Dilapidated secondary schools in Thika East and West Sub Counties are set to receive a major facelift following a joint initiative by area MP, Patrick Wainaina and the local business community to improve learning environment.
Areas targeted include refurbishment of old classrooms and dormitories, construction of new buildings when need arises, securing the schools through fencing and construction of laboratories.
Wainaina said he will work closely with the Ministry of Education, well wishers and alumni of the 50 secondary schools in the area.
He said the move is aimed at improving on school infrastructure which has remained dilapidated for long, giving students discomfort in schools.
Speaking after opening a NG-CDF funded 170-capacity dormitory in Karubabiri girls, Thika East Sub County, the MP said the infrastructure status of most local schools was wanting, making it difficult for students to perform well.
He said in most cases, students sleep in congested dormitories and study in classrooms whose walls are worn out, while others lack study desks, among other challenges.
Wainaina said the government has neglected infrastructural development in schools, putting learning institutions mostly in the rural areas in a disadvantageous position to compete with national schools.
He said grading in national exams should be determined by such considerations to give equal opportunities to all students.
“Most of the local schools are in a sorry state. Some of the classrooms lack windows and doors. Other schools don’t have laboratories. There is no way our students can perform in such an environment. We want to make the infrastructure of our schools look good to the level of private academies,” he said.
“CDF money is not enough. We shall use ‘the adopt a school model’ where well wishers, alumni and business people help out,” he said.
At the same time, the MP said working closely with the ministry of education they will expand Thika Girls from the current 500 to 1000 students.
He also announced plans to construct four Sub County boarding schools in Thika town that can absorb almost 4000 students in one year, adding that the town is majorly cosmopolitan and has recently seen an influx of students from neighbouring counties.
“We have already identified sites to construct classes. The government has promised Sh.50 million for infrastructural development and another Sh.20 million to equip the classrooms,” he said.
He added that they were in the process of establishing a Technical and Vocational Education Training institution in Thika East Sub County to absorb the many students who cannot transit to secondary schools.
By Muoki Charles