Kenya: Kilifi Headteacher Asks CS Magoha to Fulfil Pledge on Infrastructure

A school headteacher in Kilifi is appealing to Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha to honour his promise to include the school in the infrastructure development programme.

Speaking at Kilifi Primary school during the KCPE celebrations, the headteacher Emmanuel Karuke said the infrastructure support will help improve the school performance.

"Kilifi Primary is one of the oldest schools in this county that started in 1949 but we have been struggling to improve our infrastructure due to financial challenges," he said.

Prof Magoha visited the school during his tour in the county to access the distribution of desks in schools under the Post-Covid-19 Economic Stimulus Programme earlier this year.

The CS promised to have the school included in the infrastructure development programme.

The school received 70 desks under the programme. It has 1,240 pupils; 628 boys, and 612 girls. One girl, Zainab Ondara managed 417 marks in the just-released KCPE results. The school had 115 KCPE candidates.

Mr Karuke said they were pleased by Prof Magoha's visit and had high hopes for support from the government.

Mr Karuke said the school had improved on its performance after four years with an increase in student enrollment during the 100 percent transition.

In 2016, the school record a mean score of 284 and in 2017 and 2018, the school had a mean score of 272 and 269 respectively. This year it recorded a mean score of 258

He said the desks were allocated to Class Eight pupils who had resumed learning during the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain social distancing.

Mr Karuke said the school needs about Sh20 million to improve its infrastructure.

"Our classrooms are very old and it is a challenge for our pupils during the rainy seasons because of the leakages. During heavy downpours, teachers are forced to send the children back home. It is affecting our performance since in some instances it disrupts our learning programmes," he added.

The school has no administration block, a library, and a computer hall.

Mr Karuke said some of the funds would be used to improve a Special Unit for learners with mental illness.

The pupils currently use an empty class for their lessons and other activities related to persons with disabilities and there is no kitchen and a dormitory for the vulnerable children.

Mr Karuke said due to the sorry state of the infrastructure, the school approached one of the investors for support with the construction of classrooms to retain pupils in school during rainy days.

BOM chairperson Mr Mwadzombo Jumbale said parents have been supportive to the school during challenging times.

However, he said it was becoming hard to keep on asking for their help due to the tough economic times.

"We need financial help to relieve our parents the burden to help the school improving infrastructure," he said.

The chairperson said parents should be left with the duty to ensure that they support teachers and their pupils to deliver the best results.

In 2017, over 70 secondary schools in Kilifi received funds to improve infrastructure in readiness for the 100 percent transition to secondary school.

Kilifi county received Sh150 million from the National Government.

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