OMBOTO - As a result of poor infrastructures, learners and teachers at Omboto Combined School who are conducting lessons under filthy old makeshifts are from time to time being terrorised by snakes slithering into their classrooms causing chaos and disrupting classes.
Although there has been no single, incidence of snakebite reported, the learning and teaching is usually disrupted while both learners and teachers live in constant fear of the reptiles.
Even the zinc structure with a sandy ground, that should serve, as a shield has no effect as it is in a poor state, thus there is room for snakes to slither uninvited into classrooms.
Omboto is situated 20 kilometres west of Omuthiya, it was established in 1991. But twenty-seven years later, the rural settlement has not seen any major development.
School principal, Paulus Antindi is disappointed with the manner at which the education directorate has been neglecting the school despite numerous requests for infrastructure development.
“For 22 years now, nothing has taken place at this school, the only development was in 1996 when two blocks consisting of four classrooms were built. Since then, we have been offered impressive promises but to no avail, yet you hear about other schools that are repeatedly being developed, but one of the oldest schools is continuously being side-lined,” stressed a clearly disappointed Antindi.
This year , the education directorate awarded hundreds of millions of dollars of tenders to renovate and build classrooms at various schools in the region, but Omboto with 306 learners and 13 teachers somehow does not feature in these plans and continues being left behind.
“The zinc structures are now old and it is not safe for the kids anymore, at the same time, learners are being injured by the sharp protruding iron sheets. It is really a challenge one cannot even concentrate as the heat is unbearable, when it rains it something else because water will be dripping and no lessons will take place. Something must be done to avert this unpleasant situation,” stated the principal who showed New Era around the school.
Despite all these difficulties, the school managed to source some funds from the community and the business fraternity and is in the process to replace the corrugated iron sheets with permanent brick structures that could go a long way to prevent the serpentine invasions.
“We managed to source funds for materials to build new makeshift structures which will be much stronger than what we have now. However, the problem is we do not have funds anymore to pay for the labour. Therefore, we appeal for any Good Samaritan out there to bail us,” explained Antindi.
Furthermore, he said due to this situation, the school is unable to focus and redirect their funding to other educational upliftment because all they do is repairing the makeshifts from time to time. “It is really a waste of these scarce resources, investing in one thing over and over,” he noted.
The school does not have a science lab and library as well as a staff office; hence, teachers are squatting in two small sized storerooms. Antindi also requested teachers’ houses to be built, saying this will help in attracting equally qualified personnel.