Recent News 
(Click to view archive news)
Mitamysi gets a TV and Whoofer!
07/06/2019
Most of the 140 students at Mitamysi Secondary School are boarders and ....(read more)

More tree planting - even without a secure fence!
03/05/2019
Asako Primary School has begun a tree planting programme even though their ....(read more)

Forest Schools Pilot project gets going at Kaseluni
05/04/2019
Forest Schools is a new project designed to create tree plantations in ....(read more)

Minutes from Trustees Meeting
30/01/2016

Present:



Minutes:

Visit to Eburru Secondary School: January 2016

I have visited Eburru Secondary School twice before, in 2012 for 8 weeks, and in 2013 for 5 weeks.  I worked as a volunteer English teacher in all classes.  In the meantime I had maintained contact with colleagues at the school, and was very much aware of the problems they had faced, especially last year with the teachers’ strike, and with rioting pupils.  In addition, there was a new principal who I did not know.

Therefore it was with some apprehension that I suggested that I could return, for a shorter period, and hopefully assist him and other new members of staff.

Fortunately the principal, Mr Peter Wanene, was most welcoming, and likewise the English department, all of whom are new since my last visit.  The pupils were predictably curious, not to say fascinated, to have a visiting teacher from England, and as they gained in confidence, they quizzed me about everything English: school, my house, my family, daily life, football teams, religion.

The school has obviously changed since my last visit but I feel there are many positive developments, and these are to be applauded.  The principal decided to separate the girls and boys, and to run almost parallel schools.  He said there was too much distraction by having them together, so they are in separate classes (which higher up the school means that the boys’ classes have over 50 pupils and the girls’ less than 40) and they have separate lunch times. The girls’ dormitories have a live-in matron, whom the girls like, and the whole area is fenced, with a gate which is locked at night.  There is an askari at the gatehouse at night.  This is good, as security has been an issue there.  The boys still sleep in dormitories off site, but there too there is improvement: they have electricity, and water for washing, though drinking water still has to be fetched from school.  The boarding master sleeps at the dorm, and keeps a pretty strict eye on things.  This is a new departure: in the past, a senior boy was in charge overnight.

On site, there are more water storage tanks, and more drinking water taps.  The cookhouse has a woodstore immediately behind, and there is also water piped into the cooking area: before they fetched it in canisters.  Also there is a drainage gully outside.  They have a hatch for serving meals, it all seems very efficiently organised.

The school has a full complement of staff who are in class on time, mark books, supervise prep, run extra-curricular activities.  The pupils are well disciplined and during lesson time there is a quiet and industrious atmosphere.  I am told that the troublemakers who caused many problems last year have left, and although the KCSE results are not likely to be so good as a result of the havoc and mayhem, I feel confident that they are progressing well and will regain the ground they lost.

As ever, there are improvements which could be made, and I feel the top priority is a boys’ dormitory on site.  The compound is large, and there is room to expand. It would be more secure, they would have drinking water to hand, and more longdrop toilets (there are currently 3 by the present dorms).

The principal is looking to balance the number of boys and girls, and will admit 50 girls and 50 boys to Form 1.  Some pupils have transferred higher up the school, and he is looking to recruit there too.  The staff were very friendly and helpful, and everyone asked me when I would return, and if I could stay for longer, which is always a promising sign.  I think everyone is pulling together to get the school back on its feet and I wish them every success in the future.

There is a new Board of Governors, now known as a Board of Managers, with a young and enthusiastic chairman who is a vet in Naivasha, keen to play an active part in the community.  Some of the old guard have retired, and I think that their sterling work during difficult times should be acknowledged: I am thinking in particular of David Morgan, who encouraged me from the outset, and who has taken an active interest in Eburru Secondary School for many years.

My thanks for logistical support go to Jennie and Ian Stoker, and Jan Strevens, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Jennifer Sturdy  8 Feb 2016