Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Kaimenyi blamed for privatisation of Thika school


Our Reporter
The Transitional Authority has accused Education cabinet secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi of irregularly approving the privatisation of Madaraka Primary School in Thika.
County transitional coordinator Jane Njuguna said due process was not followed in changing the status of the school from public to private.
She termed the decision as “invalid and an illegal transfer of public assets” contrary to section 36 of Transition to Devolved Government Act which says the TA should approve any such move.
The move has sparked protests from parents who held a demonstration and blocked the Thika-Mang’u road this week before they were dispersed by police.
This was the third time parents protested the privatisation of the institution run by the Catholic Church through the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi.
Njuguna took issue with a letter by Kaimenyi saying the school remained private even when it continued to receive funds from the government.
The official said records showed that Madaraka has always been categorised as a public school and any decision to change the status “should have involved parents and the Transition Authority, which was not followed as by law stipulated”.
She said her office has written a report after conducting an inventory which showed that many of the school’s assets including buildings and vehicles had been funded by parents.
Parents said they were informed at the end of last year that the school, which has been among the top performers in the county, would re-open as a private entity this year.
“The management issued a new fees structure and told us that those who will not afford the new charges should look for other schools,” said a parents’ spokesman Nathan Nyaundi.
According to the new the schedule issued by the headteacher, Sister Jane Ndemenge fees were raised to Sh85,900 for boarders and Sh37,900 for day scholars, annually. Previously, they paid Sh35,500 and Sh14,500 respectively.
The parents said privatisation of the school was irregular as they had not been consulted. “We have also bought two buses and built a swimming pool with our money. If the school is privatised, we shall be deprived of our rights as parents,” the apparent said.
Thika Knut branch executive secretary Mungai Ngige said the move was illegal as it had not been approved by the District Education Board as is mandatory in law.