Increased pupil enrolment takes toll on sanitation
SEE ALSO :Bid open for tutors schemeMondays and Fridays are the most affected, being assembly days. “These are young children who must relieve themselves before attending lessons. If they do not, some always relieve themselves in classrooms,” says Ms Waweru. She adds: “It is sometimes so hard for us to retain learners in classrooms, and first lesson is mostly affected with irregular movements to and from classrooms.” The school is also congested. For example, there are 160 pupils in Class Four, making it difficult for teachers to control the class. The school has been forced to create an alternative iron-sheet classroom to accommodate the learners. There are 25 tutors employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
SEE ALSO :TSC to promote 6,000 teachers“Each classroom has an average of about 70 pupils. It is sometimes hard to handle each learner, more so the slow ones because they require more time, yet every lesson is only 30 minutes,” she says. Mirugi Kariuki is not the only school facing the sanitation problem because of the high enrollment attributed to free primary education. Most public primary schools in the county are strained on infrastructure, especially the sanitary ones and classrooms. Gwatanio Primary School in Njoro also faces the same sanitation problem. Here, the ratio of toilets to pupils is 1 to 100, according to the school head teacher Kihara Mwangi. The school has an enrollment of 1,324 pupils in primary school section and 170 at pre-primary, all who share the few available toilets.
New blockThere is a new block of modern toilets, but it is not in use, as its construction design has been condemned by the Department of Public Health. The situation is not different at Baharini Primary School in Nakuru Town East. At the school that was constructed during the colonial period, toilets are pathetic, with some already caving in. Learners, however, still access them for lack of alternative facilities. Elijah Njoroge, a parent at the school, says the toilets were constructed in 1947, with the newest block having been constructed at least 20 years ago. Rift Valley Education Director John Ololtuaa admitted that some schools had infrastructure and sanitation problems due to high enrollment following the advent of free primary and day secondary education. However, Mr Ololtuaa said the Government allocated money for repair and maintenance for every pupil and student, money that schools are expected to spend on projects such as, improving infrastructure and sanitation.
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