Parents with children in private schools in Nakuru town have raised concern over the high cost of e-learning.
A parent at a top private school in the town said that the institution has been charging them Sh1,500 to receive learning materials on WhatsApp.
“I have three school going children and every three weeks, the school sends learning materials for which it charges Sh1,500 per child,” said the parent.
The parent alleged that the school has taken advantage of the closure of learning institutions to send unnecessary e-learning materials to Grade 1, 2 and three pupils.
“Even during normal learning time, the children were not receiving excess homework. The school has taken advantage of the Covid-19 to exploit parents,” said Ms Mueni a parent at the school.
A school administrator who talked to the Nation on condition of anonymity revealed that since the schools were not charging school fees, the management was using the e-learning charges to raise money to pay their teaching and non-teaching staff salaries.
“We are charging between Sh1,500 and Sh2,000 depending on classes and this money is largely used to pay staff as we are not charging school fees,” said the official.
However, he said the e-learning resources is only 35 per cent interactive online as most of the parents are unable to pay for the internet.
“The online interactive learning is yet to pick up as most parents say they have no money to access the learning materials,” he added.
He said the school has sent more than 40 teachers on unpaid leave as coronavirus pandemic bites.
“We are unable to pay our teachers and since we don’t want to ask parents for school fees while their children are at home, we have decided to use online learning to charge parents and that is the money we are using to pay run the school,” said a school administrator in Njoro.
A teacher at a public secondary school in Lanet area said the school was following the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development online material to keep their students busy at home.
“Being a public school, it is very tricky to ask the parents to pay for e-learning and once we receive the e-learning materials we forward as bulk message to parents,” said the teacher.