A spot check conducted by The weekly Vision revealed that Quaker-sponsored schools are the majority followed by the Catholic, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist ten other churches including The Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (PEFA). With Quakerism having found its way into the sub-county as early as 1915, the Church has had an upper hand in having put up many learning institutions in the county from primary, secondary schools to colleges
By Andanje Wakhungu
As most schools within Kakamega North Sub County continue to grapple with various challenges ranging from lack of suitable infrastructure to indiscipline cases, it is important to highlight the role sponsors play in the day-to-day running of these schools. Kakamega North Sub County has a total of 50 registered secondary schools with Friends Quaker church domineering in its sponsorship programme with at least 36 institutions being affiliated with the church.
A spot check conducted by The weekly Vision revealed that Quaker-sponsored schools are the majority followed by the Catholic, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist ten other churches including The Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (PEFA). With Quakerism having found its way into the sub-county as early as 1915, the Church has had an upper hand in having put up many learning institutions in the county from primary, secondary schools to colleges.
The recent proposal by a section of bureaucrats in the government to scrap the Constituency Development Fund in the country opened up a can of worms as most parents had feared being forced to dig deeper into their pockets to pay school fees for their children. Many of these parents are financially incapacitated of doing so. Some parents would have opted to either pull their children out of school or transfer them to cheaper ones to cope with the heavy financial burden but thanks to Parliament for reinstalling the Fund it will go a long way in returning many students to school.
The current tough economic situation in the country has had a negative effect impact on parents and their ability to pay school fees with many students who depend on CDF struggling to remain in class. However, some schools have devised a way of assisting this crop by setting up a scholarship fund to cater for their education and other needs while at school. Sponsors are known to offer spiritual nourishment, peace and tranquility, calm temperaments in schools. School managers feel that they should be involved further in education matters of the learners especially those with fee challenges.
It is in the public domain that the main objective of the sponsor is to offer spiritual uplifting where they appoint a chaplain to the respective schools for the same. At Friends Quaker schools, a beehive of activities has been going on from organizing workshops and seminars for Principals, deputies and even the director of studies to teach them the teachings and faith of the church concerning education matters.
The church also conducts its internal exams to assess, gauge and prepare students ahead of the final KCSE at the end of the year. Friends Mutsuma secondary school which came 2nd in last year’s KCSE in the sub-county is among the schools that are out to support bright and needy students as Principal Daniel Wanami narrated to The Weekly Vision.
“We as a school have had the opportunity to enjoy the ambience our sponsor has been offering. The visits to the school by the General Superintendent Joel Kharinda, Presiding Clerk Dr Harrison Kavingwa and Education Secretary Masayi Mwalati were a blessing as it did it not only spruce up our spiritual strength but improved the morale that saw us being ranked as the top mixed school in the sub-county. The Friends Quaker School’s chairman who doubles as the chief principal for Friends Malava Boys John Simiyu Wakwabubi while on a director of studies workshop in Eldoret recently called on sponsors to be more intact with school matters as the church plays an important role in the lives of the students as it shapes them to be respected members of the society.
It is saddening to see some schools struggling and yet they have sponsors, let them know their respective roles and assist the school management in running these institutions to better the morale and upbringing of students. We as the principals of Friends School are proud to be associated with our sponsors who have always been there for us.
At PEFA Chimoroni Secondary School, the management has been sponsoring 22 students since they joined and are part of the candidates sitting for this year’s 2023 KCSE exams. The principal Veronicah Akinyi said the school management took the initiative after the parents failed to support their education prompting the school to chip in, considering they were bright and needy students with good marks.
These students came and expressed their desires to the school head, as the management we had no choice but to assist them to pursue their dreams and they are our form four ‘Red team’ consisting of crème de la crème that we are banking on to give us good results at the end of the year.
“We are among the highest beneficiaries of CDF where we got over Ksh. 600,000 in support of the students though some of the students are still stuck at home as the parents are unable to pay for their fees”. According to the deputy principal Joash Yavusumba, the parents have confidence in the school management and this has seen our population growing to almost 1,000 students with Forms 1 and 2 having five streams and three and four having four. “The move by the principal to accommodate these has been a blessing as the school has continued to attract even more admissions every day.