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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Looming disaster in Bondeni Primary School


By Ndegwa Macharia 

A disaster is looming in Bondeni primary school in Sipili division of Laikipia West district after a roof for two classrooms curved in when heavy rains pounded the area for the last one week. The classrooms have been left in a pathetic state leaving pupils exposed to dangerous conditions. The classrooms include the ones being used by the Std 8 pupils expected to sit for the National examinations in the course of the year.

The school which is located 8km from north of Sipili centre is served by a dilapidated road. When the Laikipia Rural Voices (LRV) reporter visited the school, teachers were busy with their duties. The head teacher Mr. David Mbuthia and the PTA chairperson  Mr. James Mburu were trying to support the curving roof using old posts in an effort to salvage the problem.

 Pupils learning in a classroom with part of the roof blown away.
The scene of the classroom was an eye sore because it had rained heavily the previous night and the two classrooms were flooded with rain water. The children huddled together in one corner to avoid getting in contact with the pools of water. Up the roof, the sky was azure due to lack of iron sheets blown away by the wind.

The walls were no better. The aging timber was giving room to the gaps. “These classrooms were built in the 1970’s’, said the chairman of the school who happens to be a former pupil of the school. He said that he used the same classrooms in the early 80’s when he was admitted in STD one. “The rays of the sun penetrating through the gaps left by missing iron sheets and old timber walls have interfered with learning and this worries the teachers because these children are supposed to compete with others from schools which have conducive learning environment”, Said the head teacher.

Asked whether they have benefited from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), they explained that they have made several trips to the CDF offices seeking for funds but without any success.

The roads in the neighborhood are impassable. They have never been graded since time immemorial. For those who come across the Wangwachi dam. They literally swim across the stream on their way to school when the dam floods.

By10.00am pupils had not started learning because the work of supporting the falling roofs of their classrooms was not yet over. One wondered how the students would move about in the classroom with posts that support the falling roof precariously dotting their classroom. The situation was indeed pathetic and it was hard to imagine whether pupils were actually supposed to learn in that state of affairs.

“If urgent measures are not taken the children will learn from under a tree in the compound to avoid dangers posed by the falling roof”, Said the head teacher. However the prevailing weather conditions do not allow learning to take place. They are appealing to the government to help them to restore normal learning process in the school. 
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