(KEBS Chairman Ken Wathome and wife Jane Wathome: photo courtesy)
A social media user Nyina Wa Ciana, a parent at the Beacon of Hope Academy in Rongai has exposed the rot at the Christian-based NGO school which was Founded and managed by the Executive Director Jane Wathome, the wife to Kenya Bureau of Standards’ National Standards Council Chairman Ken Wathome.
Ms Nyina is concerned with the high-handedness and arrogance of the school director who has no iota of respect to the parents and their children.
It’s disturbing parents that the Executive Director Jane Wathome and the management of the academy who have no shame in announcing who they know out there, how influential they are in a meeting with parents; does not look into their grievances which include hiking school fees coupled with insurance and chess fees; serving pupils with preserved food, teachers arrogance, mistreatment of children and poor communication.
As it is said that it takes courage to make a change, Ms Nyina courageously penned down word for word how the Parents at Beacon of Hope academy located in Rongai have been mistreated. She is hopeful that these concerns would reach relevant bodies for immediate actions.
Here is her statement:
“So I have been at Beacon of Hope Academy (Rongai) for quite some time. Over the years I had nothing much to complain about and the small complains I and other parents had here and there were always referred to some guy whose job description is yet to be defined (will get to this later) We shall call him UJD.
The fee structure is usually released at the end of the term. End of last year though, it was different. They said the structure was not ready as there are some MINOR changes that they needed to make. On 30th December, a parent who had since got the structure shared it on the respective WhatsApp group. Every class had a group for ease of communication. There was a hike in the fee with over 6K for 1st term and 2nd term. They had also added chess (UJD calls it shess) was made mandatory and we were referred to where to buy a chess board per child (I wonder how they were to be taught) and a fee of Kshs. 300 per child for the compulsory chess.
In the spirit of peace, we as parents sought explanation which was met with gag orders; everyone was removed from the WhatsApp groups. We didn’t relent and we resulted to regrouping and officially sent an email to madam director with our grievances. This email was blatantly ignored. When we continued pushing we were given a team of reps from the admin to meet led by non-other than Mr UJD. This team informed us that Madam Director had travelled out of the country (let’s not revisit the ignored mail which you can reply even from hell). We went ahead and aired our grievances to the team.
Gafla bin Vu, kufumba na kufumbua, estimating that the meeting by then had ended, Madam appeared! The people tasked with looking after our children lied to our faces!!!! You’d expect she’ll come and make up an excuse you know cancelled flight or something, right? WRONG! She ignored us to OUR FACES!!!
Anyway, during the meeting we had been asked to select a team of reps who would sit down with Madam Director. In search of peace, we selected an able team. Sent an email with minutes of what the parents had been discussing on the side (the parents had since had 2 meetings) and the 3rd one with the reps at the school. Madam replied to our email with, ‘Will get back soonest possible.’
We (all parents) were called for a meeting and for the 1st time since I joined the school in 2014 now Mr. Director was in attendance clear. Ignoring the name dropping, he seemed reasonable. We thought we will make headway. They had tried talking at us but he intervened. We again selected a team of reps in unison.
However, on the day of the meeting these people fed our children with ROTTEN FOOD(screenshots below). As though to add salt to injury, they sent us a letter reminding us to pay fees ignoring an email that we had sent regarding the food poisoning. How can we be treating tummy aches and running stomachs every other day?
Our grievances are,
- Fees, there’s no justification for the hike.
- Communication here I’ll not say much. Their communication is non-existent and when they talk, they talk AT us.
- Meals: can they stop with immediate effect feeding our children with preserved food there’s plenty of fresh food all around. And who feeds kids with sour porridge? Personally I chose the school because they used to provide a balanced diet and kids only carry water in CLEAR bottles. That is what is allowed. SO it was saving the hustle of snacks and all.
- Staff turnover. Here teachers walk in and out like a public toilet, no order at all. Mr. UJD uses draconian rules on all and sundry. Teachers go to school from Monday to Sat and even during school holidays. They are not even allowed to advance their studies during the holidays. A day before the meeting they fired the headmistress under unclear circumstances and on questioning we were told when she was hired we were not consulted. With very vague justification of aligning ourselves to the new curriculum. They brought a new head teacher and coached him on how to lecture us during the meeting!
- Insurance and chess. These were forced down our throats. With no explanation. We don’t have an issue with our children acquiring these skills but there are other important skills that they can be taught e.g. life skills, 1st Aid, the likes. Being forced to do chess and referred to a shop to buy the boards at 1800! At a school that has sponsored kids. On insurance, we don’t even know what it covers as there is no proper documentation; policy document.
- How they treat our children. We are not asking them to pamper our kids but be humane in how you handle them. The caregivers, adults with no training or manners on how to handle our children, they carelessly throw words at innocent children, while being aided by teachers… can you imagine a teacher throwing books and diaries at your child just because he/she hasn’t completed his homework? Imagine a teacher calling you child names eg slow just because he/she isn’t as per the others?
As much as its a private school… Nani atatutetea, yet this is more of a tyranny than a Democratic institution. We break our backs for our kids to go to school only to come back speaking a language from uranus? Where is the value for the money we spend there?
The director is arrogant which we suspect it is because “who they know” her Mr is bwana is the KEBS chair!!! So they have no shame as they announce who they know in a meeting with parents!!!!! Purpose intimidating!!!!! Now we know why goods aren’t up to par! A ‘Christian’ based NGO is run like a kiosk! Kwanza[first] the way God is used as an excuse!!!!!! Sad.
Uichunguzwe na [Beacon of Hope Academy be investigated and] whoever regulates NGO’s and wale[those] their friends they should probably look in on this boards baba watoto [the husband] chairs!!! Impunity!
PUNDA AMECHOKA[The donkey is tired]!!!”