By Nsunjo Erica
International and Private Schools are feeling the hit accompanied by the pandemic as they continue losing business worth millions with reports of mass exit increasing as parents settle for middle-tier schools.
Insider information reveals that Brookhouse International School lost over Sh300 million in the first three months of the pandemic.
According to some Insiders, some parents who were once willing to affordably pay Sh800, 000 a term at international schools are now going for schools that charge between Sh280, 000 to Sh350, 000 per term.
As many Schools continued to shut down on March 15 as a result of the pandemic, international and private institutions moved swiftly to launch online platforms to ensure continuity in teaching and learning.
Unlike the 8-4-4 education system, all these international systems will be beginning a new academic year in September 2020, virtually both registering new students and gradations plus classes to be online.
The education systems in the institutions vary from the British system popularly referred to IGCSE, to the American curriculum, also offered are the Swedish, French, German, Dutch, and Japanese curriculums.
Despite the planB of ensuring learning continuity by offering online classes, virtual learning remains a very expensive service for parents to afford according to sources, therefore many have resorted to middle-tier schools.
Following the very hard economic times mixed with general disagreement on the fee charges, most parents are now settling for cheaper services presumed to be of the same quality.
Private and international schools have only been able to retain parents who have kids in their final 2/3 years but the middle school and early years have been greatly affected with the majority of parents seek less expensive options.
Parents who school their children at Banda pay at least Sh385, 000 per term for children in Grade 1 – without online teaching. The 10 percent reduction is about Sh40, 000.
According to parents, the fee rises as learner’s progress and those in the highest grades are required to pay Sh645, 000 per term, parents claim they cannot afford this within these hard economic times.
Christopher Banks, chairman of the Board of Governance of the Kenton College Preparatory School, in a letter dated April 9, announced the institution proposed a 25 percent fee cut so as to retain most of its students.
Kenton College Preparatory School had its institutions fees at about Sh640, 000 for Grade 3 learners and above, without the cuts, however, following the increased rate of parents resorting to cheaper schools, a cut was inevitable.
Nairobi International School charges Sh474000 per year for those joining pre-primary one and one has to part with about Sh969, 000 at Grade 12 per year, a similar of form four in the 8-4-4.
Crawford International School, in the first year, charges Sh410, 000 per year and tops Sh950, 000 in Grade 12.
However, international schools defend the high costs proposed for online learning programs while schools are closed due to the coronavirus crisis, that they are also incurring huge costs.