History of MBHS - History of MBHS - Early Years (continued)

The School Committee wanted to make it abundantly clear that a High School was not a primary school where allowance could be made for poverty and that parents and guardians must be made to realize that if they wanted a higher education for their boys, they must be ready to pay for it. Circulars were accordingly sent to all parents and guardians of pupils attending the school. To make matters worse, members of the Wesleyan Society and some members of the School Management Committee were defaulters. In fact, members of the Wesleyan Society were owing the school for their children a total amount of £94. As a solution to this, Mr. LA. King, a member of the School. Committee was appointed Financial Secretary to the school with powers to collect and sue in court for monies owing on account of the school.

He was paid £1.1/, to employ a messenger in connection with this responsibility. In May 1891 the first legal action was taken when a solicitor, C.A. Williams, was employed to collect money for board and books from a defaulting parent. The amount was £63.15.1d. Williams sued the parent concerned to court. This, however, did not deter defaulters, because solicitors continued to be employed up to this century to collect debts from those owing the school on behalf of their children and wards. For example, Kitoyi Ajasa was appointed to do this in April 1901 and in May, Otunba Payne was appointed to do the same with the proviso that he would be paid a retainer fee of £5. 5/- and 15 per cent of all amounts collected.

As a result of this problem the school found itself unable to pay its teachers on a number of occasions. On the 26th September, 1890, Rev. W.B. Euba reported that the Committee was still owing the school £5.5.10d, being the balance of grants-in-aid from the Committee in London and that he had no money in hand to defray the expenses of the school for the current quarter, and that he had not been paid his salary for the last five months. In 1896, the whole staff of the school could not be paid for the quarter ending September of that year and some were not paid for the past two quarters. This continuous financial problem made it difficult to improve facilities in the school. In 1891, the school building needed repairs but this could not be carried out because of lack of fund. In that same year Rev. W.B. Euba was twice brought before the District Court and fined 5/- each occasion for lack of necessary repairs to the building. On the 3rd of March 1891 the building was inspected aid it was recommended that the commode (toilet) be removed from its existing site and that a building be erected for it on the 'North-west' of the yard. Furthermore the dining rooms were to be repaired and the wall must be located near the kitchen and the one in use be closed up and the following repairs carried out during the Easter vacation:

  1. Removing cement from the floor of the school only and repairing it with bricks.
  2. White-washing the whole building and outhouses.

These could not be carried out because of lack of funds. It was only the school hall, which was badly in need of repairs, was renovated. Even the house occupied by the Principal was in such a deplorable condition that it was decided to supply him with a new accommodation; but lack of fund was again a handicap. The situation was so bad that fear was entertained that the Department of Education might close down the school.