Kisumu’s Sh99M mystery school with no pupils

Up to 460 pupils have been locked out of the new Rweya Primary School in Kolwa, Kisumu East sub-county.

The school, built at a cost of Sh99 million, was one of the beneficiaries of the Sh4.5 billion Kisumu Urban Project funded through a loan advanced to the Kenyan government by the French Development Agency.Through the project, which started about four years ago, old classrooms were brought down to pave way for the construction of the new ultra-modern school.Rweya Primary pupils were transferred to temporary iron-sheet structures opposite the school, and were supposed to be there for a year, which was the proposed project implementation period.

But more than 16 months later, the school is yet to be occupied, and pupils are still crammed in the temporary structures.Rweya Primary remains a ghost school, and its compound is slowly being taken over by untrimmed grass and shrubs. Yesterday, concerned parents accused Governor Anyang Nyong’o’s administration of keeping them in the dark on the status of the school.

They said they have attended three meetings where they were promised that the school would be opened, but this never happened.

“In the last meeting we attended, workers at the site warned us against entering the compound. They told us to wait for the day they would hand over the key to us. We are still waiting,” said Joseph Oguya, a parent and a member of the school’s management board.Mr Oguya also expressed concern about the well-being of the pupils inside the temporary structures.“The temporary classrooms measure about 10 square feet. There are classes with more than 50 pupils. This congestion is not only bad for the health of the pupils, but also not conducive for teaching and learning,” he said.Another parent, Pamela Anyango, said attempts to seek clarification from the contractors have not borne fruit, as supervisors of the works have been telling them they do not know why the new school still remains unoccupied.“We do not understand what is happening because we can see the works are complete. Other schools that were under the same project are already being used,” she said.

Other schools that benefited from the project include Angira and Got Nyabondo primary schools within Kajulu Ward, which cost Sh78.5 million and Sh77 million, respectively; Rota Primary School in South West Kisumu Ward that cost Sh75 million; and Thim Bonde Primary in North Ward that cost Sh70.8 million.The four schools are occupied.“We are starting to believe the rumours going round that the contractor is holding on to the key because he is yet to be paid his dues,” said Ms Anyango.