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Citizen Weekly

Thursday, 16 October 2014

MACHAKOS GOVERNOR ABANDONS SCHOOL WHERE MAJORITY OF PUPILS ARE FROM KAJIADO COUNTY



There are claims that the county government is reluctant to invest in the school's infrastructure because most of the pupils come from neighbouring Kajiado County, hence their parents' votes do not count in Machakos.

Olashaiki Primary School pupils are forced to sit on the cold floor while teachers' chairs are broken. The school has no feeding programme though most of the pupils, who are drawn from the two counties, come from humble backgrounds.
The school, established in 2009 with more than 200 children, has four teachers who reside in Kitengela Town, 15 kilometres away.

Many times, teachers fail to report to work due to lack of a reliable means of transport. The teachers usually hike lifts on lorries ferrying stones to Sholinge.
Older pupils are used to the routine of guiding the younger ones through their studies whenever teachers are away.

It is only recently that the school got its first ever toilets courtesy of Mavoko's constituency development fund. For three years, teachers and pupils shared one iron-sheet toilet. Kindergarten pupils sit on small chairs and use their laps as tables. ''We are used to queuing with the pupils when it comes to answering a call of nature,'' said a teacher who asked not to be named.

''We have a serious education problem that needs to be addressed with immediate effect. Our children are suffering in their journey to acquire education due to the poor condition of our school,'' said Esther Shapara, a parent at the school.

''During the last General Election campaigns, leaders promised to facelift this particular school but later forgot their promise. We are aware they will be back for votes come the next election,'' said Reuben Ole Sirere, another parent.

''It seems no one is interested in this school. Leaders from both counties are running away from us,'' he added. Athi River District Education Officer Joseph Kiema admitted that his office has been experiencing many challenges in managing the school.

''Construction of classrooms is the collective responsibility of parents and leaders, our mandate is providing the school with teachers which we have already done,'' said Mr Kiema.
However, the education officer promised that his office would do everything possible to breathe life back into the school.

''It is true the school is in Machakos County, but the pupils who attend the school are from Kajiado County,'' said Mr Kiema. Kitengela /Sholinge Ward Rep Daniel Kanchori said the school is an example of historical injustices. ''We have been fighting for the review of this boundary for quite a long time,'' said Mr Kanchori.