Work starts on the 5 new classrooms – Update
Increasing student numbers, the need for a science lab, library and space for IT and music, have necessitated the construction of five more classrooms. Fortunately the upper floor of the classroom block (the Parry Building) is ready and waiting for this development.
After accepting the quote from our contractor, work commenced straight away. The cost to the charity is £8000 each for three rooms with two more being funded by a well-wisher.
We welcome your support in this venture. So far we have raised £7000 leaving a further £12000. We will also need to equip the science lab and library. Please follow the link to help provide these rooms. You can also see how this appeal is progressing.
Delayed Exams for Standard 8 students get underway.
This week sees the examinations that should have been sat in November taking place. The school is closed to all but the Head teacher and the candidates. The Government provides a schedule of teachers from other schools to supervise the exams together with armed guards. (Some of our teachers are sent to nearby schools in return).
Spare a thought for the Head Teacher who has to collect the papers every morning from an office in Mombasa and is then escorted to school by an armed guard. The reverse process happens every evening.
School inspectors visited Unity as part of the process of checking that schools were “Covid ready” for pupils to return. They expressed their concern that classroom 3 was in a bad state of repair. When the builders began repair work, it all fell down! Rebuilding started from scratch. Some of the other older classrooms have been smartened up with a lick of paint. One more classroom is awaiting rebuilding – If you can donate towards the cost of rebuilding, please go to “Support Us”.
School to reopen for students
At the beginning of October the Government of Kenya announced that, subject to precautions, schools could re-admit pupils in grade 4 and standard 8 (10 and 14 Year olds). Some of our Secondary school students were also to be allowed back. Just as the school started to prepare for the return of two classes, the government further announced that in 2 weeks time the rest of our pupils could return.
An appeal was launched to provide equipment, re-employ teachers, and generally make the school covid safe,
Latest report from our School Manager, Mr Norbert Werre
Corona virus came with tremendous challenges that affected our school greatly. This caught us unaware and in consultation with FOMC trustees we came up with ways of mitigating the challenges. We have consulted with parents requesting their help in providing paper packs of assignments for the pupils (very few parents have internet access). Some parents are able to give some financial help and we are grateful to FOMC for their financial help. In addition, with their help, we are able to support those families in desperate need with a food parcel each month. Our medical aid is continuing at least for the next few months, and we are looking at ways of whether any local Rotary could support us.
We are very thankful that we have access to the internet at the school and can keep in communication with FOMC. Their support has kept our spirits up.
Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic at Unity School
The medical programme arranged with Dr Luke Odiero will now cover malaria, minor accidents, fever, coughs, and other mild sicknesses.
We original hoped to provide a package of basic food supplies for about 10 of our poorest families – bearing in mind that many parents working in low paid jobs in the tourist industry have found themselves out of work. However, the senior staff at Unity have managed to stretch the money available to 32 families!
To help us continue this support we will need your help. We are told that there are 51 families at serious risk and how long the crisis will last is an unknown quantity.
Head Teacher, Mary Obara and School manager, Norbert Were handing over maize flour, cooking oil, rice, sugar and soap.
Oh – and Yes, we have suggested that next time they might observe social distancing by doing this outside, apparently it was raining hard when this family arrived!