When covid-19 pandemic knocked the door to the world one of the sectors that was hit hard in Kenya was the Education sector. Many children lost hope and their dreams were shuttered. The Ministry of Education was only left with one option, close all schools countrywide, with the hope that it will reduce the spread of the covid-19.
However, the media, especially the community radios became a major source of hope to both children and parents. Many children and students tuned in to follow the updates of Covid-19 as well as listen to entertaining music and educational programs.
As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, the situation worsened. The Ministry of Education through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) began offering school lessons via radio.
Through a partnership between Transworld Radio- Sifa FM Stations mother organization- and the Ministry of Education, all its stations started airing radio based school lessons throughout the counties within our coverage regions.
In Taita Taveta, the radio lessons were aired through Sifa FM Voi, in Marsabit through Sifa FM Marsabit, in Lamu through Sifa FM Lamu, in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera through Hekima FM
After offering the school lessons for a while, a Non-Government Organization called Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) developed an interest in what we were doing. They decided to partner with Maata Radio in airing of the school lessons. In addition, they offered free text books for distribution to various marginalized and disadvantaged schools in Turkana County.
The Station Manager and staff of Maata Radio distributing books to Naureen Puu Primary School
One of the schools that were privileged to receive text books was Naureen Puu Primary School in Loima Constituency. While receiving the textbooks, Florence Lokale, the head teacher of the school was very grateful and mentioned that indeed God had answered her prayers through Maata radio. The school faces a lot of challenges starting from lack of a staff room. The teachers sit under a shade made of Makuti (palm leaves) and that’s where they do their marking and planning for class work and sometimes take their tea- when its available.
Naureen Puu primary staff room
Naureen Puu primary has over 250 primary school pupils and has a building that accommodates only three classes, the rest of the pupil’s study under a tree. The school is preparing to sit for the national Primary Education exams for the first time this year and as a station we wish the candidates success despite the many challenges that they go through.
The Station Manager and Primary School
After the story was highlighted over Maata Radio and its social media platforms, the National Government through the Ministry of Education called the station for details of the school and committed to put up three modern classes and an administrative block.
Maata Radio Station Manager Mr Wycliffe Masinde interviewing Naureen Puu Head teacher Ms. Florence Lokale
Speaking to Maata Radio through the phone, The Head Teacher Madam Florence Lokale thanked Maata radio for highlighting the plight of Naureen Puu Primary School.
“Am so grateful and want to thank God for Maata Radio. This is surely God’s doing and we give Him all the glory. May God bless you all”.