- Capital Group
It was funny, it was like an epic scene in a movie as one parent arrived late to the school in Nairobi city, accompanying his son to pay school fees.
The circular sent by the principal had asked us, all parents, to allow our Form 4 students to be in school by 3 pm on the opening day, January 3, 2022. Some sort of preparation and a meeting with the principal later on in the day.
I am always a timekeeper and I woke my son Max at 6 am to prepare him for school. This time round I opted to drive him to school. You know, to enjoy those last father-son moments.
“Did you pay my school fees, pa?” Max asked, as we boarded the car that morning and after he kissed his mother goodbye.Parents crowded at uniforms shop in Nairobi.The Standard
My wife Sharon had handled the shopping. She’d packed lots of food and snacks alongside Max’s basic needs.
“This is too much,” I told her, adding that during our school days, we used to carry five kilograms of sugar, toothpaste, bathing soap and like three rolls of tissue paper. The rest of the money we would add to our pocket money.
The shopping list had extra items that we never needed during my time in school.
“I don’t want my son to starve in school,” Sharon told me with a look that always coerced me into giving in.
During the December holidays, I was too engaged to get some time to physically visit the bank to pay fees, so I candidly told Max that I will handle it at school.
“The queue will be packed… we will be late for the 4 pm meeting with the Principal,” Max lamented, adding that I would have allowed him to clear it before we left for the upcountry, to eat and make merry with our kin.
We arrived quite early at the school and mingled with other parents, reminiscing about how the holiday was and the new guidelines by the Education Cabinet Secretary.
The professor was tough and had made headlines with some controversial guidelines on reporting dates and the crash program.
At the school, just a few hours after I had cleared with Max and the school and was nearly bidding him goodbye, a parent arrived with his son, hand in hand, both dressed in school uniform.
There was a mixture of bewilderment, excitement and laughter as parents, students and teachers stared at the two.
“I used to see teachers dress like students last year. There was a principal who made headlines after dressing like his boys,” a parent who stood near me stated.
“I have never seen a parent dress in school uniform,” another added.
“That is our index 1. His name is Steve,” Max, my son told me.
The two had arrived at school at 2:50 pm, 10 minutes before the reporting deadline, dressed in black trousers, a black blazer (coat for the father), a white shirt and a grey tie.
“Everyone seems to be staring at us,” the father asked me when he approached us.
“Yes, they are buzzing that you are wearing the school uniform,” I responded as those around us burst into laughter.
“Ohh, I didn't even realise we wore matching colours, I picked him up late from home and we were stuck in traffic. I haven’t even paid school fees yet. I am just glad we arrived on time,” the father with a matching school uniform lamented as he eased into the space, and laughed at how he had caused a scene at school.
“I guess you can let him join the others as you pay school fees, no need to rush to the bank,” I told him. He was almost rushing back to town or seeking to withdraw money at the agent’s outside to pay in cash.
It was simple… so simple. No need for him to add more stress to his already funny day.
The school had a Co-op Bank account and I bet nearly all parents were familiar with that.
“I have never paid his school fees. My wife does it. All I do is send the cash and the pocket money,” he opened up.
“No need to worry. Through MCo-op Cash, all you need is to transfer money from your Co-op Bank account to the School’s Co-op Bank account through MCo-op Cash.
“Dial *667# or use the MCo-opCash app and login with your MCo-opCash PIN, select bank transfer, select other Co-op accounts, enter the school co-op account, select the account to transfer from.
“Then enter the amount you want to pay, enter the reason for payment: student’s name or admission number, confirm the transaction and you will receive a confirmation SMS,” I guided him through.
All in a few minutes and he was done.
“Let me get to the bursar, get a print out of the fee statement,” he added, thanking me for saving him.
He left us laughing as I headed to my car to drive back home. Max had already left to unpack and check-in at his dormitory.
“I almost thought he was the oldest student in school,” a parent added as I walked away. It was good to see all of them having some fun in January, a demanding month.Coop Bank poster on how to pay school fees easily.Cooperative Bank