Classrooms crack and pit latrines sink as flood hit school

By Julius Chepkwony | Thursday, Sep 6th 2018 at 22:51
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Sintan Primary School children wade through floods at Sintaan area in Baringo south on August 31,2018 after river Perkerra broke its banks .The pupils have been displaced and are now stydying under a tree at the compound of a Domion Church. [Photo:Kipsang Joseph/Standard

A school in Ilchamus ward is facing a crisis after six girls' toilets caved in due to floods.

Four classrooms at Sintaan Primary School are also on the verge of collapse, raising fears among teachers and pupils.

“The situation is getting worse. Classes have developed cracks on the walls and floors. The environment is not conducive for learners,” the deputy head teacher, Sammy Ntunayo, told The Standard team that visited the institution.

The institution, which is in Baringo South, has a population of 359 pupils. At least 100 learners who used to be in the crumbling classrooms are learning under a tree in the compound.

The school is situated approximately 500 metres from River Perkarra. Earlier this year, the river burst its banks on and flooded the school compound.

The ongoing short rains have not given the school any respite either. Teachers have taken on the additional role of helping the pupils cross the flooded sections outside the institution.

Mr Ntunayo said that to minimise learning disruptions, some pupils were being taught in a nearby church while other learners were accommodated in a different school as they waited for the water to subside.

In May, during the heavy long rains, pupils moved to Ilng'arua Primary School and Dominion Church until schools closed.

The deputy head teacher said the administration was seeking the intervention of the national and county governments to find a lasting solution.

Ntunayo pledged that the school's administration would do what it could to assist the learners, but expressed concern that the disruptions made it difficult for the teachers to cover most of the syllabus in the short eight-week third term.

Beatrice Rotich, a Class Three teacher, said there were fears of pupils contracting respiratory and waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. She added that the classrooms still in use were cold and damp, making learning difficult.

Ms Rotich singled out the younger learners as being vulnerable to pneumonia.

"The children are young and we sometimes tell them to stay at home. We fear for their health as there might be an outbreak of waterborne diseases," she said.

She also noted that there was a need to find a lasting solution to the flooding problem, which she said had become a perennial concern.

Anstacia Nkaitao, a Class Eight pupil, asked the Government to assist the school.

Nkaitao said a lasting solution to the problems should be found as they had inconvenienced the school community for long.

She added that the frequent relocation from the school in the two terms had wasted time and was likely to negatively impact students' performance in the national examination.

Cynthia Kirgotty, another candidate, said she was worried because she and her colleagues would sit for the same papers in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations as other pupils countrywide and no one would care about the challenges they had faced.

"All we need is help. We have wasted enough time," said Kirgotty.

Board chairman

Boniface Lesaris, the board chairman, said the school should be moved to avoid disruptions to learning in the future.

County Education Director Willie Muchocho said his office was aware of the situation and would offer assistance.

"We have heard of the case and there are plans to assist the learners as we seek a long-term solution to the matter," said Mr Muchocho.

 

 

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