Tangini Primary School - Current Challenges and Future Plans

Tangini Primary School

Projects 2, 3 and 4

 

Infrastructure:

Challenges:

Some infrastructure for the future growth of Tangini Primary School is still lacking and creating issues. In particular, a perimeter fence is required to improve the security of the school, prevent animals from entering the school ground and to assist with the safety of the children whilst they are attending school.   Water issues also continue to present a challenge to the school and the entire Mtakuja area. Rain water harvesting has been set up on the classrooms, however, the quality of the gutters and damage to the tanks presents a problem for the effectiveness of these systems. A shallow borehole has been dug on the school site; however, the depth of the borehole (56ft) is proving to be a challenge for obtaining sufficient water.

 

Future Plans:

We will aim to seek donations to construct a perimeter fence within the next 12 months. This is priority as it impacts on the successful implementation of the other infrastructure and development projects. We have conducted a survey for the construction of this fence, and the estimated cost is $3500 (USD)

The fence is a key priority as it will provide security for other projects such as rainwater harvesting, borehole, and the existing infrastructure.

Whilst implementing the perimeter fence project, we will investigate ways to improve water access for the school and the community. The aim will be to both, improve the effectiveness of the existing projects (water harvesting from roof, and shallow borehole) and look at potential alternatives which will benefit the entire region.

 

 

Sports Program:

Challenges:

There is a lack of sporting equipment at the school which is impacting on the level of training that students can access at school. In particular the following equipment would be of assistance to the school:

o   Netball/female football

o   Handball

o   Football

o   Nets

o   Team Uniforms

o   Quality footballs

 

 

Future Plans:

We will aim to seek donations for the required sporting equipment for the school teams. If sufficient donations are obtained, we will also support the youth football team from the Mtakuja area by providing footballs and uniforms if possible. They currently use the school field for training and this will continue into the future. Engaging the youth of the area in sports activities plays an important role in the health of the community and helps prevent them from engaging in other less desirable activities.

 

 

Kitchen Garden:

Challenges:

Water is somewhat of a challenge for the kitchen garden, although students have been allocated tress/plants to water by bringing a 5L container of water to school each day (including school holidays). This system is working well; however, more success with other plants may require a water tank to harvest rainwater from the kitchen roof. This water could also be used for cooking for the students and teachers. A clear management plan is required to improve the financial gain from this project.

 

Future Plans:

A management plan for the kitchen garden and relevant business management lessons will be delivered on our next visit to Tangini. The focus will be on growing items which can generate good revenue for the school whilst only requiring a small amount of space.

We will also investigate possibility and cost of installing a rainwater tank for the kitchen garden. The added benefit of this tank assisting with cooking/drinking water for the students and teachers, makes this project a high priority.

 

Biogas:

Challenges:

The system has taken some time to yield gas, however this was expected. After topping up the chamber with animal manure over the past field visits, the system is now producing gas all the way to the kitchen cooker. This project is an innovative idea for the Taveta district, and we hope it will provide inspiration for others to start similar systems in their communities.

 

Future Plans:

We will continue to monitor the system for gas output and its management by the school and community. We will continue to engage with the staff from Taita Biogas Project to assist with the maintenance of the system (if required) and community education. Overall the system is working well and achieving the goal of discouraging charcoal burning and cutting of trees for cooking.

 

 

School Finances/Resources:

Challenges:

Tangini Primary School certainly faces some challenges in terms of financing all of the requirements for a successful education program. In particular, school feeding programs, educational resources and teachers wages must all be meet using limited government funding. This issue is in no way unique to Tangini. The majority of schools in Kenya face these challenges. Inconsistent payment of school fees by parents is contributing to these issues at Tangini Primary School. The feeding program has been inconsistently implemented to date due to the lack of food/funds available.

 

 

Future Plans:

Our focus with these issues is to create a completely self sufficient school at Tangini. Addressing these challenges will not be simple. However, we will implement plans with a long term focus to remedy these issues and help prevent them from occurring again in the future. In particular income generating activities will be discussed, management plans drawn up and relevant educational lessons delivered. Examples include:

o   Growing food for sale to the community through the kitchen garden.

o   Harvesting water and selling to the community (this is common in Kenya)

o   Creating a larger farming area (shamba) to grow the food required to feed the students and teachers (maize and beans).

o   Offering services to the community for a small fee (eg mobile phone charging, computer lessons).

This sustainable model approach to addressing the financial issues of the school is something we are extremely passionate about. Offering “quick fix” handouts will not address these issues in the long term. As such, we will ensure that these programs are implemented and the students receive the best education experience possible.



Summary:


Overall, Tangini Primary School is doing very well indeed. As you will have seen above, these schools are not without their challenges. However, we will continue to work with these schools to ensure they both reach their maximum potential and the communities in the surrounding areas continue to grow and develop. We will of course continue to expand our work in the Taveta district over the coming years to ensure that even more communities can gain access to education, water, medical and food security facilities. None of the projects which have been implemented over the past 5 years, would not be possible without the support provided by all of our amazing donors. So on behalf of everyone at Makutano Nursery School, Tangini Primary School and the surrounding communities – Thank you!

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