Story by Aris Wanyonyi
Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates in a school in Mt Elgon constituency, Bungoma County have been forced to study in a nearby Catholic church.
This follows the indefinite closure of their school by the county public health officials last week which affected 784 pupils
The county public officers closed the school owing to its dilapidated structures which poses danger to the teachers and learners.
The County Public health officer Moses Wambusi said a team from his office visited the school and condemned 11 out of the 15 existing classes.
“We could not allow the teachers and pupils to continue operating in such an environment, it was too risky for them, our efforts to issue letters to the management and board failed completely and we had to close it down to save them,” said Wambusi.
The closure of one of the oldest learning institution in the region has forced KCPE and grade three candidates to seek refuge in the nearby Catholic church where they are undertaking their studies in preparation for the end of the year national examinations.
This also follows the closure of Tulienge primary school in Sirisia sub county.
The school was also closed last week and pupils sent home owing to poor infrastructure including buildings and pit latrines.
This puts into sharp criticism, the use of the National government constituency development funds because they are meant to help in improving infrastructure in learning institutions.
Wambusi further established that since the school was constructed in 1978 has never been renovated.
A committee of stakeholders led by Mt.Elgon deputy county commissioner David Kosgey visited the school to establish short and long term solution to the problem.
Kosgey after deliberation it was decided that class 8 and grade 3 will be relocated to a neighboring catholic church since they are preparing for examination and assessment respectively.
The rest of the pupils will be dispatched to neibouring primary schools in the area noting a total of 800 students and staff will be affected.
Mt Elgon branch Knut executive secretary Stephen Chemonges said that the decision was reached for the closure of the school for the safety of the children, however he condemned public work for having certified such buildings.
The deputy president Dr. William Ruto while on a trip to Kimilili constituency on Monday September 30 made an abrupt stop over at a home where 11 school children schooling at the condemned school were playing at home during school day.
He ordered the education stakeholders and area leaders to make haste and ensure the school is in good condition for the learning to resume on time.