A school that was once an academic giant in the then Siaya District is struggling to regain its lost glory.
Barkanyango Secondary School used to rival Maranda High School among other high performing schools in the area.
The foundation of the school was laid by the then Minister for Economic Planning and Development Tom Mboya on November 3, 1968.
The school’s alumni list includes Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, senior veterinarian cum lecturer at University of Nairobi Joshua Amimo, current Yimbo East MCA Francis Otiato and celebrated radio comedian Felix Odiwuor popularly known as Jalan’go.
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The alumni has lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, engineers and bankers.
The school was one of the first provincial boarding institutions in Yimbo whose students went to excel elsewhere after walking out of its gates.
However, the school is currently in a desolate state. The school located in North Yimbo location, Bondo sub-county has dilapidated toilets and derelict dormitories.
“The school has produced notable figures in the society but due to a number of challenges, the performance went down,” said Board of Management Chairman Sylvester Opil.
Number of students
He said the school used to take a good number of students to the university until the late 90s when things started going south.
Mr Opil, who took over the school’s management position three years ago, said due to poor academic performance, the institution has not been able to attract many students.
The school is currently a single stream, except Form One. Form Four has only 22 students.
“We depended on “remnant” students and this contributed greatly to the poor performance. This also led to low funding by the government, which depends on students’ population,” said the chairman.
He said since he became the BoM chairman, they have managed to put up a library through the support of parents.
With the current student population of 200, Mr Opil said that there is tremendous improvement and they are looking forward to have the number go to over 300.
“In order to improve the performance, we’ve resorted to sponsoring students with a minimum of 330 marks and we’re paying for them everything. We currently have 20 and we’re therefore looking at improved results at the end of four years,” said Mr Ochanda.