Learning came to a standstill at a school in Nakuru County after angry parents removed their children from classrooms, citing poor academic performance and rundown infrastructure.
Over 100 parents stormed Milimani Primary School in the Gilgil sub-county Monday afternoon and demanded the transfer of the headteacher and all the other members of staff.
They also closed all offices saying they were against the current administration over the drop in the school’s mean score. They claimed three teachers often reported to duty drunk, which had contributed to the deteriorating performance.
The parents then held a peaceful demonstration at the nearby trading center and called on area education officers to listen to their grievances.
A parent, Margaret Wambui accused the teachers of ignoring the deterioration of facilities and expressed fears that filled up pit latrines and leaning mud-walled classrooms were exposing learners to grave danger and numerous health hazards.
“We are concerned that mud structures may collapse on our children during the current rainy season. Learners sit on the floor due to lack of desks, while elements of weather torment our children due to gaping walls and leaking roofs,” charged Wambui.
She claimed that representatives of parents at the school’s management committee did not have their own children at the institution.
Another parent, Esther Wambui Kanyiri alleged that most teachers were chronic absentees, while those who turned up reported at their workstations way after 11:00 am.
She said pupils at the school lacked basic amenities such as desks and sanitary facilities.
Mr. Justus Mwaura Njenga lamented that the school management committee had slapped Sh500 levy on every learner yet their performance had continued to deteriorate.
“We have been concerned with the school’s performance over the past three years. Only 70 learners have been left here after other parents withdrew their children.
“Even if the people from the community are not bright as has been claimed by teachers, is it totally impossible to have a few candidates who can register better grades as has happened before?” he posed.
The headteacher, John Ndirangu Wambugu dismissed claims that teachers report to school drunk, saying the school is next to a market where teachers go to watch Television programs in the evenings.
The school head said he would call for a meeting with the teachers to settle the issue so that learning could resume.
Wambugu alleged that some of the parents who stormed the school are among those who were keen to secure a place on the school’s management committee.
“We had met and discussed the issues facing the school and agreed to work together. Such issues are discussed at the annual general meeting and not through storming the school,” he said.
The headteacher turned the tables on the parents accusing them of a lack of commitment in their parental obligations, which he said has made it difficult to manage the school.