Students of Broadways High School inThika’s Kiandutu slums have benefitted from a Sh8.5 million state-of-the-art classrooms project sponsored by a local investor.
The students mostly from needy families from the shanty estate used to share desks, with the school suffering from massive congestion due to high student population.
It is one of the most populated public secondary schools in Thika West Sub County with five streams, some holding about 90 students.
School Principal Samuel Waiganjo said the four classrooms in the storey building, constructed by the Broadways Bakery group of companies, would ease congestion and provide better learning environment.
He however called on the government and other well-wishers to help in putting up more classes to make teaching manageable.
Broadways Proprietor, also the Chairman Thika factories Association Bimal Shah said there was a need for enhanced public/ private partnership to uplift the standards of education in the slums.
He said the group has so far invested over Sh 40 million in developing infrastructure in the school in the last 21 years.
The mixed school has about 1,000 students and is one of the best performing schools in national examinations in the Sub County.
“Such children enter school under handicaps and that relatively large proportion of them quit school early and become misfits and unemployable. Some inevitably drift into delinquency as a result. Corporate social responsibility is the way to go if the country was serious in eradicating illiteracy, poverty and crime in the slums,” he noted.
Thika MP Patrick Wainaina and Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro called on leaders to focus on easing access to education, saying it’s one of the important drivers of economic development.
Wainaina supported government’s efforts to change the curriculum and called on those against it to quit the profession.
He said the new curriculum would add skill based knowledge to learners which they can use in future to make a living as well as meet job market demands.
“This is the right step if we are to weed out unemployment. Students should be able to use the skills they learn to create jobs. Teachers opposed to the new curriculum should quit,” he said.
By Muoki Charles