Siaya school at the brink of shutting down over lack of basic amenities

Written By: Philip Onyango (KNA)

A teacher takes pupils through a lesson in a dilapidated structure that is almost collapsing.

Urim Primary School in Siaya County risks closure for lack of basic amenities including toilets.

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According to the School Head Teacher Pamela Otondo, the school is staring at possible closure unless well-wishers help rehabilitate and construct some of the classes and toilets.

Siaya school at the brink of shutting down over lack of basic amenities
The “best” toilet block at Urim Primary School that is shared by teachers and both boys and girls pupils.

The headteacher who is barely five months old at the institution says the school, with a population of 120 pupils, has only nine teachers.

According to Peter Onyango Wanyang’, who is a senior teacher at the school as well as a Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) official at the Siaya Branch, most teachers posted at the school often opt to work elsewhere citing lack of basic amenities.

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Siaya school at the brink of shutting down over lack of basic amenities
Pupils go through preps in a partitioned classroom that houses two classes at Urim Primary School.

“Two headteachers have so far rejected the offer to work here. We are hoping that the situation in the school will improve through the help of well-wishers,” he observes.

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For parents like Patricia Akech Ger whose child studies at the school, spit has been difficult to keep teachers at the institution as most opt for institutions with better environments.

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Ger says that apart from lack of proper toilets, the jigger menace has proved a challenge with the mud floors acting at fertile grounds for jiggers with pupils forced to carry cow dung to school for smearing the floors to help in the control of the parasites.

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Siaya school at the brink of shutting down over lack of basic amenities
A building that houses an Early Childhood Development class at Urim Primary school in Central Alego Ward, Siaya county.

“It is a pity that some parents from the community and their children prefer trekking long distance to other schools. This has contributed to the drop in academic standards in the school,” laments Ger.

The school chairman, Joseph Omondi Odima, says efforts to improve the school’s infrastructure have over the years failed owing to high poverty levels within the community.

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