There is a ray of hope for the education of girls in Lamu County after a Sh54 million project to build a state-of-the art Mpeketoni Girls' Boarding Secondary School was launched by the national government.
The school will add to the few available girls' secondary schools in the region.
The shortage of such schools in Lamu has, for decades, contributed to poor performance by girls.
Lamu has three public girls' secondary schools. They are Lamu Girls' High School – the only girls national school in the region – Shella Bright Girls' Secondary School and Pate Girls' Secondary which was officially opened by Deputy President William Ruto in December 2018.
A few other schools, including Sacred Heart Girls' Secondary in Mpeketoni, are private.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama said preparations for building the new school were under way.
According to the project plan seen by the Nation, the school will have a capacity of 800 students once completed.
Mr Muthama said the project is entirely funded from the Lamu West National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) kitty.
“Lamu has very few girls' secondary schools and this has subsequently contributed to a very low level of the girl-child education in the region. That is why we arrived at the decision to introduce another girls' secondary school here in Mpeketoni. The project is ongoing. In fact we have begun by setting up temporary structures and Form One and Two students are already learning. We thank God that a principal has also been posted to the institution. We expect the school will accommodate 800 students once complete,” said Mr Muthama.
READY IN SIX MONTHS
Lamu West Constituency Fund Account Manager Javan Mwandawiro said the new school is expected to be completed in six months.
“The project is ongoing and it is entirely financed by Lamu West NG-CDF. We expect the entire construction work to be ready in six months’ period. That means before the end of this year, we will be having a new state-of-the-art Mpeketoni Girls' Secondary School,” said Mr Mwandawiro.
Lamu County Education Director Joshua Kaaga termed the upcoming school a new dawn in the education of girls in Lamu County.
Mr Kaaga said the school is strategically located as Mpeketoni has the highest concentration of primary schools in Lamu.
He said that on many occasions, girls completing their primary school education in Lamu are forced to join secondary schools in other counties, which becomes an extra burden to parents.