It is back to school, as the normal school calendar is being resumed three years after Covid-19 wrecked confusion in the world’s calendar, changing the norm that did not seize to shake the education sector since 2020.
In 2020, the students had to halt attending school and resumed in 2021 as per the government directive that saw 2022 have a crush program for the students.
The new year has come with new changes as the current education curriculum also takes its course, with the first batch of students expected to join Junior Secondary School (JSS) and other students expected to join the university in large numbers.
The country is still getting to terms with the just-released KCSE results.
The education sector is still reevaluating its schedule to ensure the proper placement of students in Universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.
The Ministry of Education is also busy choosing and improving schools it will use for the JSS students.
With the end of the 8-4-4 curriculum beckoning, CBC, although it faced a political phase during the country’s campaign, the dust seems to be settling as time heals all and the talk on how to improve it has been ongoing.
Parents have no choice but to comply even as proposed changes are slowly being taken.
The Eldama Ravine sub-county Education Office, led by Simeon Kemei, is also busy preparing its report regarding the education calendar and the 2022 results to ensure the smooth placement of students and transition to the next hurdle, which is the beginning of JSS.
Kemei says that he is keen to see which schools will be suggested for that role as what is considered is not only the fact that the school has to be equipped but also the school has to be safe.
A look into Eldama Ravine town portrays a busy town, but it has sometimes been different.
The town, termed the sleeping giant, is awakened by the school opening month.
There is hardly a moment you do not bang into other passersby, some with their children in their hands leading them or some kids already trying out their uniforms in the various uniform shops.
Here, I meet a local Geoffrey Munyeria, a famous Master of Ceremony, famously known as MC Jeff.
Being a jack of all trades, he always takes advantage of such school opening season to do his part-time branding job.
He just started branding today and has already made a kill.
He says this job has a season and a reason. This time the advantage is that it will take long because soon, the students heading to JSS will be opening schools towards the end of the month.
Munyeria and his fellow hustlers brand the school uniforms, blankets and sheets.
Though he says the competition has packed up, they are still getting customers.
“I started early in the morning, others came in later, but at no point have I missed a customer. The clients are many,” says Munyeria.
The system of labeling items for students before they go to school has become a norm and has saved parents a lot of money, as each student can identify their items once lost.
The bookshops in town are also a buzz of activities as parents throng them for various books.
With Pioneer Bookshop being a famous go-to bookshop in Eldama Ravine sub-county, the queue is long as every parent counts on it to have the relevant books or take the costly journey to the next town, Nakuru, 65 kilometers away, for books.
Uniform shops are making a kill as parents and guardians ensure their children look good in school. Although some parents have lamented on the high cost of the uniform, some appreciate the freedom to buy it where they want.
In some schools, it is a directive to buy uniforms from the school, which is more expensive than at the uniform shops.
The discussion about closing school shops selling uniforms has always been unresolved.
Some politicians and business people argue it is a rip-off for struggling parents who can hardly afford all the school fees such schools need.
The irony is that some schools with such systems are private, and there are no major options, as private schools are one’s choice.
The transport sector is ripping big as they ferry in and out clients of all walks.
The fare to some destinations has remained unchanged, while some have opted to hike.
The boda boda riders, too, are up and about within the town.
At some point, due to the busy schedule of schools opening, some routes even lack enough vehicles to satisfy the passengers; it is a matter of an early bird catching the worm.
The eateries have also doubled their portions to satisfy the rather unusually increasing number of clients.
This shows how unawakened Eldama Ravine town is in terms of development to handle such rush hours undeterred.
The town, established in 1986, has since had a few expansions in terms of businesses, with the famous two competing Saccos, the Skyline and Boresha sacco, making its business sensible.
The other industry is the Sobak Textile Business, elevating the sub-county’s status with original fabrics.
The town, which still needs a University within to help awaken it further, is yet to know which side the political wind will favor as more famous politicians come from the central part of Baringo, making Eldama Ravine sub-county less powerful in its prowess to garner more support to win a University placement as the locals only depend on the bravery of their Member of Parliament Musa Sirma.
The town majorly boasts of private businesses, with one major bakery as old as the town itself, medical facilities such as Mercy Mission Hospital, a Level 5 private hospital and a few small private clinics that hardly survive.
The sub-county, however, enjoys the business growth brought in through the establishment of Eldama Ravine Vocational Training College.
The College has attracted new rental structures around and increased food joints around the area where most lecturers and students from afar reside.
The infrastructure within the town is wanting, and its sewer system is a sad scenario.
The area enjoys a few food joints and one 5-star hotel.
Being a former headquarter of the famous Koibatek District then, the administrative structures are a lead in the face of the sub-county.
Though the former Chief Justice, David Maraga, commissioned a high court during his tenure, the high court still stands unfinished.
The status of the Eldama Ravine Town lies in limbo, as the goods from other towns are sold expensively, especially in the retail shops, causing an economic migration to the nearby Nakuru town.
Though the town enjoys good security, in its outskirts, it is still grappling with illicit brews, with the congested area of Shauri Moyo creating a picture of rather not classy cheap joints to enjoy a bottle or two.
However, business operators, in turn, are crying over the irregular and unfair charges imposed by the sub-county government.
Similar businesses are charged higher than others and the residents are unhappy.
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Eldama Ravine Town is and will still be still. Season in and season out, it has always taken it as it is when dynamics change but is itself yet to embrace the inevitability of change in terms of structures and infrastructure.
The town is mainly used as a route from the main towns, especially Eldoret en route to Nakuru, and acts as a link to other sub-counties.