What needs to Know: Thomas Andiwo has asked the Ministry of Education officials undertaking Form One selection in Naivasha to expedite the selection process, More than 300 pupils risk their lives as they cross the crocodile-infested River Tana to access their school and Sigor Mixed Primary in Pokot Central Sub-county to admit children with special needs.
1. Sigor Mixed Primary to admit children with special needs
Sigor Mixed Primary School will be transformed into an integrated school to admit children with special needs following a resolution by Education stakeholders in Pokot Central Sub-county.
As per the source, all SNE schools are in or around Kapenguria township in Pokot West and therefore could not cater for all children with disabilities in the area.
The stakeholders met to address the issues that impede access to quality education and retention and transition of learners from primary to secondary education at Wei Wei Secondary school in the area.
While urging the local officials to arrest the perpetrators of the cultural practice serving as a hindrance to others, Mr Were Simiyu who is the area Deputy County Commissioner, rebuked the community for encouraging and tolerating child pregnancy - a habit he says has affected girls’ access to education within the area.
According to Subcounty Director of Education, Mr Kennedy Machacha, introducing Early Grade Reading [Tusome] has seen students’ performances in languages improve.
Machacha urged the schools to build on a good foundation to improve in the general performance in other subjects. However, in his thoughts, the area was not doing well regarding KCPE and KCSE results.
2. Education ministry told to ensure transparency in form one selection
Regional Education and Learning Initiative (RELI) Africa Technical Advisor, Mr Thomas Andiwo Obondo has asked the Ministry of Education officials embarking on Form One selection in Naivasha to exercise fairness in the selection process regardless of whether the pupils sat their KCPE exams in private or public primary schools.He spoke to a local news reporter while in Kisumu urging the selection panel to ensure they select pupils based on merit and their preferred choices.
“We want the ministry to be more flexible. After the selection, some parents will receive calling letters to schools where their children did not choose," Andiwo said.
He says that in most cases, the cost of accessing the schools by the students is too expensive for the poor parents and sometimes, some children need close monitoring by parents because of their health conditions.
He further called on the selection team to speed up the exercise to allow parents to prepare their children to join form one this coming July.
3. Dangerous crossing: Pupils risk their lives to attend school
Students in Handaraku Primary school risk their lives while crossing the dangerous River Tana to accessing their centre of learning in Garsen West of Tana Delta sub-county.
More than 300 pupils reportedly gamble with their lives as they cross the extremely feared, crocodile-infested River Tana, on a weak footbridge made by Mohammed Abdi the village elder.
“When it floods, crossing the bridge becomes guesswork since it cannot be seen without the help of an expert in crossing,” said Mohammed.
The experts are said to charge pupils Sh10 to help them cross the bridge. The pupils are forced to stay at home when the river water increase in volume because it is risky.
“Sometimes the crocodiles swim this far to hunt, during which the children are asked to stay home until we are sure it is safe to pass,” said Hussein Barisa, an elder.
“I have my children attending the same school and so do my grandchildren, I owe them the privilege to learn and that’s why I did this,” said Mr Abdi who is tasked with inspecting the bridge he made to ensure it does not get too weak to endanger the lives of those crossing it daily.
As reported by Nation Africa, the efforts by the area MCA Musa Wario to persuade the county administration to construct a reasonable footbridge have been futile.
“The last time I lobbied, it was factored in the budget, then suddenly it was dropped. Since then, I could not get conclusive answers on what happened, and why the construction of the bridge has never been prioritized, nor monies allocated to it,” said Wario who blames the county administration for not showing concerns to save the situation, despite a matter of life and death.
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