What, however, the primary education policy didn’t take into account then was the number of secondary schools. The increased pupil population wasn’t commensurate with the available student slots in secondary schools. Consequently, the pupils passing out from the primary schools missed placement in secondary schools even though they attained the required marks.
Wanjeri Secondary School was established to enrol students from the neighbouring primary schools, the likes of Riruchua and Kimbo where the Foundation is also doing some work. Before its construction, pupils graduating from the primary schools in Turasha location where Wanjeri is situated had to travel far away for secondary school education. The situation was further complicated by the fact that most parents in the community cannot afford to take their children to boarding schools as majority are economically challenged. As a result, the children couldn’t join the schools or go to the ones offering day tuition owing to the great walking distance from home that makes it impracticable. In the end, there was need to build an affordable day secondary school that was easily accessible to the community and offering quality education.
Nestled on the plane summit of Kipipiri hills with an overlooking magnificent views, Wanjeri Secondary School opened its doors to the first successful KCPE candidates in 2012 with a small class of 20 students. The Foundation’s Founder and Treasurer, working closely with other stakeholders began supporting the school in its inception with a vision of building a centre of academic excellence. They supported building of an extensive classroom block that hosts Form 2, 3 & 4 and equipping them with student lockers. However, the works on the blocks are still ongoing with final finishing still pending.
Today, the Foundation has come on board and will assist the school in realizing its dream and unlocking its full potential. The Founder is also part of the school’s Board of Management (BOM) giving him an opportunity to contribute to the drawing up of vision for the school. It has since included the school under its academic excellence programme with an aim to motivate the students as well as the teachers to ultimately improve the school’s performance. “So far, the performance has improved from an average of D+ (plus) in 2012 to C+ (plus) in 2015,” remarked Simon, the mathematics teacher. C+ (plus) is the minimum grade for one to be admitted to the university albeit on the private sponsored programme though the ultimate goal of the school is to get more students admitted on the government sponsored programme in light of the economic background of the community.
The student population has in the meantime increased to 197 with a total of eight teachers; 2 teachers posted by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and 6 seconded by the school’s Board of Management (BOM). The school is a public school and it depends on the government through its agency, TSC, to post teachers to the school without which the school is somewhat crippled.
The school still faces some challenges including: inadequate teachers, insufficient classrooms as the student population continues to rise, unavailability of a proper administration bloc, lack of school fees as most of the students come from less fortunate families, inadequate finance to settle the BOM teachers’ salaries, and limited land for future expansion among others (though the school’s neighbour has offered to sell his land but the school cannot afford the asking price)
“I believe Wanjeri Secondary School is on a sure path to success as it will eventually unlock its full potential to the delight of the community,” commented Mwangi Ndirangu, the chemistry teacher.
“In the past, the community didn’t give much emphasis on education but the growing numbers of students at the school points to the changing attitude towards education. They are slowly realizing that education is the instrument that will light Ririchua community,” he continued. “Teachers, the community and other stakeholders together can greatly impact the society through education,” Mr. Ndirangu concluded