This school needs you!

Oneno Nam Primary School headteacher Jack Oketch in one of the dilapidated classrooms in his school on August 17, 2021. PHOTO/George Omondi, The Scholar Media Africa.

At Oneno Nam Primary School, Homa Bay County, Standard Eight pupils are sure of eavesdropping a visitor’s conversation with the headteacher.

Their classroom and the headteacher’s office are separated by a cardboard.

The school is located in Kabuoch South ward in Ndhiwa Sub-county.

The tiny cardboard which separates the office and the class does not allow privacy in either rooms.

All pupils must therefore be silent for Mr Jack Oketch, the school head teacher to communicate effectively with his visitors.

This is just one of the challenges that affects the learning institution with a population of 720 learners.

Ironically, the school was ranked as one of the best performing schools in 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams after obtaining a mean of 314.15.

The challenges pupils face did not prevent them from excelling in exams.

Mr Oketch said when lessons are at peak, communication with visitors becomes a challenge.

“During lessons, we have to walk out in order to talk otherwise we will disrupt the lessons in the other room,” he said.

The school was established in 2006.

Since then, no major development has taken place at the institution.

Lack of permanent buildings makes pupils learn in dilapidated classrooms made of iron sheets.

Mr Okech said recently the government constructed two classrooms at the school.

The management of the institution then decided to partition one of the classrooms to be the headteacher’s office.

“The other side of the classroom is my office. Teachers too do not have a staff room,” the headteacher said.

Problems affecting the school do not end there.

Pupils in lower primary are a disadvantaged lot.

Early Years Education (EYE) pupils learn under trees.

Their teachers use portable blackboards and pupils have to carry their desks every day.

Learning under trees has its own challenges.

When it rains, classes have to be suspended.

Besides infrastructure, the school is also faced with a shortage of teachers.

Mr Oketch said the institution has eight teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Two are employed by the county government at the EYE section.

“Two teachers are employed by the community. But still the teacher student ratio is not as it should be,” he said.

Board of Management (BOM) Chairman Peter Adero appealed to well-wishers to help the institution overcome some of the challenges it faces.

He also asked the government to intervene.

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