18 February 2019

Kenya: Mang'u High School Sagging Under High Enrolment

As enrolment in public schools increases, institutions that have hitherto followed rigid admission rules that kept student population at a strict maximum have not been spared.

For a long time, Mang'u High School kept its student number at 600.

Its classrooms, dormitories, laboratories, toilets and dining hall were designed and built for exactly that number.

Yet for a school that sits on 200 acres touching the Thika-Nairobi highway, and one that boasts such a rich and varied array of alumni in addition to posting consistently strong results, a student capacity of less than 1,000 seems conservative and unnecessarily inflexible.

In the past 10 years, however, the population has been on a rise, reaching 1,727 this year.

OUT OF DATE

Sadly, and like in many other public schools, most of the infrastructure is out of date.

Classrooms, which were meant for 40 students, now have up to 60.

A dormitory meant to accommodate 40 learners now hosts more than 100, leading to congestion, especially in the use of toilets and bathrooms.

The sitting capacity of the library has remained at 180, and there is only one resident nurse.

The list of the Mang'u old boys is a register of corporate giants such as Nation Media Group and Family Bank chairman Wilfred Kiboro and Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge.

FORMER STUDENTS

Towering technocrats and political heavyweights such as former President Mwai Kibaki, former vice-presidents Moody Awori and George Saitoti and former Cabinet ministers Tom Mboya and John Michuki were former students.

Others include Cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga and former Mombasa Catholic Archbishop John Njenga, both deceased.

Hundreds of others are CEOs, politicians, church leaders, scholars and sports legends.

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