Kenya’s efforts at achieving universal primary and secondary education is threatened by inadequate and in some cases lack of proper infrastructure for almost all secondary schools.
Several interventions by the government have resulted in an almost 100 percent transition from primary to secondary schools but with resultant challenges.
Though a good initiative, it has put a strain on available resources in many schools and some school principals have been forced to convert every available space, including dining halls into classrooms or dormitories to cope.
According to Cardinal Otunga Girls High School Principal, Mrs. Emelda Oyombe, the dining hall is being used as a dormitory while some students use the neighbouring primary block for lessons due to inadequate classrooms.
Emelda said that so far the school has only been able to construct a modern bathhouse replacing the old one that could only accommodate a small number of students at a time.
She requested parents, stakeholders and well wishers during a funds drive at the school on May 13, to raise funds to put up new facilities that the institution was going through several challenges; including inadequate dormitories, lack of multi-purpose hall, inadequate laboratories, classrooms, library and a lean staff.
The Principal said the school intends to put up a multi-purpose hall, which will be used as a dining hall and also serve as an entertainment hall.
She said the 100 per cent transition policy has made the current student population rise to 1,125 with 362 girls admitted in form one, 319 in form two, 247 in form three and 197 in form four.
The fundraiser that was led by Bungoma Deputy Governor, Prof. Charles Ngome raised Sh. 7 million. The cash will enable the school embark on the construction of a multipurpose hall.
Ngome called on teachers to aim at posting C as the last grade this year. In 2018, the school recorded a 7.3831 mean grade with nine girls achieving grade D.
He also advised the Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha to have a water tight strategic plan in place towards implementing the new curriculum, saying that the 8.4.4 system did not work because of poor planning.
“The Competency based curriculum programme is very good but if teachers are not trained adequately on how to implement it, it will fail the way 8.4.4 system failed,” ’ the deputy governor said.
He also emphasized the need for more teachers to handle the big numbers so that quality is not compromised.
By Tony Wafula/ Roseland Lumwamu