More than 40,000 nursery school pupils in Baringo still learn under poor conditions, despite efforts by the county government to build classrooms.
The Star found some pupils learning under trees while those in classrooms were seated on stones.
“My ECDE pupils are squeezed in one classroom built by the county government back in 2014. They lack desks so they are forced to sit on stones,” Riongo Primary School head teacher Collins Kesses said yesterday.
A similar situation was found in Kadokoi and Katuit primary schools in Tiaty subcounty.
Head teachers said many pupils have dropped out. “We had about 100 ECDE children in 2015, but due to poor learning conditions and cutting off of the school feeding programme, a number of them quit. There are only 30 children now,” Kadokoi head teacher Dorcas Yatich said.
She said the classroom, whose floor is made of mud, was poorly built and is a health risk.
The school is yet to receive chairs and tables.
The county has 1,049 ECDE centres with a total of 46,446 learners.
The worst-hit subcounties are Baringo North and South, Mogotio and Tiaty.
Education executive Thomas Lonongo’nop said a small budgetary allocation is to blame for the delay in building classrooms.
He said Sh10 million was allocated in 2016-17 while Sh5 million was budgeted for in 2018-19 to buy classroom furniture.
The county has built 600 ECDE classrooms and plans to equip them with learning materials, chairs and tables.
Lonongo’nop said the Sh15 million was used to buy furniture for 3,980 ECDE pupils.
He spoke while handing over furniture at Kapropita Primary School, Baringo Central subcounty.
Deputy Governor Jacob Chepkwony said the county ECDE department faces many problems. He said the 1,776 teachers are underpaid.
“We hope the ongoing talks between the Council of Governors and the Teachers Service Commission shall soon go through to ensure a better pact for teachers,” Chepkwony said.
He urged Knut to intervene to fast track the talks.