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It’s not cheap educating these hot basketball dribblers — Upper Hill Principal

Peter Orero
 Upper Hill School Principal Peter Orero

Upper Hill Secondary School spends a lot of money to support the talented South Sudanese students.

The school, according to the principal, has had numerous challenges after a donor pulled out three years ago.

Previously, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries, used to pick the tab.

At the time, Orero told The Nairobian, 15 students from the basketball team, over 25 in football, plus an additional 10 rugby players, used to benefit from direct UNICEF sponsorship. But that has not been forthcoming since sponsorship dried up about three years ago.

“Retaining them in school is an expensive affair. At times, we get various parents and well-wishers to help pay their fees. We have to maintain them because we cannot send them away from school. We surely need a helping hand,” said Orero.

The principal added that since UNICEF made Upper Hill Secondary School a talent centre, the UN body has sponsored hundreds of students and they are forever indebted to the UN agency.

“At Upper Hill, we believe that curriculum and co-curricular activities go hand in hand for the holistic development of a learner. If you look at our 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results, all the 10 rugby players passed with flying colours, with the least score being a B plain grade. In the basketball squad, the least score was a B— grade,” Orero added.

The principal said nurturing children into responsible and useful citizens of the world is a societal responsibility and therefore called upon corporate and individuals of goodwill to step forward and help his ‘sons’ achieve their dreams and aspirations.

“The learners have settled and well integrated with their compatriots at all levels in high school. Whereas many believe that people from South Sudan are temperamental, we have not had extreme cases because as a teacher, I do know and understand that the emotional aspect of any human being can always be controlled at a tender age when exposed to certain structures, values and virtues that must be observed,” said Orero.

The teacher, who is also the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Treasurer, said his players are all below 19 years of age, adding that there is no way they could field overage players in the school games.

“The current education system requires that all learners register for national examinations using their birth certificates, so we at KBF are able to verify and ascertain the authentic age and dates of birth of each player,” said Orero.

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