Senator unveils plan to ease school congestion

Senator Gloria Orwoba with pupils during the launch of Soma na Glow in Kawangware,  Nairobi. [Courtesy]

Nominated senator Gloria Orwoba has launched an initiative dubbed Soma na Glow which is aimed at decongesting schools in Dagoretti North.

In its inaugural phase, 55 students from various schools in Dagoretti North were relocated to Kileleshwa Primary which currently accommodates about 400 students despite having a capacity of slightly above 2,000 students.

On the other hand, neighbouring schools in Kawangware, Kabiro, and Gatina, have congested classrooms where as many as 150 students are crammed into one room.

To address this disparity, Soma na Glow is providing transportation from Kawangware (Congo Stage) to Kileleshwa Primary and back.

“We are trying to decongest schools that have a lot of pupils. The challenge is that parents cannot afford transport to get students to schools that are less crowded because they are far away. This programme is meant to get rid of the transport burden on parents,” Gloria Orwoba said.

The senator said the programme is also aimed at granting these students access to superior education.

Other than transport costs, the initiative also provides uniforms, admission fees, and even the procurement of desks. Soma na Glow’s approach ensures the students are well-equipped for a successful transition to a new school.

The senator noted that all funds that went into enabling this initiative were raised by her friends and family.

“Today we have 55 students who are benefiting from this programme. I hope these students get equal opportunities to access quality education,” Orwoba said while inaugurating the initiative.

Further, “while I was distributing sanitary towels, I found that some schools have very high population because it is within the locality of the students.”

A parent, Jaqueline Wafula, whose child is a beneficiary of the project said that the transport arrangement will go a long way in ensuring that their children get quality education.

“I know the education standard in Kileleshwa primary is high. Where our children went initially, the ratio of teachers to pupils was high,” Wafula said.

This pilot programme has seen 55 students transferred to Kileleshwa Primary from various schools within Dagoreti North and South.

“I have chartered a matatu, which will pick and drop the students from home to school and vice versa,” Orwoba said, adding that this project is short-term, and, in order to sustain it, “the Ministry of Education should look into this situation where some schools are heavily congested while others are barely occupied.”

“These schools need buses, that would be a permanent solution,” she made a call to the Ministry of Education noting that this particular pilot attracted over 130 students, but could only accommodate 55.


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