Schools set for facelift after Sh35 million sponsorship

Karen Basiye, who is in charge of Sustainable Business and Social Impact at Safaricom, when organization handed over Sh35 million to two primary schools in Tongaren constituency, Bungoma, on Monday. The money will be used to construct new classrooms. [Benjamin Sawka, Standard]

Two primary schools in the Tongareni constituency, Bungoma County, have benefited from a Sh35 million sponsorship, courtesy of the Safaricom Foundation, which will go towards building additional classrooms and buying books.

Naitiri Primary School and Naitiri RC Primary received Sh25 million and Sh10 million respectively.

Ms Karen Basiye, the director of Sustainable Business, Social Impact Impact and M-Pesa Foundation, who was accompanied by National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula, unveiled the sponsorship during a function at Naitiri Primary.

"We have decided to give back to the community by bringing a new face to the two schools, which are in a bad state. This will help our learners get a conducive learning environment, to explore their full potential," said Basiye.

Wetang'ula decried the sorry state of many schools in the constituency and termed the foundation's support timely.

He noted that over ten schools in the constituency have mud-walled classrooms which is hampering effective teaching and learning, especially during rainy seasons.

"It is good that Safaricom is giving back to society, and their choice of schools in Tongareni has come at the right time as it supplements efforts by the government to improve the infrastructure in schools, to be able to accommodate pupils under the new education system," Mr Wetang’ula said.

Pupils of Naitiri Primary School in Bungoma County dance after their school was handed Sh25 million for a facelift courtesy of the Safaricom Foundation. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

“Increased enrolments demand increased infrastructure in schools, and partnership between the government and corporates to develop such infrastructure is highly appreciated,” he said.

He challenged parents and local administrators to implement the government's directive of ensuring compulsory primary education for all children and 100 per cent transition to secondary school.

Wetang’ula also asked secondary school heads to be considerate of poor children in their institutions and resist the urge to constantly send them home for school fees.

“Most of the children come from poor backgrounds and are banking on education to get out of poverty,” he said.

In Bungoma, Safaricom Foundation has also taken some 16 bright but poor students under the M-Pesa Foundation Academy, which does charge fees.

Tongaren MP John Chikati, who was also present, said the foundation's move will go a long way in supplementing his efforts, through NG-CDF, to improve the status of schools in the constituency.

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