AKAM Parents

AKAM Parents Petition

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15th August 2020

Head of Academy
Aga Khan Academy Mombasa
Mbuyuni Road, Kizingo, Mombasa

Petition for Fee Reduction during the academic Year 2020/2021

We write on mandate of ____ AKAM families representing ____ number of fees paying AKAM students. Pursuant to the email sent to parents by the Bursar on Friday 31st July 2020, a public holiday, approximately 97 AKAM families convened a virtual meeting on 3rd August, the first working day thereafter. The meeting formed a Representative Committee as the most practical way to engage with the school on the collective concerns.

The meeting was by and large respectful and appreciative of the school. Many of the parents felt that being part of the AKAM family came with the responsibility to engage with a view to finding a win/win solution. A solution that is sustainable for the school yet cognizant of the financial stress faced by a vast majority of the fee-paying parents because of the current pandemic. The Representative Committee were preparing to engage the school based on the view of the majority of parents when your email of Friday afternoon was received and necessitated this formal response on behalf of parents.

In light of COVID-19 global pandemic, we take note of the Ministry of Education’s directive for schools to remain closed for physical in-school learning till at the very least January 2021. Parents do appreciate the school’s effort in expeditiously and continuously offering classes to our children remotely and engaging us with updates through e-mails.

It is apparent that the aforementioned closure does impact on the operations and management of the school. For instance, children not attending school until the pending scheduled re-opening means they are not utilising the school premises, utilities, facilities nor are they participating in any extra-circular activities, which are now going to remain closed for almost two and a half terms. This significantly reduces a number of cost centres such as electricity, security, cleaning, stationary, utilities and support staff salaries.

Despite the quality online tutoring that the school is striving to establish remotely, the children no longer have access to resources and facilities that are required to fulfil certain learning objectives especially in MYP and DP whilst most of the early years PYP is restricted to only a couple of online sessions per day. We believe that these are essential factors of the school learning experience, in the absence of which it is entirely impossible for the children to receive the fullness of the educational experience we pay for.

The school must be cognizant of the additional demands upon parents who are now required to expend more hours for supervision and to assist children to complete daily assigned tasks in addition to resources such as the requisite technology and stationery. This adds to the mental strain of all parents especially working parents.

Furthermore, a significant majority of parents are either facing reduced pay, redundancy or loss of business due to the covid19 pandemic. This is on top of the already difficult economic conditions in Mombasa since the advent of the SGR. It is imperative to take note that despite these economic conditions, parents have always cooperated with the school and dug deep into already strained budgets to accommodate the school’s year on year six percent fee increases.

We do wish to note that the 15.7% (Junior school Grade 1 & 2) and 13% (Senior school) discount in your letter is after accruing a 6% fee increase which is surprising given that no cost or salary increments could possibly be envisaged at a time when most of employees are having to take pay cuts. Therefore, the real discount offered for the online learning period is between 10.6% and 7.6%, respectively whereas the school had offered 20% last term which parents had respectfully accepted without objection. The figure of 69% is rather misleading as it relates to boarding fees which does not apply to a very large percentage of parents and which service has temporarily ceased.

We respectfully request that the school reconsider its position and accept the below proposal from the parents

  • obligation to settle invoices/payment notices by 10th August 2020 be extended by two weeks to facilitate this amicable dialogue to find a solution (parents willing and able to pay have been encouraged to do so pending the discussions)
  • extend, on a conciliatory basis, a further discount based on the aforementioned rationale for the online learning period fees
  • reinstate the sibling discount to apply during the online learning period as there appears no ostensible rationale for this being removed for the online learning period
  • revert, as a minimum, to the three instalment payment arrangement especially at this time when most parents are facing a cashflow crunch
  • the 6% increment for the year 2020/21 be removed
  • expedite any pending refund for lunch, transport or exam fees paid by some parents

Whilst demonstrating the seriousness and urgency of the parent’s concerns we wish to reiterate that all parents have the best intentions at heart and trust that this letter is taken in that intended spirit. Maintaining positive dialogue will ensure the AKAM family will grow ever stronger from this pandemic.

The representative committee will be pleased to meet up with you and your team for further constructive engagement. We look forward to hearing from you.

Your faithfully,

AKAM Parent’s Group
(signed electronically by Parents)

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