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Covid-19: Private schools run broke, face mass teacher and staff layoffs

Private schools are staring at a possible financial crisis and their teachers and staff being laid off if the coronavirus pandemic continues past April.

Private Schools Association chief executive Peter Ndoro yesterday said unlike other businesses, schools will not be able to pay their teachers and other staff salaries at the end of the month.

“Private schools entirely depend on the school fees paid by parents, meaning if this pandemic continues, most of these schools will cease to exist. Already things are very difficult on our side as since the beginning of March we have not received any income from our clients, who are the parents,”,” said Mr Ndolo.

He said, unlike government schools, private schools do not receive capitation, making it impossible for them to continue existing.

Mr Ndoro said the schools have started engaging the government for financial aid after the coronavirus epidemic ends to enable them run their institutions.

He said the association has developed a memorandum to be presented to the ministry of Education on the financing of the institutions.

“It is going to be difficult to run these institutions without finances,” he said.

Mr Ndoro said so far, some private institutions who had rented premises will not be able to pay this month’s rent.


Already some private schools have asked their staff to take compulsory unpaid leave.

There are more than 1,932 private secondary and 8,000 private primary schools in the country.

Most of the private schools are situated in urban regions of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Machakos, Athi River, Kitengela and Nyeri, where parents can afford the high fees charged.

International schools have also been attracting many students, majorly from the elite parents and diplomats.

Nairobi has 32 international schools, most situated in the suburbs of Karen, Runda, Langata road and Westlands.

Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed all schools and higher education learning institutions to shut down to reduce the danger of the spread of the coronavirus across the country.

Following the closure, 15 million primary and secondary school learners are now at home.

According to this year’s school calendar, primary and secondary schools were scheduled to close by April 10.

Second term was scheduled to begin on May 4 and end on August 7 while third term was scheduled to open on August 31 and end on October 30.