Society / Education
Friday, 27 Jan 2017 11:43 EATrosemukonyo@yahoo.com
It is rare for small schools to maintain academic and extracurricular excellence for long. But that is excatly what Katwanyaa Mixed Day and Boarding High school in Matungulu Sub County has done over the years - riding high in terms of performance and has now become a household name in Matungulu in matters education.
The school has been ensuring they produced students with grade A and a high number of Bs and strong Cs in KCSE, trouncing more established schools in the region. In 2015, the school had a mean grade of C+ of 6.72 points, which in 2016 dropped marginally to 5.67 points where, out of the 84 candidates, nine scored C+, 12 Bs and one A- of 74 points, meaning that 22 of its candidates will transit straight to university.
High expectations have been placed on the current candidate class of 120 students to maintain the good performance of the school which has a total of 12 teachers against a population of almost 700 students.
According to the principal, Mr Patrick K Mwongela, the school has managed to perform quite well due to satisfactory parent-teacher association where parents have been quite supportive of the school initiatives and the dedication by the teachers who have been going out of their way to attend to the students.
“Despite our large student population, our teachers have been working as a team to ensure we get the best out of our students, while the parents have been assisting us wherever they can,” said an elated Mr Mwongela.
The school's outstanding performance has been possible despite the major challenges they have been facing as a school, such as classes as they have been operating four schools in one, since this is a mixed day and boarding school with each class having its own separate rooms.
The boys study in separate rooms from the girls and in cases of different subjects, some students have to study outside under trees due to lack of sufficient rooms. There is dire need of a well-equipped laboratory, said the school deputy principal Mr Simon Murungi who lauded the initiative by Matungulu CDF to build a fully equipped lab.
“Our MP has already started this project and we request him to complete it for us in good time to enable us improve our science subjects performance,” Mr Murungi told the Kenya Free Press, adding that they have had to make use of normal classrooms as labs during the science lessons which has been a great challenge.
Although the school has enough text books, there is still the hurdle of a school library as the books have been kept in cartons and a few shelves in the senior teacher’s office and therefore they have placed the plea to Matungulu MP to facilitate the construction of a school library as this will boost their readership and hence good performance.
“We are blessed to have enough textbooks but the only challenge is the storage, so if we can get a library, it would serve us quite well,” said senior teacher George Muia, who is also in charge of the exam department and HOD languages.
The school boasts of a good co-curricular record as most of Ukambani's finest athletes, Patrick Ivuti and Makau, are old students and they continue to bask in their glory. They also excel in ball games such as basketball and handball as well as rugby where they have competed against big giants in the region up to the regional levels and in racket games up to the national levels.
This has boosted the school’s image and although it has been a sub county school, it has been facing it off with big schools and has created a name for them despite the fact that they have no standard field for these sports.
With a good record of discipline, the school has been drawing students from the immediate catchment area and education standards are on the rise in the area. It is sure going to be an undoubted household name as the school that transformed the education levels in Matungulu as a whole.
Rose is a contributing writer for the Kenya Free Press, based in Machakos County.