The Star (Kenya)
Rebuilding of colonial school in Nyeri starts
Classrooms, admin block in a sorry state
The reconstruction of pre-independence Muringato Primary School in Nyeri Town constituency has started.
The current classrooms are wooden and none has attained the required standard of 40 by 30 feet.
The classrooms have no windows, while the wooden walls have gaping openings, which expose children to the cold and dust.
Other than the modern toilet block built using the National Government Constituency Development Fund, all other structures in the school are in a sorry state.
Muringato is the only one among the 51 primary schools in the constituency that is dilapidated. The school has 350 pupils.
Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said on Wednesday the construction work is expected to be completed in November so that children can start using the new classrooms by January.
The MP said he is also lobbying the government to establish Muringato Secondary School.
A borehole has already been dug at the institution to support learners with their water needs.
“We are now doing the school as a modern block. We are also going to repair the toilets and then of course we shall try and get a secondary school here,” he said. Wambugu said Sh8 million has been committed from the NG-CDF, but the entire project will cost Sh17 million.
He said they have entered into partnership with Dedan Kimathi University which has contributed Sh2 million as part of its corporate social responsibility. NG-CDF will allocate more money towards the end of the year, he said. “I am also trying to get some money from the infrastructural fund from the Ministry of Education but one way or the other, we are going to complete this school by the end of the year,” he said. Wambugu said he will turn around the school to a centre of excellence.
The school sits on the university land and was built as a daycare for the people working in the coffee plantation during colonial times. It was common for White Settlers who owned plantations in Kiambu and Nyeri counties among others to start such schools, which also acted as daycares.
The plantation farm was later bought by the public who built a technical institution that was later upgraded to Kimathi University. “For a long time, the primary school was for the people of that community but later became a public school and was given TSC teachers,” Wambugu explained. The initial plan by Nyeri NG-CDF was to have all schools in the constituency renovated to a certain standard.
“But due to its [Muringato] dilapidated case, we couldn’t even renovate it because it is in a very bad state,” he said.
One of the parents from the school, Rosemary Wachira, said the construction of modern classrooms will motivate learners who have gone through hell sitting in the dilapidated classes.
The motivation, she said, will help improve grades.
“The classes are dusty and small and even if schools were to be reopened today, it would be impossible for learners to observe social distancing,” she said.
Classrooms are dusty and small ... if schools were to be reopened today, it would be impossible for learners to observe social distancing