Likunda Primary School (L.P.S.) is a boarding primary school for Std. 1 to Std. 8. The kindergarten has been set up in a separate area of the plot. In February 2001, the school was opened with four classes operating in the first building (traditionally, L-shaped).
The construction works of the boarding area and other schooling facilities were completed in 2003 and 2007. The school’s capacity is 550 pupils, and about half of them can be boarded. As the size of the plot is 5 acres, we won’t have to worry about space for future developments any time soon.
Pupils of LPS wear green school uniforms. In their free-time, LPS boarders also wear blue outfit.
Children of Likunda Primary School
In the beginning, Likunda Primary School was mainly be funded by Logitech (Germany). In 2000, Logitech had already paid for a school building of Manuel Alexander School. The following year, the employees insisted on building a complete boarding school (sure, what else?).
After two years of hard work and busy fund-raising, the project was completed (apart from the Kindergarten complex which took us 3 more years to build; it was constructed at the end of 2005).
The first school building was actually completed in February, 2001 after just two month construction time. The building contains four class-rooms as well as the admininstration. Water is supplied from the own dwell, electric power is being provided by Kenya Power.
LPS first building 2006
Since December 2001, the second school building is in use. The school has been using all class-rooms on from the year 2004, including a fully-equipped computer class ready which was donated to the school one year later.
This picture was taken from the position of the water tower. You have to keep a huge distance if you want to get this giant building into the picture.
LPS second building
In order to preserve this beutiful Baobab tree, the building plans had to be altered. The Assembly Hall had to move to a place far right from the tree, and the 2nd school building had to “cuddle” itself close to it. It is only fair if Mr. Baobab has to carry a waste bin – not downstairs, though, there is no Mrs. Baobab, yet.
Less than two years later after construction began most of our goals had been achieved: The Assembly Hall (left) and the Boarding Section (at the end of the road) were made available to the school. Although still a lot has to be done, we managed to live up to our promises.
At the official opening of the boarding section in February 2003, around 70 pupils where boarding in two dorms at LPS.
The dorms of girls and boys in 2006. Each of the two dorms can host around 100 children. The standard of the dorms are above average, so the children will find the right environment to focus on learning, playing and resting.
About thirty staff are working in the boarding section: cooks, nurses, security guards, matrons and supervisors.
Late afternoon at LPS. The day-school pupils are waiting to be taken home by one of our school busses. The children’s homes are up to 30 km away from the school, they could never cover that distance by bicycle, let alone on foot.
It is quite amazing how many children can board a bus in just a few minutes. You could show that on TV.
LPS School Bus before departure
In comparison to Manuel Alexander School, everything appears bigger and better at Likunda Primary, even the sports field. But then, it is only quality that makes the difference, and there is a healthy competition going on among the schools of Mekaela Academies.
The schools have accepted the challenges and conduct endless competition to find out which schools leads in the academic, athletic or artistic field. Even our staff has acquired the spirit of competition, and they participate in the weekly football tournaments as if they were to qualify for the World Cup. Crazy they are, all of them.
Sports Day at LPS
At the end of 2005, LPS desperately required new classrooms for expansion. We decided to relocate the Kindergarten classes, so we would obtain three additional classrooms for the primary section.
This is Michael’s first sketch of the new Kindergarten facility at the upper end of the LPS plot. The design is again a mixture of African and European styles and adapts to the circumstances of the South Coast environment. The roof is made of makuti (palm leafs), and the floor is about one metre above ground level to prevent rain water from entering the building.
Up to 120 children may join Baby and Kindergarten classes in this building.
Drawing of Kindergarten
Thanks to Michael’s skills, the new Kindergarten of LPS has become a beauty, even if the total cost were less than 70.000 Euros. Most of the funds were once again contributed by Simone and Gerd Blanke.
We pursued a different approach in design and construction to significantly reduce building expenses for our project in the future. It was the right decision to employ Jack Ochieng, a Kenyan architect who continuously supervises our projects. Not only new buildings are managed professionally, he also makes sure maintenance of older premises is conducted orderly and in time. This has helped to raise the standards of Mekaela Academies even further.
The new kindergarten 2007
One year after its opening the new Kindergarten is already packed to its limits. After the parents convinced themselves of the good quality of the building and its equipment, we were awash in applications. Of course LPS is also very popular because of its relatively close distance to Ukunda where most of the families live.
Children of LPS KG
Eventually even the space we obtained from the new Kindergarten wasn’t enough any longer. After LPS achieved the 1st place in the national KCPE exams of 2006 we had so many applications from desperate parents we dedided to add a second stream to the primary section (e.g. Std. 4A and Std. 4b B).
For that purpose we erected a second storey on the buildings with up to 6 new classrooms, which increased capacity by around 100 places.
Second storey of LPS
Please meet the peacock of LPS. It is not the heraldic animal of LPS, but could well be simply because of his magnificent colours. The animal came to LPS because of some survey and was left with us (Thank you). The turquoise colour of his feathers perfectly match the colours of the LPS school uniforms.
Maybe that is the reason why so many chicken run around the MAS compound.