NYAMIRA, KENYA: Nyansiongo High School old boys in Nyamira County launched their association and opened an office for the alumni in ceremony graced by the school principal, leaders’ teachers and almuni.
This was one of its kind in the county with over 10,000 alumni members with chapters in over six regions in the country and Diaspora covering Europe and USA.
The alumni chair, Dr. Kennedy Mwengei Ombaba said they formed the alumni to give back to the school and the community in general that made them who they are and encourage students to work hard.
“We had the idea to start the alumni many years back but we encountered hurdles. However, I thank God it has come to pass. I want to thank the current administration for allowing us to set foot into the school that made us who we are today,” said Dr. Ombaba who left the school in 2001. He is a lecturer at the University of Eldoret.
He added: “Our main objective is to back-track the lost glory of our school that was a beacon of hope and force to reckon with. We will help the administration in addressing some of the challenges that might be bedeviling our once giant school in Nyanza region and rubbed shoulders with renowned schools nationally. We are also concerned with the significant drop of the number of students.”
The role of alumni has recently risen and become a major trend world over for the importance they play like mentoring, networking, and traditions.
His sentiments were echoed by Dr. Peter Onderi, who was the chief guest: “We are not here to interfere with administration of the school, but to try to understand what might have grounded our good school so that we can be part of the solution.”
Dr. Onderi who left the school in 1991 is a lecturer of Psychology at Maseno University.
Naftal Nyabuto Obwoni, the CEO Mzawadi Holdings Ltd, said they have developed a website for the alumni to enable them post their activities. He promised to develop one for the school for free and link it with that of that alumni to make the institution stay afloat with technology.
Mr. Nyabuto in his speech emphasized the role alumni can play in stopping the rate of indiscipline that is being experienced in schools in Kenya ‘One of the many ways that alumni can help students is through mentoring and modelling. Often teenagers are in need of help from a non-relative. The alumni that live in the area are able to provide support for the students. Whether it be through tutoring or coaching, there are teenagers that are in need of mentoring. By identifying with us, the teens are able to respect their teachers more as they are able to see and talk to their products .This not only improves performance but also help students aspire to be like them”. Naftal, who is also an IT expert reminded students how challenges they experience are only meant to prepare them for life after school.
“I will also help students get themselves on the right career path. I discourage students against taking a course because of another person. Let it be self-driven,” he said, sentiments that were reiterated by Spencer Ogutu, a regional manager for Cooperative Bank.
“Believe in yourself. Aim high,” said Ogutu.
Dr. Onderi discouraged students against engaging in drugs and substance abuse, and gambling, saying these are some of the reasons for moral decay among the young people.
“I encourage you to work hard and observe the SMART principle. Restrain yourselves from activities like drugs and substance abuse, gambling and betting on Sportpesa that are likely to compromise you at the expense of your studies.
Cases of unrest we are experiencing in schools today are majorly contributed by the aforementioned. We never destroyed anything when we were in school, you should follow suite,” Dr. Onderi told students, remarks that were shared by Advocate Ronald Kambi, also an alumni of the school.
He challenged the students to find an alternative way of solving their issues, singling out dialogue.
The school principal, Ibrahim Nakhanya, lauded the old boys for tracing their academic roots and give back.
“Thank you for remembering the school that shaped you. We welcome you to help us reclaim the lost glory. Am determined to make this school the giant not only in Nyamira County but nationally.
Goodwill from the surrounding community and other stakeholders of course will make us to achieve this,” said Mr. Nakhanya, who has been at the helm of the school for barely 5 months.
The principal said lack of enough computers and insufficient learning materials are some of the key challenges they are struggling with.
“The school is well endowed in extra-curricular activities. Our boys represent us in regional and national in various activities. We have the potential of maintaining this and do better in academics with the support of old boys and other well-wishers. We are on the roadmap towards achieving this,” he said.
His deputy, Peter Maina, urged parents and other stakeholders to support the current principal.
“Let us embrace delocalisation and support our principal. We are very lucky to have this kind of a person. His track record speaks volumes. Let us all stand with him if achieving academic excellence is anything to go by. We have no doubt our school will rise again,” said Mr. Maina.
The launch of such associations in the county should be encouraged because they can be powerful motivators for the traditions of the school. Sometimes the loss of certain traditions annoys alumni and they stop supporting the student body. Through being involved with the student body, the traditions that the community values will continue to stay alive. Also, this connection provides communication so the alumni are informed of the need for some changes in the school that affects performance.