A section of parents has petitioned the Education minister, Janet Museveni, accusing some private schools of illegally charging schools fees for online teaching during the ongoing closure of schools over Coronavirus.
In a petition filed through their lawyers of Simon Tendo Kabenge Company Advocates, the parents of Kampala Parents School, Aga Khan Education Services and Daffodils say they are being asked to pay fees contrary to the presidential directive on closure of schools in March.
“However, contrary to the law, certain private schools and institutions have shockingly decided to charge parents school fees for the period in which the said schools have been and continue to be closed and banned from operation,” the petition dated June 29 reads in part.
It adds: “The said schools, many of which have refused to establish a Board of Governors or Parents Teachers Association (through which this decision would have been addressed), and therefore operate illegally, have ignored and demeaned parents’ pleas and even threatened to expel students from school for non-payment of these illegal fees! It is absurd.”
The parents want the minister to stop the school’s operations and warn that should such a measure not be taken; they will proceed to courts of law.
“The purpose of this letter is not only to bring this illegal conduct to your attention but, most importantly, request that you immediately reign in the school administrations and call them to order. Our clients feel that litigation should not be an option when we have a Ministry as functional as yours. We also suggest that you engage and give guidance to these schools on how they might cope with or cover their losses from Covid – 19 like some other schools have (E.g Suspending, postponing or renegotiating major contractual obligations due to Force Majeure to obviate the financial squeeze) without burdening parents and students who are already equally affected as this seems to be the motivation for their irregular conduct,” the petition adds.
The petition was on Tuesday received by the office of the Education minister.