Contrasting fortunes for Trans Nzoia Principals after TSC’s delocalization policy

Principal Cosmas Nabungolo (centre) speaking during a past event at St. Anthony's Boys.

When Cosmas Nabungolo was transferred from St. Anthony’s Boys Secondary School in Trans Nzoia County to St. Peters’ Mumias in Kakamega County during the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) delocalization exercise, little did he know that he would be brought back to head St. Joseph’s Boys in the same county.

Fear gripped St. Anthony’s – christened Solidarity Boys – over both academic and co-curricular performance as he left to be replaced by Victor Makanda from Barding Secondary School in Siaya; and fast forward to 2023, the school welcomed Simon Masibo from Ortum Boys in West Pokot County as a result of TSC’s delocalization policy for secondary school principals.

Nabungolo is one of the 7 Chief Principals (CPs) in the county in addition to Rosemary Orwaru of St. Joseph’s Girls, Grace Ataro of St. Monica Girls, Invioletta Lokorito of St Brigids Girls, Justus Ngang’au of Kipkeikei Boys, Rose Pande of Kitale School and PhD holder Judith Ngome of Bwake Girls.

Senior Principals (SPs) include Geoffrey Murunga of Goseta Boys, John Mukongolo of Bwake Boys’, Simon Masibo of St. Anthony’s and Martin Masika of Makutano School who was recently delocalized from Nandi County.

Early this year, TSC made changes that saw Thomas Biwott moved from Kericho County to head Suwerwa Boys and Geoffrey Murunga from Ortum Boys to Goseta Boys among others.

The county, known for exemplary academic performance and sports, posted a mean score of 5.5 in the 2023 KCSE while during the national secondary schools games that were staged in Kakamega and Kisumu, it was a matter who is who as far as the headship of the schools was concerned. Endebess sub-county, though with few schools, emerged top in the county.

Since coming back, Nabungolo, who is famous for seeking sponsorships abroad, has been threatening St Anthony’s dominance in football while the latter’s Principal Masibo, who most pundits thought was a non-starter, is struggling to maintain the school’s status in both academics and sports but parents say he is completing programmes on time.

Orwaro of St. Josephs’ Girls has produced great results in Hockey, Football, Volleyball and Basketball.  Through her stewardship, she has expanded the facilities to accommodate girls from the area.

Lokorito of St. Brigid’s Girls is enjoying the limelight for heading the East African Basketball champions while Mr. Mukongolo led Bwake Boys to post a mean grade of 8 in the 2023 KCSE exam. This year, he broke records after registering over 600 Form 1 students.

Murunga of Goseta Boys is being looked at eagerly to wake up the institution that is described as a ‘sleeping giant’. After heading several schools in the county, Uasin Gishu and West Pokot, he is tasked with immediate issues such as water shortage and infrastructure expansion.

Protus Wanjala of Kabuyefwe Boys is famed for instilling high discipline levels in the school which had drowned in drug abuse, completing the syllabus on time and instituting rapport among stakeholders.

His story mirrors the likes of Daniel Chebukati of Kibomet Mixed, Emmanuel Mokaya of Kesogon Mixed, John Nandi of Kwanza Friends, Eve Tsuma of Bikeke Girls, Bernard Masinde of Sirende Friends and Cornelius Mukwana of St. Emmanuel Mixed.

Things, however, are difficult for St. Monica’s Ataro whom the Catholic Church – sponsors – expected her to compete alongside St. Joseph’s Girls and St. Brigid’s Girls to no avail.

Julius Mibei of Andersen Mixed is standing tall for being East African champions and running the only Volleyball training centre in the county.

The management of school accounts has become a challenge in some schools, with Muungano Mixed and Soil Conservation Mixed hit by claims of misappropriation of Ksh5 million and 4 million respectively.

Wamalwa Wafula of St. Charles Luanda in Botwa, Cherangany, was declared the best accounts manager in 2023.

Furthermore, local MPs through the NG-CDF kitty have helped Principals in the expansion and development of infrastructure in schools.

MP Robert Pukose ranks highest after he registered Lutaso Mixed and Endebess Centre and also equipped Kokwo Girls with a twin laboratory and a multi-purpose hall with a capacity of 150 students.

Kiminini MP Kakai Bisau is hailed for the expansion of Kiminini Complex, Kapkoi Mixed and Masaba Mixed while his Kwanza counterpart Ferdinard Wanyonyi injected Ksh18 million into Kolongolo Girls, Bwayi Mixed and St. Emmanuel Mixed.

Elsewhere, Cherangany MP Patrick Simiyu donated school buses to Sitatunga, Sinoko and Bwake Girls’ and also provided infrastructural development support with the completion of a modern dining hall at Sibanga Secondary School.

However, teachers in the county have a bone to chew with Saboti MP Caleb Amisi who has been slow in fulfilling his promise to launch boarding facilities in Kitale town for mushrooming girl schools to ensure their safety.

They cited Matisi Girls and St. Phillip’s Grassland as two institutions that have free neighboring land that can be used to construct boarding facilities.

As the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) Trans Nzoia branch heads to elect a new Chairman later this year following the retirement of John Murumba, their only hope is that will they elect officials who will work alongside the new TSC County Director Lesewa Solomon and his MoE counterpart Solomon Akello to maintain the county’s status as an academic giant.

The county KUPPET Executive Secretary Furaha Lusweti, said that the education sector is not a one-man show and demanded that all stakeholders be involved for continued excellent academic performance.

The branch Chairman Eliud Wafula promised to be always available to accord the Principals a helping hand in running the institutions to achieve better national exam results.

Trans Nzoia County boasts of 2,700 secondary school teachers, nearly 243 schools and about 400,000 students scattered through out the five sub-counties.

According to the MoE, Cherangany sub-county has the highest number of schools standing at 74 followed by Kiminini with 56, Trans Nzoia West with 44, Kwanza with 47 and Endebess with 22. There are 12 private secondary schools, prominent ones including Green Fields, Weaver Bird and Manor House.

By Our Reporter

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