By Leonard Angatia
Mautuma Boarding School was founded as a community project sponsored by Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG). It is located a long Turbo-Mautuma road in Lugari Sub-county, Kakamega County about 10 kilometres from Turbo town.
The school started as a single stream in 1972 with an initial enrolment of 29 students. The student population has since grown steadily to four streams with 550 students. It has 23, with 21 of them hired by the Teachers Service Commission. It has a deficit of 14 teachers. As per curriculum based establishment requirements, the institutions should have 35 teachers. The school is acutely understaffed in all the subjects and yet and student the student population is increasing steadily.
The institution is located in a serene, conducive environment for learning, far away from busy and noisy roads. The Principal, Nicholas Bwire, told Education News that among the challenges he has had to deal with are the huge fees balances that had almost threatened to bring the institution to a halt.
“In 2015, the Form Four class alone went away with a debt of over Sh 1.9 millions. But now the situation has improved since I engage all stakeholders in school affairs. As a result I have seen fruitful results. We have improved and I have dealth with piled salary arrears for subordinate staff that had crippled normal operations,” he added.
The accumulated money rose to Sh1.5 millions in 2016 January when Mr Bwire joined Mautuma as the Principal.
Discipline is one is of the achievements that the Principal has instilled in teachers with mutual assistance and consultation from some senior teachers in the institution.
The school administrator says he is rehabilitating the institution from the intensive care unit it had been admitted to.
In 2008, Constituency Development Fund started constructing a resource centre that has never been completed to date due to inadequate funding.
In academics, the school is a nest for success because all departments are functional and ready to commit their best since they have trust in their Principal. Mr Bwire is optimistic come end of the year results will be good due to discipline that has made students take part in vigorous tests to improve their academic prowess.
Deputy Principal Godfrey Ogolla, who has been in the school for the last 26 years said the institution is in dire need of serious facelift in terms of infrastructure. Already the laboratory is under renovation with tiles making it one of the most modern structure in the school. The school offers among other subjects Home Science and Computer studies.
Mr Ogolla is termed as the mobile encylopaedia of Mautuma Boys. He happens to be class teacher of Form One and Four. He teaches Mathematics and Biology.
Mautuma subordinate staff have something to smile about as their salaries are paid on time by the Principal who believes in humanitarian ideals and motivating the staff. “ In co-curricula activities the school has been doing well and we have scooped awards in many areas. We have won trophies in football and volleyball. The school has produced national junior volleyball team,” he said.
The school bus which had broken down due to the rough terrain has been repaired and provides transport during educational trips.