The High Court in Meru has ordered St Mary’s Girls High School Igoji to readmit a student it had sent home to collect Sh44,000 to repay a loan the school procured seven years ago to build a dormitory.
Meru Resident Judge Alfred Mabeya on Wednesday directed the Form Four student be allowed back to class until the case she has filed is heard and determined.
Through her lawyer, the student said that as a candidate in this year’s KCSE exam, she felt that being away from school while others study will greatly affect her preparations for the tests and jeopardise her future.
The student had moved to court to protest over the levies, which she said are illegal since the Ministry of Education has set a Sh53,554 ceiling for annual fees for national schools.
She has named the school’s board of management, the Education PS and the Attorney-General as respondents.
The judge ordered the respondents to file their responses before the case is heard on July 17.
Over the weekend, at least 700 students were sent home over the Sh44 million debt that the school took.
Most of the parents said that they had cleared the normal fees but their children were sent home to collect Sh44,000 meant to service the loan used to build a dormitory.
The money was borrowed from a commercial bank years before the current 1,200 students joined the institution.
Under the arrangement, the parents were supposed to pay Sh22,000 annually from last year above the normal fees until the bank loan is cleared.
But following protests by parents, the school’s management softened its stance and told them to return their children after paying a fraction of the money demanded.
“I wish to request you to bring your daughter to school by tomorrow after depositing the agreed money as classes are ongoing,” read a text message from the school’s principal sent on Tuesday.