By: Marjorie Okwar and May Joy Namulembwa
Kibera has been trending quite a lot for the past three weeks and for a very good reason. With an investment of Ksh. 43.2 million, the latest state of the art secondary school building gives students; especially girls from Kibra constituency, more hope for access to quality secondary education.
Mbagathi High School is the newest school in Kibra constituency whose launch happened mid-Feb, 2018. Its construction commenced in 2015 after an approval by the Kibra Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as a part of enhancing the quality of education in Kibra. Seems the investment is worth it, with the two storey building hosting 12 classrooms, quite a sight to behold in modern architecture.
The first intake of students took place in 2016 with 13 students as pioneers. Initially, these students relied on space from Mbagathi Primary School for their daily learning, with the number of current students standing 265. Out of the total of approximately 5,106 secondary school students in Kibra, this can be seen as a great start!
Dennis Maichi Solomon, a Mbagathi High School form 3 student, “We used to learn in Mbagathi primary school when the school was being built. I am happy and feel like I will be in a like Starehe, Upperhill or Olympic.”
Present at the launch were students and pupils from local schools such as Olympic High School, Upperhill, and Mbagathi primary school to show support for their counterparts. One student, Millicent Aicho Odhiambo could not contain her joy when interviewed by our team.
“I feel happy we are moving to this new building since we will not be congested anymore,” said the form three student.
The institution, currently a mixed school is expected to have the first cohort of form 4 students to sit for Kenya certificate of secondary education exam in 2019. While form 2-3 are mixed, the 2018 admission of form 1 students consisted of girls only. The school plans to make them all borders so that they can maximize their school time.
Over the years girls performance in the country has steadily been on the rise. This has come out strongly during the last two years at national exams level the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).Two girls proved their worth after attaining higher scores than their male students. Pangani and Moi Girls high school both in Nairobi county showcased better grades.
With this new launch of Mbagathi High School, it is expected that the new students too would emulate the sister schools mentioned above and also record good performances come 2019.
Though the facility itself is state of the art, does this mean quality in education? One main challenge the students at Mbagathi High School have to face now is the shortage of teachers. To fill in this gap and realize quality education for the students, Kibra Member of Parliament Kenneth Okoth, has appealed to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to consider posting more teachers in public schools in order to curb their shortage.
Currently, Mbagathi High School only has 5 teachers from the TSC, and 8 employed by the School board. However, this does not deter the administration. They are in the process of stocking their library, named after Jeff Koinange, who has been calling for book donations. The school has already received book donations from Rescue BnB
In attendance of the launch, Nairobi County Women Representative, Esther Passaris applauded the Kibra MP for the work he is doing to improve education in Kibra.
With the investment of Ksh. 43.2 million, Kibra residents are upbeat that the results of good performance will be the tool for the pioneer students, expected to be at the forefront in giving their best in the academic field.
Mbagathi High School will add to the 33 secondary schools in Kibra constituency. By 2021, Mbagathi High School will be the 2nd all-girl school in the constituency, the only other girl school is Moi Girls High School Nairobi. This is a great step forward for girls education and will give Mbagathi students a chance to compete at the national level with other girl schools.