Residents of Kangu in Mwea, Kirinyaga county have urged the government to build them a primary school in the village as the available ones are very far.
They said their children have to cover long distances to get to the closest school, which is over 5 kilometers away.
John Njera is one of the parents who fears for his children’s safety as they have to walk for approximately 10 km to and from school. Like other parents, Njera’s worry is the busy Embu-Mwea highway as pupils have to cross it to get to school.
“The closest school is Nyangati Primary School which is about 6 km away. However, our children have to cross this busy highway, where vehicles move at an alarming high speed,” Njera said.
He added that the other two schools that are nearby are Mutungara and Gakuo primary schools, which are three and four kilometers respectively. Njera said some students have to use bicycles to get to school on time.
“To make their way to Mutungara, our children have to pass through a thicket that is not safe at all, while those making their way to Gakuo have to pass through a thicket and the Murubara river that has no proper bridge and floods often whenever it rains,”Njera said
Lydia Wanjiku, another parent, said girls are the most vulnerable adding most parents have to accompany them in the morning and help them cross the highway. She also said most children perform very poorly due to body fatigue from the long distances.
“Their performance deteriorates by the day. They hardly concentrate in class because of fatigue. We are always anxious about our children’s safety as most of us are not present to help them cross the highway in the evenings,” Wanjiku told the media
Wanjiku Githinji, another parent, said although her children have since completed school, her grandchildren are bearing the brunt their parents went through, a situation she terms as unfortunate.
“I have been at the forefront in petitioning our leaders to help us come up with modalities on how to have a school that will be convenient for our children to no avail,” Wanjiku said.
She said they have also been pushing for the construction of a permanent bridge along River Murubara which is yet to be accomplished.
The area member of parliament Kabinga Wachira when contacted said they allocated some funds in 2018 for the purchase of land for the proposed school but were unable to get some three acres of land as required by the Ministry of Education for the registration of the school.
He said the funding was reallocated to Kangondo Primary School which was identified as urgent. Both Kangondo and Kangu proposed schools are in the same Nyagati ward.
Kabinga said he has asked the community to look for land where the two schools can be established.
Area deputy county commissioner Fred Ayieko said residents ought to submit a proposal expressing their need. He said for a new school to be established, the government has to undertake an evaluation and be satisfied with various requirements.
“There has to be ECD centres that will be key in feeding a newly established primary school. A school could also be put up in a location if the nearer ones have hit a maximum capacity,” he said.
About the busy Mwea-Embu highway, Ayieko said the concerned department will be contacted to put up bumps and Zebra crossing along the Murubara and Nyangati area.
by Irungu Mwangi