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Top ministry officials visit school after exposé

By Olivia Odhiambo | June 12th 2021

Education officials from Siaya County made an inspection tour. [Olivia Odhiambo, Standard]

Ministry of Education officials from Siaya County yesterday made an inspection tour of Urim Primary School after The Standard highlighted the plight of pupils learning under deplorable conditions.

In the exposé published two weeks ago, The Standard highlighted how learners from different classes share rooms for studies, and also pit latrines with teachers.

Learners share pit latrines with teachers. [Olivia Odhiambo, Standard]

The school has only five classrooms situated at the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centre that is shared by all the classes.

In each room, there are pupils from two different classes, taught by different teachers.

The two sets of classes in one room are partitioned with iron sheets and learners can barely hear what the teachers are saying due to echoes from the adjacent room.

Two sets of classes in one room are partitioned with iron sheets. [Olivia Odhiambo, Standard]

A few metres away is another makeshift classroom built only from rods and an iron sheet roof to shield Grade Three learners from the sun and rain.

Nelson Sifuna, the Siaya County Director of Education, yesterday toured the school that is located seven kilometres from Siaya town in Alego Usonga, to ‘check and confirm’ the situation.

Sifuna, who held a meeting with the school headteacher Pamela Otondo and teachers said the Ministry will look into the plight of the learners immediately to ensure they are comfortable while at school. 

Makeshift classroom at Urim Primary School. [Olivia Odhiambo, Standard]

“We have been supporting the school. We have already donated lockers to the school. Having assessed the situation, I am going to hold consultations with my colleagues in the Ministry to ensure the school is given priority. We will improve the infrastructure,” Sifuna said.

He added that he would hold consultations with other Ministry officials from the region and in Nairobi to chart the way forward on how the infrastructure of the school would be improved.

Otondo said the school was started 30 years ago but some parents moved their children to nearby schools due to the poor infrastructure. This left them with a small population of orphaned and vulnerable children from poor families.

“There is no gate in this school and people intrude from all corners during school hours,” she added.

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