The government is taking stock of infrastructure in schools so as to match their capacity with the number of students admitted, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
While attending Mang'u High School prize and thanksgiving day on Saturday, Mr Kenyatta said congestion in schools was as a result of the government’s policy for 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.
“I would like to see every young person in school. Even if it means learning under trees, let them be in school. We have begun taking stock of the infrastructural deficit,” he said.
A number of schools in many parts of the country have set up tents and transformed dining halls into classrooms and dormitories in a bid to address congestion.
Mang’u is grappling with a student population of 1,727.
The President said the government would give the school Sh140 million for building a perimeter wall, two science laboratories, a dormitory with a capacity of 800 students, four ablution blocks as well as a computer lab.
He added that the money would be given in tranches in two financial years. Mr Kenyatta also promised the school a 72-seater bus following a request by the head student.
The President was the chief guest at the event. He launched an amphitheatre named after former President Mwai Kibaki and a dining hall built by SportsPesa chief executive Ronald Karauri.
Mr Kibaki is an old boy of the school. Cardinal John Njue, who led mass at the event, called on the government to address the challenges of comprehensive sex education in schools, radicalisation, gambling and drug abuse.
The head of the Catholic Church in the country said the problems are hindering the success of the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school policy.
He also urged State officials to ensure schools and homes are safe for learners in the wake of increased cases of child abuse.
Founded 94 years ago by missionaries, Mang’u has for years produced many of the country’s top political and business executives, Mr Kenyatta said.
Mr Kibaki and former Vice-President Moody Awori, also a Mang’u High School old boy, were recognised for their contributions to the country.
Mang'u principal Abraham Githuka said the school recorded one of its best performances in recent history by managing a mean score of 9.609 in the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination.
It was an improvement on the 9.083 mean the previous year.
Out of the 330 candidates, some 316 scored grade C+ and above, qualifying to join university.
Mr Awori gave a list of his school mates at Mang’u, including former minister Tom Mboya, who died in 1969.
Mr Kibaki was honoured as one of Mang’u High School top performers and contributing greatly towards improving infrastructure at the institution.
Outgoing Mang’u board of management chairman George Muhoho said the school opted to name the amphitheatre after Mr Kibaki “as a constant reminder of the values he stands for”.
"He is one of our most celebrated old boys. Mr Kibaki has remained an active and dedicated old boy of Mang’u," Mr Muhoho said.
The former president said the school honed his leadership skills.
Others present at the function included Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, Deputy Governor James Nyoro, Senator Kimani Wamatangi, Woman Rep Gathoni Wamuchomba, MPs Francis Munyua Waititu (Juja), Patrick Wainaina (Thika), Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town), George Gitonga Murugara (Tharaka), Peter Mwathi (Limuru) and Mercy Gakuyu (Kasarani).