Sitting square at Loitokitok’s central business district, Ilkisonko Boys’ High School, has had its share of challenges.
The challenges range from a growing student population, shortage of amenities, water and space to runaway indiscipline.
The county school, which is grappling with the problem of space, received a new head last year in the name of Daniel Makau.
When Makau arrived at the school, he noted that many wrongs needed to be corrected and straightened.
Taking over the county school at its state, Makau knew well that the brand and quality of students under his care were not the best at the Kenya Certificate of Primary School Education level.
As it is a common case scenario in Kajiado, the communities have no trust in county schools and would prefer to take their children to others outside the county.
Makau’s immediate duty on arrival in Ilkisonko was to call a meeting with all the stakeholders to understand how the school has been operating with a small student population and why the school has been performing dismally.
For example, in 2019 only 43 students sat the KCSE examination as compared to last year’s 61.
Lack of amenities such as enough dormitories, classrooms and available small space appeared to have squeezed out potential students, too.
Makau had to find a starting point. He had several meetings with the board of management members, local politicians and parents to see how the school can be salvaged and made more vibrant.
He, first of all, set a pace for the 2020 year Form 4 students. Makau set a target of 5.2 (C-) grade while the results for 2019 was a mean of 4.1903.
The school, although it did not achieve the target – scored a mean of 4.31, which is an improvement of +0.120.
“We put in place many strategies to counter what had been caused by COVID-19 issues. I ensured that we cleared the syllabus in good time, called in motivational speakers and even awarded our best students during internal/in-house examinations as we prepared them,” said Makau.
The new principal says he even expected to do better than what they did.
“With a deficit of 8 teachers, the school is struggling to meet its obligations,” Makau added.
With a growing number of students now hitting 700-point from 350 last year, the school requires more classrooms and dorms.
The school also has pressure on freshwater demand, and with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the principal is spending a lot of resources in buying water from neighbouring Tanzania and the local vendors in Loitokitok town at a high cost.
Although part of the school is operating as day, Makau says he intends to cut it out in the next two years to allow boarders to study alone at Ilkisonko secondary.
Ilkisonko was started in 1984, and this is the first year the school did its best in many years.