Passion for education sees mother of seven back to school
In the remote dry area of Kipsing, Isiolo County, girls have always been regarded as property. They are forced to out of school and married off at an early age immediately they have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
For others, looking after livestock is the most important thing rather than going to school. Those who are able to join school of face lack of classrooms, desks, water and chairs, making their environment not conducive for learning.
However, despite the hostile environment, a 34 year old mother of seven has gone to school to quench her thirst for education.
Shangaiyo Lolpuranai is a class two pupil at Lengwenyi Primary School in Kipsing, Isiolo County.
She says that her quest for education was shattered after she was married off by her father in exchange of livestock. The marriage did not last and her husband abandoned her with seven children. She has had to struggle to fend for the children.
“My passion for education has pushed me to go back to school. Initially I had joined adult education in a nearby school but due to poor enrolment, Alex Muriuki, a teacher in the school advised me to join other pupils in class one of which I did,” explains Shangaiyo with a big smile on her face.
Shangaiyo went through class one and is now in class two where she shares a desk with one of her daughters.
The mother of seven who says that her seventh child has not reached school-going age urges those who are elderly and have a passion for education to enrol in nearby schools.
“Getting to know how to read and write is the most wonderful thing for any person living in current times,” advices Shangaiyo.
Veronica Sakinoi, Shangaiyo’s first daughter who is in class 8 at Kipsing Primary School says they have been supportive of their mother especially when it comes to class work.
“We are happy as a family to see our mother being able to read and write,” says Sakinoi.
Shangaiyo’s class teacher Alex Muriuki says they have been moved by her passion in education. Muriuki says he tries as much as he can to ensure that his oldest pupil feels appreciated in class.
“Shangaiyo’s initiative should be emulated by many parents in pastoralist areas who have never seen the door of a classroom,” explains Muriuki.
According to Muriuki, stakeholders in education should help schools in the area by providing infrastructure as many lack important facilities. He notes that this has lowered their level of education as pupils are not able to compete favourable with others in urban areas..