18/1/07

A typical school in Turkana:

Tim and I went into Makutano Primary School (Lolupe) at the invitation of the Teresa Esinyen, the headteacher so that we could see her tale of woe... 8 classes... 5 teachers.

Std 5,6,7,8, have a cement structure...no doors so consequently the neighbours have taken the wooden part, where the children write on, away to make doors etc. Education is not so well regarded in Lolupe as in Carrigaline as you can imagine. Enrollment in the upper classes is small 8-6; 7-12; 6-15; 5-30. 2007 will be their first KCPE.

Std 2,3,4, are in manyattas... just sticks and bushes... and these are overcrowded (80/70/60 in he manyattas... all on stones.
Even these need some repair...but the parents tell Teresa that it is her problem.

Std 1... all under a plain tree. these children must run round and round this tree... and its not even a mulberry bush. I want to use exclamation marks and more exclamation marks... but I know you are familiar with the situation.

Staffroom... table and 4 chairs under another plain tree... books and papers kept from blowing away by large stones!

No latrines.

IRC gave them 2 plastic water tanks. Both are leaking as the taps were not fitted very well... and water has to be tankered to the school.

You should see the H/m's abode... a true manyatta which is alright in some ways as she is from Turkana... I asked her if it was supplied by TSC.

I will get some money from somewhere (probably a little creaming off from the Pastoral Plan)and build 5 latrines there. The hygienic situation is only indescribable. However, the strong sun of Turkana does protect people from cholera etc. Can you imagine if we had wet weather mostly?

A pathetic place... re; facilities... but very pleasant as regards the school atmosphere... I'm not sure if I could call it "ambiance".

Tony