This is a school of 310 students aged 5 -19 in an extremely remote and poor district of Kenya on the River Tana just outside the Kora National Park.
The school was built by the colonialists in the 60s but after a few years of operation it remained unused for 3 decades.The local community started up an unofficial pre-primary class in 2000 after which the government accredited the school and did some basic renovations.
Pupil numbers grew rapidly and the government now supplies five teachers in addition to the headteacher.
Problems for the school are wide ranging: insecurity, drought, poverty, lack of resources, poor working conditions for teachers, early marriage, high level of adult illiteracy, child labour, hiv/aids.
Despite these problems the community is desperate to support the school. They will do whatever they can to improve the life chances of their children.
The Asako Primary School Trust was set up in September 2006. Since then TAS has supplied funding for staff accommodation for 8 teachers, desks, fuel efficient cookers, lockable storage, curriculum materials and books, a caretaker, fence, 4 extra teachers including 2 women, educational visits and out of school hours activities.
The nursery is now thriving, the enrolment of girl students has increased and a very successful adult literacy class for women has been established. However, exam results continue to be disappointing. Much effort was made with the class of 2011 but there was still no improvement and management problems persist.
Partnerships have been established with the Kenya Wildlife Service who have helped with logistics, communication and project management, and with the local MP Dr Nur Nassir. His contribution to the first phase building development was to refurbish the existing classrooms and build a new nursery class.
The District Education Office is involved and supportive and a new headteacher has been appointed. Additional government teachers have been promised and there is a feeling that things are beginning to change in this community despite setbacks and environmental challenges.