.

The PTA now wants the ministry of education to investigate the credibility and ability of Scholé to run Makini Group of Schools.

Prior to the investigation, the PTA want the want Scholé barred from managing the school and an interim management instituted, and the firing of staffers stopped with immediate effect.

“The current management with Martin Sharman of Scholé in-charge of operations is creating turmoil within the school,” said the PTA.

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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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