Parents move to court after school increases term two fees

Parents move to court after school increases term two fees

As schools open for second term learning, parents of St Bakhita Schools have moved to court over what they termed as abrupt increment of school fees.

This followed disagreement between the school’s management and a section of parents over the increased term two fees.

Justice Christine Meoli of Milimani Law Courts set the hearing date of the case on May 27, 2024.

In their petition, at least 1,000 parents were irked by the school for not giving them ample time to prepare financially for the fee increment. This could see their children out of class due to fee balances occasioned by the hike.

Their lawyer Charles Mwalimu said increasing school fees in the middle of the year, particularly amid uncertainties occasioned by heavy rains and floods, left parents with little power to bargain.

These petitioners are now suing St Bakhita Schools Limited, St Bakhita Daycare and Kindergarten Limited, St Bakhita Junior Secondary School Limited and St Bakhita Holdings Limited.

Apparently, they were served with a three-weeks notice on the same, which they claimed was insufficient to readjust their budgets and pay fees on time as required by the school.

Most complained that they were unable to transfer or clear the money within the short period as most schools had already resumed learning and intake period lapsed.

Consequently, they want the court to prohibit the school from implementing the new fee structure until a consensus has been arrived at.

“It is the plaintiffs’ (parents) contention that the defendants (school management) have taken advantage of being the party with stronger bargaining power in their contractual relationship.

“The strong party in a contractual relationship should not be allowed to steamroll over the weaker party,” Lawyer Mwalimu told the court.

The school’s management however urged the court not to grant parents the stay order, claiming most parents had already aligned with the new fee structure.

Lawyer Wilfred Mutubwa, speaking on behalf of the school, argued that the school was willing to draft a payment plan with aggrieved parents.

The school director Felista Mutuku in his submission noted that the rise was occasioned by inflation leading to higher maintenance costs.

“It is not true that the management has abused the discretion but it has always been open to accommodate and engage the parents on the issue,” his statement read in part.

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