Mwambolembole Primary School in Taita Taveta County risks closure for lack of learners.
The public Primary School started in 1943 has the lowest number of learners in the county.
According to the school head teacher Johnson Mwadime, the enrollment has reduced from 67 pupils in 2014 to the current 39 pupils.
He attributed the situation to increasing school drop-out rate and drug abuse among students.
“Currently, we have nine KCPE candidates, three class seven pupils while class six, five and four has six, four and three pupils respectively. We also have five pupils in Grade three, six in Grade two and three in Grade one,” Mwadime said.
Mwambolembole Primary has seven teachers posted by TSC and two teachers employed by the school’s board of management.
He revealed that due to overwhelming challenges, the school lacks better infrastructure, teaching materials and playing ground.
The head teacher said the school does not get any Constituency Development Funds owing to its low enrollment, further urging Voi CDF to allocate money for renovation of classes.
The deputy head teacher Alphone Mwanyika said the poverty stricken community has also contributed to the dwindling enrollment.
“Only 25 parents have brought their children to school. We receive very little allocation from the Ministry of Education under free primary education programme which forces us to ask for an assistance from parents,” he said.
“The number of learners in this school have been reducing as the years progress. For instance right now I only have three pupils,” said Esther Makumbo, a teacher at the school.
She expressed fears that the school might be heading to closure due to continued drop out.
“With small number of pupils, a teacher gets hard time in perfecting the syllables which needs grouping of pupils in class. The small number has affected performance due to lack of competition in class,” Taita Taveta County Director of Education Simon Wanjohi said.
He however assured parents that the government was in the process of handling the situation.
“I am waiting for a report from the area so that we can make an informed decision. We cannot just close the school until we are assured that the pupils will be able to access education in the neighboring schools,” Wanjohi added.
He said the school had many underutilized teachers, pointing out that the report shall also focus on how to fully utilize teachers in schools with low enrollments.
Wanjohi said generally many schools in Mbololo and Rong’e areas of Voi and Mwatate were suffering from low enrollment due to sparse population.