The Parents Association of Makini School has written to the chief executive officer Horace Mpanza over various allegations including carrying firearm within the school.
The association through lawyer Apollo Mboya accuses the Mpanza of exhibiting aggressive behaviour towards them, the staff and learners.
In a demand letter, the association alleges that the CEO who is a South African national of carrying a firearm within the school compound.
The parents allege that this causes an atmosphere of fear among the teaching staff, support staff, parents and learners.
Others accusations include dismissing a member of staff for having a tissue papers similar to the ones used at the school, smoking within the institution in the presence of learners and putting up an irregular structure within the institution as a smoking zone.
“The CEO does not accord a hearing to parents, teachers and staff who seek consultations about their concerns,” states the demand letter.
On the Welfare of the learners it is alleged that the CEO sends learners home in the most humiliating manner for fee arrears, embarrassing them with their parents by shouting at them.
The parents’ further claim the school is not in fully compliant with the CBC requirements as there is no Home Science Laboratory and the high staff turnover which has affected the education standards and has made the Ministry of Education drop Makini from being a center of excellence of studies.
“The CEO interferes in the affairs of the Parents/Teachers Association including calling the Cooperative Bank of Kenya to deny access to the PTA Bank accounts and the CEO is extremely arrogant towards the PTA chairman who was kicked out of the CEO’s office when he went to consult on issues of concern,” states the letter to Makini School.
It further alleges that the physical Education teachers are on contract basis and are only interns who serve for a short period.
Mpanza is further accused of constantly refusing to meet with PTA members to discuss matters of concern to parents.
“Our instruction is to demand which we hereby do, that you give your response to these allegations within three days from the date of receiving this letter to enable our clients determine the next course of action of informing the relevant authorities including the Ministry of Education. Department of Immigration and Directorate of Criminal Investigation,” demands the school parent association.
But the CEO in response has denied all allegations labelled against him saying he has always welcomed stakeholders to discuss, in an amiable and organized manner, the welfare of the students whom he considers to be of paramount importance.
“As such, he takes great offence at every allegation directed at his character and in particular the allegation that he wields a firearm in the school premises that is used to harass and intimidate members of staff and this statement is completely defamatory and is intended to malign not just the character and integrity of the CEO but also to paint our Clients’ school as an unsafe environment,” states the letter responding to allegations against him.
Makini School further claims that it maintains the highest standards of hygiene at all their campuses and the membership of the PTA, “which we note is primarily composed of parents – many of whom drop and collect their children on a daily basis, are welcome to confirm as much at any time.
“It is unfortunate that such a baseless and sweeping allegation has been levelled so soon after the world is recovering from a global pandemic that required all institutions to ramp up their health and hygiene standards and this allegation is calculated to demean our Clients’ school in the minds of right thinking members of society and especially within the parent community within which your letter has been heavily circulated. It is defamatory and actionable,” says Makini School.
Mpanza adds that he has always centered and shall continue to center the welfare of the students and the ‘concerns’ made against him are completely without merit and he welcomes the membership of the PTA to discuss any legitimate concerns with him.
“Please be advised that by virtue of their own Constitution, the PTA does not at present, have any office bearers. The term of the Chairman whom you purport to act for expired in 2022 and he is not eligible for re-election,” says the response.
However, in what seems as an attempt to silence the association, the school has suspended two children belonging to a top official from the school.
“Consequently, please be advised that due to your ongoing undermining actions it is no longer tenable to have you as a parent of the School, we have no option but to hereby notify you of our decision to terminate the contractual relationship between you and Makini School with immediate effect. You are directed to immediately withdraw your children from the Makini School. Any monies that you have pre-paid or are due to you will be immediately processed and refunded. Please be assured that the School will provide you with any records that you may require to assist you obtain admission for your children in an alternative institution of learning,” states the letter from Makini School.
The school management has cancelled a notice dated 16 June 2023 calling for the Annual General Meeting on 8th July 2023 for unknown reasons.
However , the parents have protested the school move which was communicated to parents purporting to cancel the 35th annual general meeting.
The school operations manager Gary Wagner through email and letter dated 7th July 2023 purported to cancel the meeting.
The parents argues that the agenda in the said Notice, the scheduled meeting was to address among others serious issues raised by the Parents/ Teachers Association as summarised in their letter dated 5th July 2023.
“The school and even the operation manager thereof cannot therefore purport to cancel the Annual General Meeting of the Parents/Teachers Association,” states the letter from the lawyer Mboya.
In the letter, the parents informs the Makini School that the Annual General Meeting will proceed as scheduled on 8th July 2023 as contained in the Notice and that, the school should cease and desist from intimidating the Teachers and Parents from attending the meeting.
“In the event that there is disruption of the meeting, we shall take legal action to recover the costs of the meeting including for Catering, Public Address System and the expenses of parents who have travelled from everywhere to attend the meeting,” parents association informed the school.