The High Court in Blantyre has granted nine parents and guardians an ex-parte injunction stopping the prestigious St. Andrew’s International Primary School from offering unsolicited online learning services at overpriced rates.
The parents and guardians include Nuru Bakali, Dr. Lilian Moyo, Gift Gondwe, Ismail Aniz, Chipiliro Mzanda, Liza Msusa, Shoaib Jiwa, Ruth Masangano and Luis Gadama.
The concerned parents and guardians lodged a complaint at the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) against board of directors of St. Andrews International Primary School, accusing the instution of forcing them to pay for online learning services against their will.
They also alleged that the school had been penalizing them through de-registration of their wards and re-registration only upon assessment.
In its order made on June 3, 2020, which Nyasa Times has assessed, the High Court in Blantyre is restraining the defendant (the school) by itself, its servants or agents from engaging in the following acts of unfair trading until either conclusion of the complaint lodged before the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, or further order of the same Court.
The court further stops the school from mandatorily claiming payment from parents and guardians who do not want to solicit the defendant’s online learning service.
The order also restrains the board of directors of the school from forcing the parents and guardians, who do not want to solicit the defendant’s online learning services, to solicit the said service by penalizing them through de-registration of their wards and re-registration only upon assessment.
“The defendant is further restrained from charging claimants for the online learning service at a fee which is equivalent to onsite learning fees when the former service is very much an inferior service to the latter and also disconnecting from the online learning service any ward of the claimants who would opt to solicit online service unless and until a reasonable fee is agreed upon before the CFTC,” reads the order in part.
However, the court states that that should it find that its order has caused loss to the defendant, and decides that the defendant should be compensated for that loss, the claimants will comply with any order the court may make.