Thirst for Knowledge: Kitengela Residents Asks For More Public Schools
Kitengela residents in Kajiado County have asked the government to build more public schools in the area.
The town, which has a population of 154,436 people, has only four public primary schools, all of which are fully occupied.
The four schools, namely Utumishi Primary, G.K Prisons, Magereza, and the newly commissioned Dr. Likimani Primary School, are unable to satisfy the area’s thirst for knowledge, resulting in a proliferation of private schools charging exorbitant fees, making them unaffordable.
Rachel Wanjiru, a local resident, laments her difficulties in enrolling her children in local schools.
“It’s a challenge finding a public school in the area. Either they are too far from where you live and the fare is expensive to get the child to school or they are filled to capacity,” she said.
Some residents in the area have been forced to transport their children to neighboring Machakos County in order to ensure that their children attend school.
One such resident is Thomas Kyalo. “I was forced to send my child to Athi River Primary School because the public schools here are either too far away or overcrowded.”
“The government recently commissioned Dr. Likimani primary school, which offers CBC curriculum, and it was completely full within a day!” he said.
Eva Makoa, a parent at G.K Prisons primary school, which is located far from the town center, urged the government to establish a school closer to the town center because many parents cannot afford private schools in the area.
”It’s quite sad seeing children stay at home when others are in school due to lack of school fees given the tough economic times and public schools being too far from where many residents live. As a parent, I am lucky that I can afford to pay sh100 per day for boda boda ride to school. Other parents would rather spend such an amount on more basic needs.” she said.
Even stakeholders from the area’s private schools have asked the government to construct more schools.
According to a preliminary assessment of the report by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) covering Sub-Saharan Africa, 1.8 million Kenyan children aged six to 18 who are meant to be in school have either decided to drop out or never been in school at all, despite the free primary and subsidized secondary education policy.