Dagoreti High school parents storm institution over fee discrepancies

DAgoretti High

Entrance to Dagoretti High School in this photo taken on June 5, 2023.

Photo credit: Kennedy Amungo I Nation Media Group

Parents at Dagoretti High School have expressed frustration over discrepancies in school fees and lack of progress on a promised dormitory construction project.

The issue arose after the school's headmaster sent out a newsletter stating that each student should pay an additional Sh3,000, despite an earlier agreement that the contribution would be a one-off event.

The controversy began at last year's AGM when parents agreed that each, regardless of the number of children, would contribute Sh3,000 towards the construction of a new school dormitory.

Last term, parents say they contributed the required amount, assuming that it was a one-off fee.

However, their expectations were dashed when the headmaster allegedly demanded an additional Sh3,000 from each student.

The parents claim there has been no visible progress in the construction of the dormitories and no raw materials have been brought in, leading to growing scepticism among parents.

"Last year, during our AGM, all parents agreed that each parent, would contribute Sh3,000 towards the construction of a dormitory. This decision was taken because of concerns about the increasing number of students moving from Junior Secondary School to the secondary section and the congestion this was causing," said one parent.

According to the fee structure outlined in a document signed by the headmaster and dated November 22, 2022:

"During the AGM attended by all parents on October 28, 2022, parents proposed to pay Sh3,000 per term for the construction of a new dormitory to accommodate 400 students due to the increase in enrolment. The amount is to be paid into the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) account number".

On June 1, 2023, several students were sent home for fees arrears. Parents who had paid all the required fees were baffled by the action, as the Sh3,000 fee had never been communicated to them.

Confusion reigns as parents are unsure who is responsible for the decision to send children home for the said extra fees.

The headteacher claims it is the class teachers who are enforcing the policy, while the class teachers say they are simply following orders from above.

"The headmaster says it is the class teachers who are sending our children home, but the question is under whose authority?" said another parent.

Seeking answers, parents are now demanding explanations from the headmaster about the said extra fees and the progress of the dormitory construction.

They believe it is essential for the headmaster to provide a detailed plan and timetable for the completion of the project, as well as transparent communication on all financial matters.

"You cannot chase a student for Sh3000 which is not part of the school fees and remember it was agreed that this was a one-time thing. What has changed?," said another parent.

Speaking to the Nation, Lawrence Nyakweba, the headmaster of the school, dismissed the claims, calling them "propaganda" despite the anger of the parents.

"These allegations circulating among some parents are mere propaganda. The agreement was clear that it would be a one-off contribution and that remains the case," Mr Nyakweba said.