The Nyali School is now allegedly bankrupt and forcing parents to pay second term fees in full a year after buying school buses at an exaggerated prices, Kahawa Tungu can reveal.
Sources in the school intimate that the school has been running on overdrafts since November 2019, despite denial by the board of management.
This writer understands that the two school buses were bought at inflated figures of Ksh13.8 million from a bank loan that is currently being serviced.
Also, several suppliers have not been paid since last year after supplying goods to Nyali School. The board and the principal Mr John Kombo expected that by second term this year, the school fees payable by parents would have normalized the situation.
When the government closed the schools in March, all students were issued with photocopiers of past exam papers in what the school described as “homework” to keep them busy. However, when the pandemic was seen not to end soon, the school hurriedly organized the Virtual Learning Education (VLE) without consulting parents.
“Many parents were caught off-guard and had to rush to buy for their kids gadgets like tablets, laptops and phones to make them enroll in VLE. A significant number were however, unable to purchase the gadgets and automatically found their kids barred from the online classes,” says one of the parents.
One week after the online classes started, the parents received a brief from the chairman of the Parents’ Club demanding that they pay second term tuition fees in full. The parents were even threatened that failure to pay the school fees by May 18, 2020, their kids will be discontinued from the online classes.
“In the prevailing conditions, many parents who had kids on the online classes saw this as an insult and revolted against the decision by the board. The parents could not understand how fees for second term could be paid when the schools were officially closed as per the Ministry of Education guidelines. Again, the online classes were done without the students using any amenities or facilities of the school,” adds our source.
Worse still, the teachers have been forced to take a 50 percent pay cut from April to May 2020, except for the incumbent Principal who gets full salary.
Immediately the circular was issued, the parents ganged up against the management, forcing the school to suspend online classes pending what they described a review of the VLE.
In the parents telegram group, it was resolved that an Ad Hoc committee be formed and meet the board and address the arising matter and come up with an amicable solution. The parents requested to be furnished with financial status to enable them agree on a small fee for the VLE.
“This is where the board of management doesn’t want the parents to know. The mess is unimaginable,” said an inside source.
Instead of responding, the management released a circular making the VLE a voluntary option but with inflated charges per month (not to be part of the second term fees when school reopens).
This again made parents angry with the board for refusing to engage and make them understand the financial situation of the school and make the VLE accessible to all parents.
The Ad Hoc committee again wrote a reminder to the board and threatened with legal action if they fail to respond.
With a litigation threat, the board responded promising to meet them when the principal comes from a bereavement in Kakamega. The meeting has never happened to date.
The parents have already reported the school auditor Obiria & Company (who has been doing external financial Audits for the school for the last three years) to ICPACK in what they felt as the Auditors assisting the School management in giving false opinion on the school finances to parents. The parents are yet to receive official communication on the investigation as promised by ICPACK.
It is also understood that suppliers have threatened to go to court to seek for their payments and also spill the beans on the kickbacks they have been offering to the Principal and some board members if they do not get paid soon.
The parents are also threatening legal action against the management of the school.