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Administrator sponsors needy & bright students to school

For more than three years, an Assistant Chief in Ugenya, Siaya County has been digging deep into his pockets to fund the education of the bright but needy students in his area of jurisdiction.

To the Assistant Chief of Kathieno “B” sub location, Joash Omondi Ogola, an educated community is easier to administer hence his tireless efforts to not only deny himself some luxuries, but also mobilise resources from willing friends and subjects to see the needy children acquire knowledge.

And when the Cabinet Secretary for education, Ezekiel Machogu last week announced that just a paltry 65 per cent of pupils who sat for last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education countrywide have transited to secondary school, Ogola could not sleep. The announcement jolted into action.

He combed the entire Kathieno “B” sub-location telling anybody who cared to listen to take the children to school and, for those with difficulties, they were given the option of taking the children to his home so that he could take up the responsibility personally.

“I went to barazas, churches and funerals where I announced that such needy children who cannot not go to school for one reason or the other be brought to my home and this morning, they all converged here” says Ogola.

Ogola says that background check on the needy cases have revealed that most of the households were too poor and getting meals were a problem.

“As a leader who loves education, and in line with the government policy, I have taken it upon myself to talk to the neighbouring schools to relax some requirements for admission and have the children in school as I look for resources,” said the assistant chief.

Among the schools that he has approached, and accepted to give opportunity to the children is Inungo secondary school whose principal, Mr. Sila Mbinji laments that many children who sat for KCPE and scored good marks were still unable to transit to secondary schools due to inability to afford admission requirements.

Mbinji, whose school has so far admitted 280 out of the 300 students in form one, said that they have been collaborating with the grassroots national administrators to give opportunity to all the children.

“We have just admitted a girl who scored 346 marks in KCPE but has been out for two weeks because of failure to get the requirements,” lamented the principal who said that today alone, they have admitted 15 students with similar challenges.

Mbinji joined chief Ogola in appealing to local leaders and stakeholders to support the children through bursaries and any other means to enable them finish their education.

The chief’s efforts have seen his subjects pour accolades on him for helping their children to shape their future.

Among the subjects are Evelyn Anyango Oduor and Rael Weda who said that they had been stranded with the children and chief Ogola’s efforts have made their children’s future look bright.

“I am a widow and a peasant farmer who barely survives” says Evelyn Anyango Oduor, adding “my husband died when my son was in standard four and I have been struggling with him alone.”

To Rael Weda, the assistant chief’s initiative has seen his two children join secondary school and are now in form three.

“I have several children and when I heard him announce that any parent still stranded with a child to see him, I did not hesitate” said Weda who added that she had become the laughing stock in the village due to her inability to cater for the education of her children.

An orphan, Victor Omondi who sat for his KCPE at Komoro primary school in East Ugenya said he had lost hope of proceeding to secondary but through the administrator, he has managed.

Omondi, who together with Lorrine Achieng were admitted to Inungo secondary school were full of happiness when they were received by the principal even without the basic requirements such as uniforms.

By Philip Onyango

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