The importance of good infrastructure in schools cannot be over-emphasized. Inadequate learning facilities and poor school infrastructure in especially public schools is a major challenge in Kenya. Good infrastructure and high-quality infrastructure facilitates better instruction, improves student outcomes, and reduces dropout rates, among other benefits.
As part of our interventions in the settlement-based program, Habitat for Humanity Kenya partnered with Procter & Gamble (P&G) to improve the learning environment of Mbombo Primary School in Laikipia County, Kenya. Mbombo Primary School has a population of 284 pupils. This number includes 63 children in pre-primary school (33 girls and 30 boys) and 221 pupils in primary school (98 girls and 123 boys). The school has a total of 10 teachers managing nine classes.
Some of the major challenges that face students at Mbombo include;
- Retention of students in the school, especially girls, is quite low ranging between 30-40%
- The school only had a single permanent class that was previously built through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
- Classrooms are in a poor state causing distractions and discomfort to students.
- Some pupils have reported cases of TB and allergic conditions due to exposure to cold.
- The toilets are broken down and quite unhygienic leading to Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) by the girls.
- A poor student – teacher ratio
- Also, COVID -19 has raised the dire need for safe, resilient, and healthy communities including, schools.
HFH Kenya in collaboration with Procter and Gamble (P&G) gladly supported Mbombo primary school to meet these needs through quality and spacious structural buildings and improved access to water and sanitation for the school community.
The project specifically constructed two classrooms and a VIP toilet block for Early Childhood and Education Development (ECED) students. The classrooms are also fully furnished with quality desks.
The classy new seats and tables will allow students to study more comfortably and accommodate each one of them making learning easier and welcoming.
“We are very glad that Habitat for Humanity Kenya has supported us. They have built two classes for us and have also provided us with new desks. We are very happy, we had a lot of problems as a school but are seeing some light. May God bless Habitat for what they have done for us”, said the head teacher, Mbombo Primary School.
HFH Kenya and P&G have also improved the schools’ access to clean rainwater by installing two 10,000 litre tanks. The classroom design takes care of the children with disabilities through the provision of access ramps.
This investment is expected to enable the students to focus on learning and reduce absenteeism. The new strong structures will improve the students learning environment and ultimately increase enrollment and retention of students, especially the girl child.