A premium product for a premium price and in the event of unforseen circumstances, the status quo remains regardless.
There’s trouble in paradise but there’s one problem, the owners are done asking parents to measure up to standard. The Inspired Education Group, the parent company that owns Brookhouse International School has asked parents disillusioned by the group’s refusal to lower their school fees demands to pull their children out of the school if unhappy with the terms on the table.
Nadim Nsouli, the chairman of Inspired Education Group has said he is appalled by the Brookhouse Parents Association after the latter moved to court protesting a 10% discount offered to them which was followed by a High Court ruling via Justice Weldon Korir who ordered the institution to reduce its fees by half pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
The judge also stopped online classes for pupils in kindergarten up to those in year four.
The school has thus far refused to cede ground maintaining that parents must pay a large percentage of the fees despite the fact that the institution has turned to e-learning after the government’s directive for schools to be closed owing to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In a virtual meeting with the Association’s legal team, Nsouli scoffed at the opposite number’s demands for school fees to be lowered terming the proposal unreasonable maintaining that his company stands to make losses on a $25 million investment pumped into the institution to make it “the best in Africa”.
“I have never encountered such behaviour from any other schools, or ever in my life.” Nsouli said in reference to the 64 high-end schools he manages across the world.
“Today I am taking on the pain and all the impact, however, should this matter prevail and proceed in court there will be dramatic repercussions, ” the Lebanese-British businessman is reported to have told the legal team in the teleconference call.
Nsouli’s fury further stems from the fact that the institution has offered the parents a ‘distress fund’ and accused the parents of being too ‘egoistic’ for refusing to accept help.
“Our approach is extremely reasonable and in line with other schools that are of similar calibre. If anyone does not pay me for my services I will cut them off,” he said.
For Nsouli, he would rather have a 40% population paying 100% school fees rather than a 100% school population paying 40% school fees.
The CEO said he is adamant and will do anything to protect the group’s 6,000 employees around the world.
In their suit, the parents had asked the school to furnish them with a breakdown of the school fee structure in light of the fact that the pupils are now learning from home.
But in a quick rejoinder, Nsouli dismissed their requests lamenting that the request was not justified.
During the meeting, the CEO also demanded that the parents clear all the 50 percent fee allowed by the court on the same day or the pupils with arrears would be sent home
He, however, agreed to extend the deadline to end of week if the parents agreed to end the negotiations and drop the suit by end of day Monday.
Nsouli told the parents that learners in grade four and below will have an opportunity to recover lost time as they will get 3 weeks’ worth of ‘free’ booster lessons three hours a day before the school is reopened which will hinge on 100% payment of all term three fees.
Division Among Parents
In the petition filed at the High Court last week, cracks emerged showing lack of unity among the parents.
A section of parents argue that they were not part of the group that had moved to court as Brookhouse Parents Association saying they were never consulted.
The group claims that some of the parents had resorted to sabotage virtual learning as they were either “too busy” or “lazy” to help their children go through the program.
Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u and Radio Africa Group Operations Manager Caroline Mutoko count as prominent personalities who are parents at the school. The two are said to have led their colleagues to sue the school.
Nsouli defended the decision to demand third term fees saying that the institution was still paying teachers and support staff their full salaries.
The school’s management also laughed off claims that the institution has benefited from Coronavirus as pupils are learning from home saying the school has incurred increased IT costs in terms of software and teacher training, loss of revenue due to general tuition fee reductions, loss of revenue due to the hardship fund support, loss of revenue due to bad debts, and announced fee reductions.
“Our fee reduction levels are in line with other major international groups of schools in Nairobi of similar scope despite our superior live virtual learning offering,” the school board said in a letter to parents on May 1.