Baringo special school appeals for support

Baringo Counties Editor's Pick Education

A special school in Baringo County is seeking for resource support in order to facilitate smooth running of activities.

Ochii Special School for the hearing impaired in remote parts of Baringo Central Sub County is faced with a challenge of inadequate classrooms and other basic needs to enable it to cater for growing number of special needs pupils enrolled at the boarding school.

According to the School Board of Management (BOM) Chairman Joseph Koech, the institution established in 1991 requires four additional classrooms pointing out that the institution has resorted to partitioning the ones available so that it can accommodate the different streams up to standard eight.

Ochii Special School for the Hearing and Impaired Principal Stephen Ngetich (center) leads other guests in a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate his 25 years of service at the school grounds. The institution is grappling with challenges such as inadequate classrooms, lack of staff quarters and other basic needs for the special children. Photo by Wycliffe Kiprop

Koech who spoke to the press at the school grounds noted that the school does not have even a single staff quarters and teachers are forced to reside within the neighbourhood making it very difficult to offer the hearing impaired pupils the much needed attention.

“Our school does not have a school van and the principal has donated his small private vehicle which has been a very useful means of transportation for the children especially when they are closing school he ferries some of them to Kabarnet town where they are able to connect with their parents,” he said.

He appealed to both levels of government and well-wishers to support them in accomplishing most of the pressing needs like a school library facility which is lacking.

The School Principal Stephen Ngetich while reiterating the sentiments said life has been tough since 2018 when he assumed his new role at the institution which was earlier an integrated primary school.

“The challenges in this school are many because we have not attained the full standards of having eight classes, our ten specialised teachers too have got no staff quarters,” he lamented.

Ngetich said that although the school received funding from Ministry of Education and other donors during its initial stages, financial support has drastically dropped and daily school operations have been hampered so much to the point that Sh5, 000 per month fees as well as school’s income generating activities cannot even sustain the school longer.

He made a passionate appeal to well-wishers to come on board in order for the institution to achieve its potential of becoming an international school in the near future.

The institution and the local community hosted a United States based support organisation and other stakeholders to commemorate International Day of Persons with Disabilities where they benefited from free medical camp amongst other goodies.

Water for the World Foundation President Danny Thomas who led the team acknowledged that the institution is faced with some serious challenges but promised that his organisation will play their part in supporting the school’s access to clean and safe drinking water.

He said they are going to ensure that the special school and members of the community benefit from a water pumping machine and purifying systems in order to avert outbreaks of waterborne diseases.

By Benson Kelio and Joshua Kibet

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