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NMG seeks to promote better learning by giving out books

Friday March 10 2017
bookspic

Nation Media Group donated textbooks to Igoma PAG Primary School in Kisii County on March 10, 2017. PHOTO | AGGREY OMBOKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AGGREY OMBOKI

The Nation Media Group donated textbooks worth Sh200,000 to Igoma PAG Primary School in Kisii County.

The pupils celebrated the gesture with song and dance in a colourful ceremony graced by Kisumu Regional Editor Emeka Mayaka.

Mr Mayaka appealed to Kenyans not to neglect schools in rural areas, saying that they too could become centres of excellence.

"If Kenyans of goodwill would come together to assist schools in rural areas by providing mentorship and material support, even our most humble institutions will be transformed into centres of excellence," he said.

He also urged the government to ensure that such schools are provided with the requisite facilities that promote quality education to improve their lives.

Mr Julius Nyabuto, the head teacher, said the school in Nyamache sub-county faces a number of challenges among them poor infrastructure.

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He also said projects started by the national government have stalled, for example the library that is not yet roofed.

Hence, Mr Nyabuto made a plea to the government to complete projects.

"We are trying our best to run the school despite a small capitation from the Ministry of Education, which has not enabled us to do much in terms of development," Mr Nyabuto said.

The county's administration, under James Ongwae, also started building a classroom for learners in the Early Childhood Development programme, but does not have a roof.

Nonetheless, teachers praised NMG's work and said it came at the opportune time when the growing population has upstaged the number of books available.

"We are grateful for the donation, which is the most extraordinary thing someone has ever done for us in a long time. We have always had a serious textbook shortage," senior teacher Margaret Bato said.

Ms Bato added that the lack of enough books makes effective teaching a tall order.

It has 300 pupils.

MORE SCHOOLS TO GAIN

Also parents were happy for the donation, which would go a long way in improving their children's performance.

"I have never managed to afford to buy my children all the textbooks they need since my meagre income as a small scale tea farmer cannot allow me to do so. This donation will help my children to access textbooks for revision and reference," one parent said.

Another parent, Mr Jason Daniel, expressed confidence in improvement of the school's performance since learners have been motivated to study.

NMG's corporate affairs officer Naomi Ikenye said the exercise is part of the ongoing Nation Life corporate social responsibility programme.

"As NMG, our aim is to inform and educate. And textbooks such as these fall in line with our corporate social responsibility strategy. We are involved in the CSR effort as a way of enriching and empowering the communities around us through significant and timely interventions where there is genuine need," she said.

Ms Ikenye said the programme is active nationwide.

Kisii County has built 90 classrooms in 45 wards, but the effort still falls below the required number to sufficiently serve all the primary schools, which are more than 900.

At Igoma Primary School there is no running water and the site where the library was to be constructed is overgrown with weeds.

Pupils have to fetch water from the river. Some classes in the institution established in 1961 lack windows.

Since most pupils from the school come from poor families that are unable to buy them shoes, some have been infested with jiggers.

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