School where teachers wish they could have lessons in latrines
By James Omoro
| October 19th 2021
Classrooms at Sing’enge Primary School in Ndhiwa Constituency are so dilapidated that some teachers say it would be better to teach in the latrines.
As the government talks of digital learning and improving infrastructure in primary schools, at Sing’enge 350 pupils take lessons in iron sheets structures on mud floors.
We caught up with Gidius Ochieng’, a teacher at the school in Kanyamwa Kologi Ward.
Like several other teachers in the school, Ochieng’ says he wishes he could have his lessons in the latrines instead of the classrooms. This is because the school has permanent and modern latrines.
“If wishes were horses, we would be teaching our pupils in the latrines, which are made of a permanent structure,” Ochieng’ said.
The latrine floors and walls are cemented and easy to clean.
These toilets were recently built by former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga in collaboration with Global Partners.
Mr Magwanga said the latrines were necessary as the genesis of good health in a learning institution.
“Our assessment revealed that the school had poor classrooms and latrines. We decided to construct the latrines in a bid to reduce communicable diseases,” Magwanga said when he commissioned the latrines.
“Public health officers used to close the school due to lack of latrines. But this will be a thing of the past,” he added.
However, the dilapidated classrooms remain a major obstacle to learning at the institution.
According to school head teacher John Omollo, during rainy seasons, teachers cancel learning and send children home as they cannot sit in the dilapidated classes.
His biggest fear is that the classrooms, which are on the verge of collapsing, may cause deaths or injuries.
“Sometimes we have to release pupils to go home on days we experience heavy rainfall,” said Mr Omollo.
The floor that is not cemented has been a source of jigger infestation.
School board of management chairman George Odhiambo said he has received complaints from parents that their children are infested by jiggers.
“A building on clay soil whose floor is not cemented is prone to jigger infestation. The health of our children is at risk,” said Mr Odhiambo.
The poor infrastructure is impeding the school’s performance. The school achieved a mean score of 258.37 in 2020 KCPE.
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