Mugoiri School parents storm out in protest over new levy

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An annual general meeting at Mugoiri Girls High School in Murang’a County has ended prematurely after parents stormed out protesting a proposal by the management that each pays Sh20,000 for building a dormitory.

The charged parents on Wednesday accused the school’s management of demanding money from them without consultation, and demanded an explanation on how the monies they had contributed in the past had been used.

They accused the management of using the planned building of the dormitory as a cash cow, saying that every year, unexplained levies are imposed on them arbitrarily.

“Last year, we contributed Sh6,000 for motivation purposes, Sh5,000 for construction of a dining hall and Sh15,000 for the establishment of a bakery which is yet to be completed to date. Now they are again demanding Sh20,000 form every parent,” a parent who sought anonymity said.

The parents said that a fundraiser was conducted last year where each parent contributed Sh5,000 and that Deputy President William Ruto, who visited the school, promised to give money to complete the dormitory.

“This is too much now; some Form Four students did not sit their mock examinations because their parents had not raised the imposed levies and this is affecting the performance of the national school,” another parent said.

Mugoiri Girls High School Principal Muthoni Rutere

Mugoiri Girls High School Principal Muthoni Rutere. She insisted that parents have to contribute Sh20,000 for a fundraiser for building a dorm. But Murang’a County Director of Education Ann Kiiru said her office is not aware of the fundraiser. PHOTO | NDUNG’U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The parents now want the Ministry of Education to intervene and find out why their contributions are channelled to the account of their chairman and not the school’s.

They further alleged that the principal side-lines the local community, including some parents who used to work for the school, when employing casual workers.

They claimed that the casuals are sourced from as far as Meru County.

Journalists were prevented from entering the school with a guard telling them that they could not be allowed to access the office.

The school’s Principal Muthoni Rutere maintained that the money sought from the parents is meant for a fundraiser. She said the parents having been given cards for the same.

“This is fundraising money and they have cards to that effect,” she replied in a short text message.

But Murang’a County Director of Education Ann Kiiru said her office is not aware of the fundraiser and that the school’s management has not requested for the same.

She promised to initiate investigations into the matter.

“My office is not aware of the proposal to request parents to contribute Sh20,000 on top of the school fees. We shall investigate the matter and take the necessary actions,” she told the Nation by phone.

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