MINUTES OF THE APS TRUST MEETING HELD ON 14 SEPTEMBER 2007
AT ASAKO PRIMARY SCHOOL
Present: Hon. Ali Wario, MP
Gill Marshall-Andrews – GMA
Moses Marangu Mwarania – District Quality Assurance and Standards Officer, Tana River
Kenneth Jinoh Bonaya - KB
Juma Ali Dido - JAD
Kulisa Shora Dirkicha - KSD
Ismail Fodha - IF
Bakari Ali Komora - BK
Mark Cheriuyot (KWS) – MC
Mike Harris - MH
Lissa Campbell - LC
Apologies: Anthony Gross AFG
Tony Fitzjohn TF
1. Welcome Trustees were delighted to welcome the Hon Ali Wario MP for the Asako constituency and Assistant Minister for Special Programmes in the Office of the President. Also welcomed was Moses Marangu Mwaarania from the District Education Department.
2. The Minutes of the meeting on 25th May 2007 were tabled and passed.
3. Matters Arising:
* TF had brought up solar panels, wiring and bulbs to provide electricity. This had been done but it was thought that they were the wrong bulbs and there was only wiring to one classroom and the school would like wiring to all classrooms if possible. TF later said normal bulbs should work as he had left an inverter there. LC to ask MC about this.
* Doors. TF had repaired office door. KB will prepare proposal for metal doors and windows in all rooms, blackboards and display boards in all classrooms. At least 2 tenders to be presented at next meeting.
* 5000/- from school maintenance fund has been used to build the kitchen. TAS has already committed £1260 for 2 cookers and this will be sent out immediately.
* Funds for lockable storage, nursery resources, bursaries for 3 pupils going on to secondary school (year 1 of 4) and flights for 4 meetings - totalling £2400 - have been sent out.
* Staff absence. It seems that all staff now have bank accounts - this was not clear at the beginning - there was some suggestion that some had post office accounts. It was agreed that no-one (except possibly the nursery teachers) should be paid in cash. Aim to avoid cash by end of year so government teachers have the responsibility to arrange for salaries to be paid direct to their bank and ASST to arrange to pay TAS teachers direct to their bank. KB to programme staff absence so that classes are not left unattended. Not necessary for anyone to be absent for more that 2 days per month.
* Staff accommodation. MC was thanked for his rough estimate - it was thought to be expensive. Department of Education have guidelines and will help KB to prepare proposal with at least 2 tenders for next meeting.
* KB to prepare proposal for in-service training - during the holidays - for next meeting.
* Truancy. This runs high - around 25%. It was suggested that sometimes absences are due to the difficulty of crossing the river. The possibility of some classrooms on the other side was mentioned. This might be difficult to manage. (Post meeting note: TF suggested provision of a proper boat). A boarding unit was discussed and it was agreed that this should be considered after the staff accommodation.
* School funds - There are 2 funds. SIMBA for curriculum resources at 650/- per child pa and GPA for general purposes, maintenance, wood, water etc at 370/- per child pa. So as there are 220 children on roll the school has around £1726 per year (220 x 1020/-) to spend on running the school - excluding the 4 teachers (including KB) paid for by government. KB will submit proposal for more curriculum resources at the next meeting.
* Fencing of school - It was agreed that this would be a good thing. KWS offered to help with sourcing posts so as not to cut down trees! MC suggested a natural planted fence line. They are planting one round their camp to demonstrate how it can be done. There may be a proposal for the Trust to fund wire at the next meeting. KWS would offer transport.
* Two 100ltr cookers have been approved for funding. It is hoped that these will be delivered on 1st October if transport can be arranged from Garissa to Asako. Two men will come with the cookers and will spend 2 days installing them and providing training for the correct use and maintenance of them. Training would be for the Head Teacher, 1 or more committee members, the Deputy Head, one teacher and the cook. These cookers should last for 15-20 years if correctly maintained.
* Salaries of TAS funded teachers were discussed and it was agreed that these should be raised from 12,000/- to 14,200/- for the 2 primary teachers and from 3,500/- to 5,000/- for the two pre-primary teachers with a contribution of 1,500/- from the community. The raises to take effect from September.
* 4 Cheques were signed for teachers salaries for September – December.
* MH to investigate cost of second-hand satellite phone that could be used for sending SMS. It could not be used for phone calls as these are extremely expensive but it is thought to cost around 10 /- to send a text.
* MH reported that the government is unwilling to license further radio systems so other solutions will have to be considered. It was agreed that in case of emergency or important communications, KWS headquarters in Nairobi could be contacted to relay a message via their HQ in Meru to staff in Asako. This should mean that people will know when planes are coming in and so avoid unnecessary waiting.
* The windpump is pumping very salty water at present. A French aid agency has installed a bore hole and generator which is pumping sweet water. It was agreed that as the windpump continues to pump, the water quality should improve. In the meantime the pipes will be diverted away from the shambas and will be used for cleaning and washing until the water quality improves. KWS is paying for piping from the borehole to an elevated tank and it was suggested that ASST should be asked to consider paying for piping to take this water to the school. Proposal to be considered at next meeting. MC to email LC with the cost of pipes.
* MH presented a report outlining the work of his employee Mwaura who spent 10 weeks in Asako setting up the windpump. It was agreed that if he came back to change the pipe work and increase the depth of the well, the community would supply workers to help him so he would not have to work on his own.
7. The meeting ended at 3.15 p.m. and the next meeting was scheduled for Monday 19 November 2007 at Asako Primary School.