As schools continue to struggle with funding occasioned by higher enrollment, a number of secondary schools in Thika, Kiambu County, have come up with alumni associations to improve school infrastructure and pay fees for needy learners.
Chania Boys and Chania Girls High School Principals said the government’s directive to have a 100 per cent primary to secondary school transition has led to congestion in classrooms and dormitories, making their facilities overwhelmed.
Speaking in Thika during the launch of the Chania Boys High School Alumni Association, the school’s principal, James Gitau, said the alumni will go a long way in supplementing the government’s and parents’ efforts in solving some of the challenges they faced as a school.
Gitau said through the alumni association, they will conduct a fund drive as they seek to put up Sh50 million worth of dormitories and other projects to decongest the schools.
“With a population of 1,500, we are overstretched in terms of infrastructure, dormitories, and classes, and that’s why, through the alumni association, we plan to have a fund drive to help in constructing blocks,” said Gitau.
His counterpart in the girls’ school, Mary Mwangi, hailed the initiative to form the association, saying not only will they help to support needy students but will also be able to mentor them and link them into the job market and other opportunities.
She said both schools will start an education kitty to support needy students with bursaries to enable them to achieve their dream careers without challenges.
“The school has about 1,450 students, and with the limited infrastructure, we can’t wholly depend on the government’s support. We need to come up with programmes through the alumni to support students as well as infrastructural development in the schools,” said Mwangi.
The alumni chairman, Juma Hemedi, said that the old boys and girls will soon roll out an elaborate programme to support the schools in infrastructural developments and raising fees for needy students.
He added that they will also help in networking and linking the schools to organizations that offer financial support to enable them to achieve those goals.
Mwangi called on other old students in various schools to organize themselves into similar associations to give back to the schools.
Bimal Shah, the CEO of Broadways Bakeries Limited, was appointed the pioneer association patron.
He promised to support the two schools in the various projects being initiated.