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New desks offer glimmer of hope for Jehova Jireh pupils

Alvin Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe

Candidates at Jehova Jireh Primary School in Saika estate, Nairobi, will for the first time since 2007, sit their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams on desks after well-wishers came to their rescue.

During the 2007 post-election violence, the school was vandalised and resources to repair it have remained scarce.  Jehova Jireh has a population of 1,300 pupils mostly from the surrounding slums of Muigenye, Maili Saba, Moroto and Migingo.

People Daily first highlighted the state of the school in May, where pupils had to contend with sitting on the floor during classes, prompting action from well-wishers.

A recent visit by People Daily when Standard Eight pupils rehearsals, revealed that the 280 candidates will sit their exams comfortably as more than 150 desks have since been donated.

“We are grateful that our situation is improving after our plight was highlighted in the media,” said head teacher John Mwangi.

MP Mercy Gakuya donated 100 desks whereas the school’s Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) gave 50 more. Jehovah, as residents commonly refer it to, is still faced with a myriad of problems.

“Even with the improvement, we still need more desks, perhaps double the number we already have, to secure the comfort of the  pupils in lower classes,” Mwangi added.

Besides education regulations that a class should be designed to accommodate 40 pupils, at Jehova Jireh Primary, the situation is different. The 19 classrooms have to accommodate the more than 1,300 pupils.

Mwangi called on the government and well-wishers to come to the school’s aid and help put up more facilities such as classrooms, refurbish the administration block and toilets.

“Our classes are always crowded with at least 70 pupils. This is making it difficult to conduct learning resulting into poor performance,” he said. Poor sanitation, Mwangi said, has contributed to slow learning as pupils frequently fall ill forcing them to stay out of class.

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