Gatundu School shut as several others face closure on enrollment grounds

St Peters Barigito Secondary School in Gatundu North has been shut.

A secondary school in Gatundu North Constituency was closed last year while several others are staring at similar fate over diminished enrollment of learners.

St Peters Barigito Secondary School, which was established in 2011 to take care of increased population of learners from Muti Wa Maai, Mwimuto, Kanyoni, Kanjuku and Kieni villages, was closed and teachers transferred to other schools within and outside the sub-county.

According to parents, the school was closed after the population of learners reduced unreasonably, making it hard and expensive for the government to retain teachers at the facility.

The state of the principal’s office symbolizes the desolation after the school was shut. Several others are staring at closure as enrollment plummets.

Besides dismal performance, parents blamed the closure to poor management, uncooperative stakeholders and its nearness to other schools such as Ititu and Kanjuku Secondary schools.

Deserted, vacated and vandalized: These pictures depict the sorry state of the school after it was closed.

Led by Francis Njuguna, the parents regretted that the institution which had social-economic benefits to the village is no longer operational.

They stated that their children were spending less time and money to access the learning institution, but now they have to part with more money as their children commute to the schools they were transferred to.

While calling on the government and local leaders to push for reinstatement of learners and teachers, the parents noted that the government had already spent millions to put up key infrastructure that are no longer in use.

At the institution, closed doors, derelict windows and corroding roofs continue to paint the picture of wasted public funds as the entire organization has already been rendered inoperable.

“This is a huge loss to the government that after investing its resources there’s no one benefitting. It’s high time all relevant stakeholders came together and chart the way forward in reviving this school,” Njuguna said.

A few kilometres from the institution, parents at Mbichi Secondary School in the same constituency cling on to the hope that the only school they know in the area will not be shut.

The entire school has only 56 students, with year 2024 Form One class recording the lowest ever enrollment – only four – signalling the possibility of closure.

The dwindling numbers are worrying: There are 24 Form Four, 20 Form Three and 8 Form Two.

Although the school’s alumni had tried to revive the school by paying school fees for all students to encourage parents, enrollment of learners continues to dwindle, a situation that continues to give parents sleepless nights.

The school management has been fingered for the school’s downfall over mismanagement of its resources.

“This school used to perform really well and students would come from the neighbouring villages but in the last few years, there was a principal who oversaw the running down of this school. Learners started pulling out in hoards. A school bus that was bought through the NGCDF broke down and is no longer in use,” said Michael Macharia, another resident.

Other factors blamed for the school’s low population include its nearness to Gatei and Rwabura Secondary schools, increased dropout and poor parent-teacher collaboration.

Kamwangi Secondary School is also said to be suffering from reduced enrollment of learners. Other schools that are slowly shrinking include Gakoe, Ndiko and Kiangunu.

Gatundu North MP Elijah Njoroge Kururia regretted the situation, saying that most of the affected schools have less than 100 learners.

“People have decided to build secondary schools in every village and this has resulted in decline of student population in the already established schools. This will ultimately alter this region’s academic performance,” Njoroge said.

He said he will launch a merger campaign that will involve parents and other stakeholders.


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