Submitted by Education on Tue, 2012-09-25 12:59
- STORIES FROM MAAI MAHIU, KENYA -
It is said that education is the key to success in life. This however may not be the case if the national strike persists. This week marks the fourth week of the ongoing strike for teachers and lecturers in public schools and universities in Kenya. For the residents of Maai Mahiu, this situation is becoming even worse due to the fact that access to a public library involves travelling long distances to another town. The desire for education within the community proves that there is a need for a Knowledge and Resource Center, where students of Maai Mahiu can have access to an academic facility.
As a result of the strike, students are now opting to study at the National Library in the town of Nakuru. This situation has forced librarians throughout Nakuru County to become tutors for the students. According to the Managing Director of the National Library, Samuel Muhoro, this increased number of students received every day overwhelms librarians working at the institution.
On Wednesday, Muhoro said there was a huge influx of primary, secondary and university students. Currently over 5,000 students are attending on a daily basis, resulting in the library being over capacity by 2,000 learners. This number has become an even heavier burden on the five workers who are employed at the facility. Most of the students are forced to learn while seated on the floor since the institution is so overcrowded.
In the next couple of weeks, more than 800,000 pupils are expected to sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in about 23,000 primary schools while another 437,782 will sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in more than 7,000 secondary schools across Kenya. These exams are required for the students to complete their graduation, so if the strike continues, students will suffer. Their fate now depends on how fast the government negotiates with the teachers to resolve the ongoing strike. Already, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) has given warning of a pending examination should the strike persist.
“At the moment we are really straining to help the students of Maai Mahiu with reference books, and should the strike persist, we are likely to face bigger problems than the strike itself. We really need to start a Knowledge and Resource Center (KRC) to cater to the educational needs of the underserved student population," says Rubie Ruth, CTC Kenya Education and ICT Specialist. Due to the severity of the situation, we hope the government will resolve the strike so students can resume with their schooling.
Rubie Ruth, CTC Kenya Education and ICT Specialist