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Parents snub order to transfer pupils from collapsed school

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Charity Kerubo remembers the tragic events of the morning of Monday, September 23, all too well. Kerubo, who The Standard team finds seated on a concrete block in the dusty playground of Precious Talent School in Ngando, Dagoretti South Constituency, does not need much prompting to speak.

“The lights went out, then the roof fell. We started running but the balcony collapsed on us. Someone helped me out,” the Class Eight pupil shyly recounts.The girl and a few of her classmates, who are now school-less, silently scan the vicinity where their institution stands in ruins.

As a result of the building’s collapse, Kerubo is nursing a broken ankle. While her leg is now in a cast and she walks with the aid of crutches, her mother, Linet Kwamboka, is unable to afford the Sh55,000 required to properly treat her at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Yet despite escaping death by a whisker, Kerubo insists she wants to remain at Precious Talent School and sit her KCPE examinations in the next few weeks, rather than being transferred to a different school.

Many parents who spoke to The Standard yesterday said they wanted their children to continue schooling at the institution, never mind that their children almost died when a building collapsed, killing eight pupils.

Exactly a week after the tragedy, visitors are greeted by padlocked wooden doors on rows of iron sheet classes painted blue. Pupils’ belongings, mostly backpacks, are heaped on desks inside the locked classrooms.While the learning area remained closed off to parents and pupils, hundreds of irate parents and their children crowded in the playground and outside the gate where they demanded their books, backpacks and other belongings.

For many residents of Ngando and the surrounding areas, Precious Talent School presented a remarkable solution.Some parents said they preferred the school for its exemplary performance, affordability, and ease of access.

They claimed that since the school’s inception, it had enabled their children to perform exceptionally well at an affordable cost — charging approximately Sh21,000 each year.Public schoolsNgong Forest Primary, Riruta Satellite Primary and Jamhuri Primary, the three public schools the Government asked the parents to transfer their children to, are deemed unsuitable options.

First, the parents explained, the three schools are far from their residences and require pupils to walk for up to three kilometres. Second, the parents expressed fears that their children would encounter security threats while traversing the Ngong Forest.

“We want our children to continue learning, especially for the Class Eight, as we seek a long-term solution. We are helpless and desperate; this is not the right solution,” said James Nyabuto, a father of two children at the school.Mr Nyabuto told The Standard the school should be allowed to set up tents so pupils can complete the academic year.

“These children were in discussion groups and had close relationships with the teachers. Splitting them in different schools will affect their performance,” a candidate’s parent said.The parents also complained that the schools recommended by the Government performed dismally in KCPE examinations. “This school always tops. It always posts many pupils with over 400 marks,” remarked one parent.

Another parent claimed many schools locally had problematic structures yet the Government was only focused on Precious Talent.But Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said parents were being incited not to relocate their children hence the low turnout in recipient schools.

He spoke at Ayany Primary School, where more than 250 pupils are expected to report from their shut schools.”Politicians have been confusing parents and that is why there is a low turnout in some schools. We lost eight children in the tragedy and it is not as simple as you may take it. I’m doing my duty to ensure this does not happen again,” Prof Magoha said.

By Standard.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Ruth Matete seeks help as she marks first wedding anniversary minus hubby

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Ms Ruth Matete and her husband MrJohn Apewajoye
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Gospel singer Ruth Matete penned a moving message to her newborn daughter as she marked her first wedding anniversary but without her husband Beloved John Apewajoye who died this year.

 The Tusker Project Fame 5 winner welcomed her bundle of joy in October, seven months after the tragic death of her husband.

In a lengthy Instagram post, in which she also attached a photo of her daughter, Reyna Toluwa’s feet, Matete prayed that her daughter would grow up to serve the Lord.

“Reyna Toluwa my princess. My love. Am not a poet, but the words I write here, are from my heart. I pray for you on this special day. That you will grow to serve the Lord. You will spread the good news of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” Matete wrote.

She also declared that Reyna’s feet will carry the good news.

“As the Bible says; ‘And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?’ As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ I declare today, that your feet are beautiful. Not just because they look like your father’s, but also because they will bring good news as the word of God declares,” she added.

 Matete remembered the vows she made on her wedding day, ‘till death do us part’ but she emotionally noted that death took her beloved husband earlier than expected.

“A day like this a year ago, your late father and I walked down the isle. Yes, we didPromised to be together till death do us part. But death came earlier than we expected.  I miss him so much. But am blessed to have you as a gift that he left me with. I don’t even understand how I’ve come this far. It can only be God,” she posted.

Even though it was one of those difficulty days in her life, Matete promised her daughter she would be fine eventually.

“Today may not be such an easy day for mummy. But I promise you, I’ll be fine. I have seen God to be the father to the fatherless and husband to the widow as He has promised in His word. Today won’t be an exception. I know He will help us even today,”  Matete said in the post.

 She ended her emotional message by asking for monetary support as she could not yet manage to resume work after a troublesome pregnancy.

“Friends, our till number remains the same, incase you wish to support us.5495849. Whatever you can, will go a mighty long way as am still not able to work. God bless you friends and please keep us in your prayers,” she added.

By NN


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Lifestyle

World’s most-traveled man Fred Finn says Kenya is the safest place to visit during the pandemic

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Diani beach in Kwale County has played host to the world’s most traveled man, Fred Finn.

Finn has traveled to more than 150 countries at the age of 75 and holds the current Guinness Book World Records.

Finn, who is in the country until Monday, November 30 said Kenya is safe for holiday destinations.

He however noted that his visit at the moment is not for leisure, but to send a message that the country is safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says he has observed that Kenyans are following the protocols and guidelines than any other country he has traveled to during the pandemic.

“I did not come here on holiday, that is why my wife is not with me. I came because whenever Kenya has a little crisis I come and say Kenya is safe” he said

He said, during a pandemic, Kenya is the safest place to go on holiday.

Finn is scheduled to have his vaccine in December.

Tourism players say Finn’s visit to Kenya gives confidence to the international market that the country is an ideal destination.

“When you get an endorsement from the eyes of a traveler that is likely to carry the right persuasion to the potential travelers” said Kioko Musyoki, Leopard Beach General Manager.


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Entertainment

‘I regret…’ Anne Kiguta opens up about posting her daughter on social media

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TV news anchor Anne Kiguta has announced that she would like to share with her fans more about her life.

However, she draws a line on exposing her children to the limelight.

Anne has three children, one from her previous marriage and fraternal twins with Jomo Gecaga.

Responding to a fan who asked her about her babies, Anne posted a photo of her and her twins but blocked out the faces.

In her response she explained,

“Gosh, so many of you have said this… was the number one response. Well, I will have to let you down on that my loves.”

She added,

“I’m rather traditional (believe it or not) so I’m vehemently against it. My babies are are all still too young, including the eldest, to be on social media.”

Anne continued,

“In fact I really regret having posted my eldest at all. Mummy already has a pretty public life. They deserve their privacy.”

But not to break her fans hearts, Anne promised,

“A reference every once in a while but nothing more than that for a long long time.  Hope  you understand.”

In another post she still emphasized,

“That is my son. Quite the charmer. If only I could tell you half of what they say! But all these are are to me sacred moments…really can’t share much more.”

Not to be daunted though, Anne promised to talk about other aspects of her life.

Here are the various topics she is open to talking about.

By Mpasho.co.ke


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