As public schools struggle with dilapidated infrastructure, parents at St Joseph Catholic Church Primary School in Nakuru County have launched an ambitious initiative to raise Sh20 million to renovate the institution.
Most public schools in the county have dilapidated infrastructure. Thousands of pupils learn in makeshift classrooms.
St Joseph Catholic Church Primary School, one of the oldest public institutions in Nakuru Town, was started in 1951 by Catholic nuns. The government took over the management of the school in 1974.
At least two classrooms at the school have been condemned and pupils have been transferred to other classrooms.
The four pre-primary classrooms roofs are made of asbestos, cracks on the floor expose learners to respiratory diseases.
The roofs of at least 16 classrooms are made of asbestos which is associated with the risk of contracting cancer.
The school’s new Board of Management chairman Samuel Kamau Murumbi and patron Joseph Muya on Friday started carrying out renovations of the school. The parents cleaned the institution and painted some of the buildings.
“This school has infrastructural challenges; it has dilapidated classrooms which need major repairs. Most buildings were constructed in the1950s and 1960s,” said Mr Kamau.
The asbestos roof, according to experts, should be replaced with iron sheet.
Mr Kamau said most of the classrooms have cracks on the floor, broken window panes and leaking roofs. The school has no perimeter wall, putting the security of the pupils at stake.
“The school needs a modern kitchen as most of the over 900 pupils take lunch at school,” said Mr Kamau.
He said that the management hopes to put up a modern library and a computer room.
“We need our pupils to embrace Information Communication Technology,” added Mr Kamau.
Mr Kamau appealed to well-wishers, former pupils and Nakuru East Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to come to the aid of the school.
He added: “Most people think the school is still sponsored by the Catholic Church as was the case in early 1970s.”
Records at the institution indicate that the last CDF allocation to the school was made in 2003.
“This is a public school and the little money from the national government is not enough to maintain it and cater for the increasing number of pupils,” said Mr Kamau.
He thanked the school patron Mr Muya for donating paint worth Sh100,000 and parents for cleaning the institution.
Mr Muya said every child has a right to access quality education in a conducive environment.
He appealed to the business community and parents to join hands and give the school a new look.