Education is an important aspect of our lives with many seeing it as their ticket out of poverty. However, despite the government making primary education free, quality education has remained to be out of reach for many Kenyans.
This is because in as much as it is free to study in government schools, most often than not the infrastructure is quite stretched with many classrooms being overcrowded. On average, classes in public schools have about a hundred pupils in a class that should be having a maximum of forty. In such a case, the teachers end up being overworked and hence unable to give their best to the students. Not only that, in some schools, the ablution blocks are often overcrowded and dilapidated something which is a health and safety hazard to the pupils.
To address this, LG Electronics has been on a mission to construct classrooms as well as ablution blocks in schools located in lower income areas. This is in a bid to improve access to education, promote gender equality, and implement eco-friendly practices. Towards this, LG has partnered with Habitat for Humanity Kenya to construct a classroom, toilet blocks, drill boreholes as well as provide water tanks.
In their latest project, LG improved learning conditions at the Shiloh Naibor Primary in Laikipia County. Prior to this intervention, the school faced significant challenges regarding water supply and hygiene conditions. The entire school with 229 learners only had one 10,000-liter water tank which unfortunately could not be able to cater for all their water needs. This necessitated the pupils to carry water from their homes to meet their needs at school. With some of the pupils having to walk over long distances, this situation was not sustainable and had a negative effect on learning.
Also, the school had inadequate toilets which led to substandard hygiene conditions. This issue was compounded by the fact that the areas had unsuitable soil composition which meant that the latrines kept sinking thus posing a potential hazard to the student community.
Under this intervention, LG constructed a classroom and two toilet blocks. The toilets were each equipped with four doors for separate use by boys and girls. This was important because prior to this, girls used to face difficulties attending school during their menstrual cycles due to a lack of proper and segregated sanitation facilities. The construction of the toilets therefore had an effect of boosting school attendance by the girls.
To address the issue of water shortages, the partnership installed two 10,000-liter tanks for rainwater harvesting. This meant that the school now had a reliable water supply and the pupils no longer had to walk for long distances carrying water for use in school.
In another instance, 600 students including 225 children with hearing impairments from Machakos County benefitted from a Ksh. 8.9 Million infrastructure development. The schools which benefitted from the project include Machakos School for the Deaf and Kyumbi School in Mavoko constituency.
The facilities constructed at Machakos School for the Deaf included a new library, ablution wing and borehole system. While Kyumbi School got two new ECD classrooms, kitchen block and latrines.
Other than the physical facilities, LG donated several appliances to be used by the students and teachers in the two schools. These include commercial washers and dryers for the dormitories, refrigerators and microwave ovens for the kitchens, dining halls and staff rooms.
LG also donated some items to Kyumbi Dispensary as well in a bid to contribute to the improvement of the overall health and wellbeing of the local community. These included a refrigerator for the laboratory and pharmacy and a microwave oven for the kitchen.
With these projects and many others, LG Electronics has managed to ensure that pupils in Kenyan schools can be able to get quality education hence ensuring that they get a better future. I have to say that I can’t wait to see which project they embark on next.