The Kenyan government has failed to build enough schools after introducing free education in 2003. It has forced parents to take up the task themselves. Unfortunately, this initiative comes with violation of basic building and safety regulations.
While preparing for a film screening in Kilifi County, IFA Coast Team came across Alice Mwanza at Gananema Pre-Primary School in Bamba Ward of Ganze Constituency. Alice is a volunteer teacher from the community. While doing her teacher training, which she does on a part-time basis, she devotes herself to teaching the young ones on a daily basis. She understands too well that most parents cannot afford to pay her.
The school has a mud structure for a classroom - with 16 pupils in attendance, but no desks, chairs or learning materials. The children look very happy and are content to sing and learn. Parents contributed funds and constructed it in 2017 - after their local leaders failed to do so, but instead built a modern lavatory, which stands out conspicuously and out of place.
Provision of basic education remains a big challenge in Kenya. Children are forced to walk long distances to access schools. Article 53(1)(b) of the Kenya Constitution states that every child has the right to free and compulsory basic education. The State should take measures, including establishing affirmative action programs to ensure that children access proper education and training.
The lack of interest or involvement of county leaders on the ground, affects the delivery of basic education. IFA continues to guide the community on pursuance of the school construction with their local authorities.
Despite the poor learning environment, Alice continues to give the parents hope, that one day their children will achieve their dreams.
Story By IFA Coast Team