Charges for school’s online classes stopped

Mombasa High Court has stopped Oshwal Academy, Mombasa, from charging parents full fees for the third term that will be conducted via Virtual Learning Education.

The parents moved to court on Tuesday protesting the school’s demand that full fees be paid by May 21 or they risk their children getting de-registered from the online learning system.

Separately, parents at Aga Khan High School and Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa have also questioned the fees charged for online classes through Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

They claim that apart from the exorbitant charges, the applications are prone to infiltration by malicious adult content.

A parent who spoke to The Standard yesterday but asked not to be named said most children hook onto the services to chat amongst themselves instead of concentrating on classwork.

In an email sent on April 21, Oshwal Academy told parents that the school’s third term learning was to commence through VLE system. Oshwalis a private school that follows the British school system.

The school told parents their children would only be admitted upon full payment of fees on or before May 21.

The full fees for the whole term ranges from Sh48,000 for those in pre-primary school to Sh186,000 for those in the thirteenth year, plus transport charges (Sh16,500 to Sh22,000), lunch (Sh16,500 to Sh20,000) per term.

Yesterday, Justice PJ Otieno suspended the current school term that commenced on April 4 because it is not the normal school term that the Ministry of Education anticipated.

Justice Otieno also stopped the school from broadcasting and conducting the VLE. The order will remain in force until the petition by the parents is heard and determined.

“It is hereby ordered that conservatory orders be and are hereby granted for stay of implementation of the Oshwal Academy decision as communicated vide emails dated April 21, 2020 and April 27, 2020 marking the commencement of a school term, payment of full school fees for the school term by May 21, 2020,” Justice Otieno ruled.

The parents’ lawyer Daniel Ngonze described the school’s actions as an open display of arrogance.