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Kokoya Millennium Village Education Projects: High Hopes Dashed

first_imgJ. Keith Gboe, Vice Principal for Operations at the Quoikapor Elementary and Junior High School in Kokoya District, Upper Bong, was upbeat and overwhelmed with joy when he was informed in 2007 that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) was spearheading a Kokoya Millennium Village Project (KMVP) that would ensure that the Quoikapor School is raised to modern standards.Gboe’s high hopes have been squashed, as there are no signs that Quoikapor Elementary and Junior High School will be any better since the KMVP has proven a project deferred, if not failed.The rural school Vice Principal divulged that in 2005, the REVOP, an NGO, built Quoikapor School with subvention from the UNDP. The school, he said, lacked the needed facilities for smooth academic operation. “But because of our love and passion for preparing the children of Quoikapor and adjacent villages to be future leaders, we decided to make do with the little facilities available”, Gboe explained.He further asserted that “When UNDP came back in 2008 with the ambitious plan of upgrading the standard of the school and its teaching staff, we were more than thankful and certainly believed that a new day was dawning in the academic history of the Quoikapor School; behold we were wrong.”Gboe, like Martha Daniels, Registrar of Tugbablee Elementary School, Michael Nyean, Instructor at the U-LAH Elementary and Junior High School and Morris Laykpdoe, Vice Principal for Administration at the Weseh Gardea Elementary and Junior High School in Botota, are all disappointed over the non-implementation of the attractive promises made by the UNDP-led Millennium Village project in the area of education.In separate interviews with the Daily Observer, the three rural school instructors recounted numerous stories of poor learning environment and lack of incentives and sufficient teaching staff in the three schools listed as the main schools to be upscale and upgraded under the Millennium Village project.These schools were slated to have been the pilot for the model of the quality of schools that are expected to be built in the follow-up Millennium Villages across the country. Daily Observer later established that these promises were more or less a mirage and bluff as much as they were deceptive and far from what is now obtaining at those schools five years after the project was launched.In its ambitious proposal and project blue print, the UNDP-KMVP inserted under Objective three that in order to ensure full primary school attendance, it will need the following programs: School meal program, School teacher housing construction, School Supplies and equipment and secondary school education.According to the proposal, these program were expected to be rolled out over a five year period with a total cost of US$60,400 in year one; year two US$29,600; year three 4, 500, US$17,000 and US$11,000 respectively.With that funding, the project would have constructed and rehabilitated primary schools, eliminate school fees for primary schools, recruit and train teachers, provide school meals for students, provide computer literacy program for students and construct vocational schools in Kokoya District.By these interventions, the project promised to have transformed the learning environment of the school going age children of Kokoya Districts for the better and ignites a trickledown effect on the lives of the people and the micro economy of Kokoya District.    But five years after the wacky implementation of the project, instructional staff at the three targeted schools  have told the Daily Observer that all the promises were practically not met and appears to be a mirage and a scam that have not been achieved in any sense of the word.Daily Observer investigation established that at all of the three schools, there are no libraries, no laboratories, no training opportunities for teachers, and no supplies of school equipment. A further search revealed that there are no secondary school scholarship programs and no vocational school facilities constructed by the KMVP as projected in the proposal.A cursory glance at the physical structures of U-LAH, Quoikapor and Botota schools in Kokoya Districts speaks of schools far in the back woods of the deep forest that lack all of the facilities that are appropriate for primary education and the preparation of a  student population that is  basically from rural poor family that can barely make ends meet on a daily basis.Tugbahblee elementary school that was tipped to be turned into an educational oasis in the deep forest of Kokoya, has 320 students, six teachers and constructed in 2006. In spite of the attractive line up in the KMVP proposal, the        Registrar, Martha Daniel, revealed that the school has no feeding program, and the students sit on pieces of cut rubber trees stumps as a result of the lack of benches.The female registrar further asserted that, at the school, “there is no library, no reading room and some of the six grade students have not seen a computer since their academic sojourn. They have not seen a microscope nor do they have the appropriate stationery to facilitate learning. There is no computer program, no electricity power by solar panels and the hopes of the students’ remains in limbo”.A youth activist, Samuel Blackie, described the situation in Kokoya as a fickle, saying, “what is obtaining at Tugbahblee and what is inserted in the proposal are diametrically opposed and there is a need to let the entire world know the hoax in the KMVP.”The stories at the Wesseh Gardea Elementary and Junior High School in   Botota and the Quoikapor Elementary and Junior High School are no different.  The two schools, like U-LAH, selected as model of what all schools in the districts were supposed to be, following in line with the KMVP concept, shared commonality in the lacked of libraries, laboratories, internet facilitates, school feeding programs and score of hapless students and an underpaid teaching staff.In fact, the Daily Observer team noticed that there are no drinking water facilities at both Botota and Quopikapor. At Quoikapor for example, the Vice Principal for Instructions, J. Keith Gboe did not mince words in asserting that, there is no latrine , no play ground, no reading room and the 249 students may go through junior high school without known how a desktop computer looks like.Gboe, sounded downbeat, when he intoned that there are only five teachers and although they were made to understand that they would have operated a night section, the lack of electricity, power by solar panel, has inhibited the running of a night adult literacy section since 2008.It was the Vice Principal for Administration at the Wesseh Elementary and Junior High School in Botota, Morris Laykpdoe who expressed the frustration of the citizenry of Kokoya District when he  narrated how contrary to the project blue print, not a single vocational school has been built in the entire Kokoya District.The now disappointed rural instructor said, he and the District authorities do not know  of a single student who has been given academic scholarship under the KMVP high sounding program for transitioning students from Kokoya rural  school system to the high school in the urban setting.A youth activist in Quoikapor, a border town with Nimba county, Peterson Toby, expressed his indignation over the apparent failure of the implementation of the Computer Literacy program propose in the project. “Since they promised to have introduced training in the three schools as a pilot project, they have not brought in one computer or a mouse”.As for the construction of a teaching staff quarters at the three schools, the Develop0ment Superintendent of Kokoya Statutory District, Theophilus N. Mulbah, said, after the project was taken over by the Ministry Of Internal Affairs in 2013, The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) embarked on the project of building a staff quarter for the Wesseh  Gardea Elementary and Junior High school in Botota.However, Vice Principal Laykpdoe of the Wesseh  Gardea school in Botota was quick to point to the Daily Observer that what is being described as a staff quarters is a four bed room house.It can be recalled that in the blue print of the project it was proposed under Objective three that the project will construct and rehabilitate primary schools in the District and eliminate school fees for primary school for all children in the village; provides meals  for students with locally produced and nutritional balance foods.In its ambitious overtone, the project KMVP promised to eliminate gender disparity in school attendance, promote computer literacy, provide secondary school going students from Kokoya with scholarship and establish vocational education by building polytechnic and other vocational institution.But five years after these lofty promises were embedded in the proposal, what the Daily Observer team uncovered in Kokoya can best be described as a mirage. There is no sign of a vocational schools in the offing and the views of our character interviewees supra on the myriad of failed in the area of education seems to be hard to counter. Stay Tune.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Area trio earns wrestling titles

first_imgTraditional area power Santa Fe had the best team success, qualifying an area-best five wrestlers for next weekend’s CIF-SS Masters Meet and finishing third in the team standings behind champion Temecula Valley and second-place Santa Ana. California also fared well, placing 10th and qualifying three to next week’s meet – Melendrez, Ruben Warr (130) and Nik Noriega (152). El Rancho also finished with three qualifiers – Joseph Salas (119), Tony Fernandez (189) and Billie Rivera (215). Melendrez, meanwhile, expanded on his expectations, upsetting top-seeded Couts in the semifinals before scoring an 8-4 decision over Lompoc’s Masson Blow in the final. “It’s an awesome feeling,” Melendrez said. “To do this, and just being a sophomore, is a great accomplishment. “Beating (Couts) just gave me so much momentum towards the finals. It was a tough match (in the finals). I guess I just wanted it more, so I went after it.” Zuniga was in complete control in the 215 final before scoring a 5-3 decision over Temecula Valley’s Eduardo Marquez. “It’s just so great to win CIF,” Zuniga said. “This is why you do all that work all season long, and it feels great.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3061 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We qualified five guys to Masters, so it went pretty good,” said Santa Fe coach Sal Garcia, whose team’s qualifiers also included Dimitri Crouch (103), Daniel Couts (140), Miguel Garcia (189) and Lenny Romero (275). “Things didn’t quite fall the way we hoped. We had some tough losses, otherwise we might have been up there with Temecula Valley. “But the guys who placed wrestled well. Now we just have to continue to work hard this week in practice and be ready for next week.” Orona was one of three Chiefs, including Crouch and Romero, to advance to the finals. He breezed through the first four rounds before using a late escape to defeat Westlake’s Arian Ghaffari in the 119 final. “(Ghaffari) wrestled defensively,” Orona said. “I just had to go for my shots. “My goal going in was to just maintain my state ranking. I did what I was supposed to do.” center_img RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Three was definitely the number for area wrestlers who competed at Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Inland Division championships at Los Osos High School. Locals scored their version of a triple crown as Santa Fe High School’s Marcus Orona (119 pounds), California’s Matt Melendrez (140) and Schurr’s Julian Zuniga (215) won individual titles. last_img read more

Mureithi to rename, revamp Nakumatt by June

first_img“We are still consulting with various people to get a new name for the club so that we attract sponsors. We are just finalizing the finer legal issues with the previous owners and we will be good to go. We want by the time the team comes back for the second leg, we have everything in place,” Mureithi said.Politician Francis Mureithi has bought Nakumatt FCThe club, erstwhile owned by Supermarket chain Nakumatt, had been dwindling in instability due to the financial situation of the sponsors but Mureithi’s takeover breathes a new lease of life to them.“Most of these players are from my constituency here in Embakasi and I saw their suffering and got concerned. Some had even told me to take over the team and I seriously considered it, also bearing in mind I am a person who loves sports,” Mureithi revealed.“Our first target is to ensure that the team remains in the league. It is still early because they have played only 10 games and there is a chance to recover. I have met with the players and talked to them assuring everything is under control,” he added.Nakumatt FC head coach Anthony Mwangi. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAThe city politician, who vied for the Embakasi East parliamentary seat in 2017 General election, says he will also look to inject some experienced players into the squad during the mid-season transfer window.“This is a good team and there was no way we could watch as they go down. Now the hard work begins and hopefully we can get back on track. All the players and technical bench salaries will be sorted and the players will turn their focus back into the pitch and not where their salaries will come from,” Mureithi further affirmed.The club begins its new era on Saturday when they play away to Kariobangi Sharks at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.Five back to back losses have seen the club drop down to the basement of the KPL log.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Nakumatt FC players ose for a group photo before a past kenyan Premier League match. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13- New Nakumatt FC owner Francis Mureithi says plans are in top gear to rename, revamp and re-launch the club after taking over from previous owners Nakumatt Holdings Limited early this week.Speaking to Capital Sport, Mureithi said he is confident the team will retain its Premier League status despite struggling and has warned they will be in to challenge for the title next season.last_img read more