Nairobi’s Kibra constituency has invested heavily in education, which it says can turn around the lives of children in the slum.
According to area MP Kennedy Okoth, this is in-line with Kibra’s five-year strategic plan that under the ‘Vision Elimu Kwanza’ banner has identified education as a key focus area.
“Since education is the foundation of everything and can help many out of poverty, Vision Elimu Kwanza is meant to impact the lives of poor and needy children in the slums,” he said.
Kibra’s CDF chairperson Leah Asego says for education to be adopted as major project in the area, they had to hold several consultation sessions with ward leaders, CDF committee members and residents.
“During these sessions, parents came out strongly saying education should be given first priority in all fund allocations,” she says.
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And as per the parents’ demands, Asego says Vision Elimu Kwanza is already empowering thousands of children by making sure they have access to quality education.
Kibra CDF has already equipped Shadrack Kimalel Mixed Secondary School with a two-storey block comprising nine classrooms, a computer lab, a store, offices for heads of department and washrooms.
It has rehabilitated several schools such as Ayany, Joseph Kang’ethe with ongoing works at Kibera primary. Construction of Mbagathi High school is now almost complete and it is set to admit its first students this month. The next step is to initiate construction of the Raila Educational Centre Secondary school.
Still under the Vision Elimu Kwanza initiative, both primary and secondary schools are being equipped with ICT equipment in a move intended to make training of this vital subject available to all learners.
Shadrack Kimalel Mixed Secondary School’s Principal Beatrice Otieno lauds CDF for transforming schools in the informal settlement.
“My school is a beneficiary of the Vision Elimu Kwanza initiative. Before this intervention, we had a congestion problem because of few classrooms. This made learning difficult,” she says
Otieno also notes that apart from infrastructure, the initiative also provides bursaries for bright but needy students.
“Were it not for this financial support, many of my students would not be here today,” she says.
And apart from bursaries, the top 30 pupils in KCPE receive scholarships to enable them join national and provincial schools.
A beneficiary of this scheme, Julius Mwangi - father to Roy Mwangi says it came in handy when his son was admitted to Baricho School early last year.
“I looked at the fee structure and was at a loss but when I applied, I was given Sh50,000 which enabled my son to join the school without any problem,” he says.
And while some like Moses Osoro are not as lucky to get a bursary for their child, they remain hopeful that the coming year will bring them better luck.
MP Okoth acknowledges that not everyone who applies for the bursary receives it and says his biggest challenge is money allocated to his CDF kitty.
“Every year we get about 4,000 students applying for bursaries. By the time we spend Sh20 million, there is a needy child left behind because the money is not enough,” he says.