With the onset of the long rains, pupils of Lake Basin Primary in Lugari Constituency, Kakamega County, have to endure the worst of conditions in pursuit of knowledge, their school conspicuously neglected from the support other learning institutions are getting.
Established with much promise, Lake Basin Primary now teeters on the brink of collapse due to the dearth of basic amenities required for education, such as classrooms and toilets, despite the fact that other schools are basking in the generous support of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
The school’s total population is 72. Grade One has six students, Grade Two has eight, Grade Three has eleven, Grade Four has eight, Grade Five has thirteen, Grade Six has eight, and Class Eight has eighteen pupils.
Pupils in Grade One and Grade Two are crammed into one mud-walled classroom while the other classes, apart from Class Eight, also use similar structures.
Despite being a government-owned school, the institution has four teachers, including two interns and two employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC): deputy headteacher Christine Misiko, who reported last week, and a male teacher, who reported on Tuesday.
Even more concerning, the school, which is just a walking distance from former Lugari MP Ayub Savula’s home and has done the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) only three times since it started in 2014, has never had a headteacher.
It received a mean of 196.91 out of 23 students in the KCPE 2020, with the first student receiving 256 marks. In the KCPE 2021, the top candidate got 286 marks.
In the KCPE 2022, the top candidate out of 27 received 251 marks, as the school recorded a mean of 183.15.
“I was posted here as a deputy headteacher. To be honest, the infrastructure here is in poor condition.We have two permanent classrooms, one of them we share with class eight pupils; the rest are mud classes,” the new deputy headteacher said.
Ms. Misiko said she has nowhere to store school property and always has to carry it in her car. She added that the school has insufficient learning materials, including books.
The situation is bleak, forcing parents to withdraw their children from the school.
“Poverty has caused the community to neglect the school, and generally, parents here do not value education, which could be why the school lacks support,” she added.
The pupils here are not only deprived of a conducive learning environment but are also exposed to danger due to an ongoing land dispute. As a result, the school has no fence, leaving an old building inside, which poses a risk to the learners.
One Mr. Clearance, a former KDF soldier, said they sold one acre of land to Lake Basin Primary School for KSh 750,000. The school paid them Sh600,000 and is yet to clear the remaining KSh 150,000.
“We have our documents here. According to the documents, nothing will take place at that school without clearing the balance. The school processed the title deed but did not give us our share,” he said.
The deputy headteacher is now imploring the area MP, Nabii Nabwera, to intervene through the CDF to save the school from imminent collapse.
- Edited by Sam oduor
Tom Lutali is a seasoned scribe based in Lugari Sub-County in Kakamega County who writes human interest stories and sports for WKT.