124 private schools set for closure over huge bills occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic

124 private schools set for closure over huge bills occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic

About 124 private schools in the country with a student population of 43,000 are on the verge of shutting down completely as a result of huge bills that have accumulated since institutions were closed in March.

Kenya Private Schools Association CEO Peter Ndoro said most investors in the sector can no longer  sustain the harsh economic times occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic and may soon shut down.

Several private schools have had their property auctioned to recover debts owed creditors, including The Precious Gift School, a private primary school in Komarok.

Leakey’s Auctioneers on Thursday last week stormed the institution and assembled metallic chairs and lockers, office desks and book shelves, water drums and computers as well as some motor vehicles in a bid to recover millions of money owed by the facility.

“Very many private schools will collapse and cannot reopen in 2021…we must ask a critical question, how can we open our main source of income which is the school fees?” Posed Mr. Ndoro.

He said there are about 150,000 teachers employed in private schools and a similar number of non-teaching staff who entirely rely on the institutions for their income.

Ndoro stated that they have requested for a government Credit Guarantee indicating no bank facility is willing to engage private schools at all.

“No bank is listening to private schools…The government should extend a stimulus programme to the private schools to cushion them,” he added.

Some parents have cried foul over demands by private schools for some amount of fees to sustain online learning.

At Light Academy in Karen, one of the schools that have asked parents to pay half the school fees, Principal Emrah Sanin said the amount also helps the school administration to enhance facilities ahead of the anticipated January reopening.

A week ago, Education CS Prof. George Magoha said teachers under respective boards of management will be paid their salaries to cushion them against the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

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