School trips Kenya - Over-priced trips put schools on spot as parents complain

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An association of private schools on Saturday fought back numerous complaints from parents who are questioning exorbitant fees being charged for children’s trips covering extremely short distances.

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Since Friday when a journalist tweeted about a school asking Nairobi-based learners for Sh2,000 for a trip to Thika Road Mall, parents have been fuming with regard to the amounts they are required to pay to facilitate school trips for their young ones.

Among material shared in the online discussion was a letter issued on Wednesday from an institution in Nairobi where a junior school will be travelling to Two Rivers Mall to “promote local tourism”, “see domestic plants and animals in their natural habitats”, among other reasons.

Each child will pay the Sh2,300 for the one-day trip to take place between 8.30am and 3pm this Wednesday.

But the Kenya Private Schools Association, through its CEO Peter Ndoro, said parents should not be quick to cast aspersions on schools as there are many factors that go into the pricing of trips.

“It depends on the distance, what they are going to see, the entry fee, the food the children are going to get and also probably the extra care that they may require as they go for the trip,” Mr Ndoro told the Sunday Nation.

“You can’t say ‘to visit just Two Rivers Mall’ before clearly understanding what it entails because people may exaggerate issues,” he added, while referring to the case of learners visiting Two Rivers Mall next week.

“There are play areas. When you go there, what are the costs? There are quite a number of costs that are involved there. You may find that probably they’ll be bought some food. You know the cost of food at Two Rivers Mall.”

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The issue most parents had is the way learners on tour do not usually get value for the money paid.

“At a school (name withheld) we paid a whopping Sh7,000 for a night trip in Nakuru, only for them to sleep at Kabarak University dorms with mattresses down. No more trips. I put him in a vehicle and we go together,” tweeted one parent.

Another wrote: “I once paid Sh1,300 for the child to see Nairobi and its environs (don’t ask me where that is). By 2pm, they were back in school because the buses need to take the rest of the children home.”

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