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Brookhouse parents want online classes to continue

Sunday May 10 2020
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Brookhouse International School. Parents with children at the high-cost school appear to agree that online learning should continue even as they push for the lowering of the fees. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By WALTER MENYA

Parents with children at the high-cost Brookhouse School appear to agree that online learning should continue even as they push for the lowering of the fees.

Court filings by the parents who petitioned the court over the fees, and a counterclaim by another section of parents, agree that suspension of lessons is bad for the learners.

Under the headline, ‘Boycott of Classes’, minutes of the meeting of Brookhouse Parents Association (BPA) of April 29, which is part of the suit they have filed, show that the parents were concerned about the possible discontinuation of the online lessons for their children.

“It was agreed that disruption of the children’s learning would not be the appropriate strategy at this juncture. All students are to continue with the unlicensed online studies,” the minutes state.

INTERESTED PARTY

On the other hand, another section of parents who are opposed to the petition by BPA have applied to be enjoined in the suit.

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In their submissions, the interested party, denoted by the abbreviation DPGT, say the stoppage of the online learning for kindergarten and lower primary learners pending the determination of the petition by BPA has caused great hardship on the children.

“They were introduced to virtual learning that mitigated the effects that Covid-19 had on their education. They had started liking the new routine, and the sudden stop of virtual learning has undoubtedly brought psychological torture to them. They cannot understand why learning has been stopped,” they say in their skeletal submissions in court.

FEES

BPA had moved to court last week, accusing the school’s management of reducing the fees by a paltry percentage, yet the schools are closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the petition, High Court judge Weldon Korir issued orders that school fees for third term be reduced by half and also that online classes for kindergarten and lower primary learners be stopped pending the determination of the petition.

In preparation for the petition, the BPA had come up with action points, which included instituting legal action against the school, petitioning the Ministry of Education and Parliament, and demanding that the school recognise their association as the bona fide parents’ teachers association.

OVERWHELMED

In a letter dated May 8 to parents, Rabih Saab, who chairs the Brookhouse Board of Directors, says that they have been overwhelmed by parents asking for the online learning to resume.

“We are grateful to all the families who have communicated to us and will make every effort to maintain the highest educational standards as we move forward together,” said Mr Saab.

However, he says the dispute over school fees and online learning for kindergarten and lower primary learners will now be resolved in court.

Brookhouse School has maintained that its fees discount offered as a result of the disruption caused by Covid-19 tallies with what other schools in its league are offering.

The hearing of the petition is set for Wednesday, May 13.

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