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Recognizing Jared Opondo: How Principal Transformed Maliera Boys From A Mean Of 4 to 9 And Dealt With Drugs Abuse And Indiscipline

In Summary

  • Jared Opondo is the man who dared to cradle Maliera Boys High School with both of his hands at a time when the institution was known for distasteful and dangerous attributes.
  • When he set foot at the Siaya-based school, it had a miserable mean of 4 points in KCSE and it was struggling to deal with a drug menace coupled with frequent cases of arson.
  • Currently, the transformation of Maliera has been outstanding as the institution registered a mean of 9.06 points in last year’s examination and has one of the best school choirs in Kenya.

When Jared Opondo set foot in Maliera Boys High School located in Gem, Siaya County, the negative attributes made him feel the pain of wearing the badge of shame. But as a new captain, he was ready to preen the school into something different.

When I arrived here, this school was known for drug abuse, indiscipline and Maliera was burnt almost every term. It really pained me,” he recalls.

Stakeholders involvement

To iron out all the mess, Opondo organized a meeting with all stakeholders where it they agreed that the school’s trajectory had to be fixed urgently.

We sat together with stakeholders: the board of management, the community members, Teachers Service Commission, and Ministry of Education officials, and our talk was purely on how to salvage Maliera.”

“We all agreed that if Maliera went the way it was, we were (going to) ruin the lives of our children,” Opondo told Maisha TV.

After the meeting, each party played its role with the community members acting as spies and reporting students who sneaked out of school. The teachers put in the hard work needed to mold the institution into a desirable one.

Steady academic improvement

From a mean of 4 points, the school rose to 5.2 in 2020, 6 in 2021, 7 in 2022, and an impressive 9.06 in 2023. Despite not having any of the candidates scoring an ‘A’, Maliera has 162 candidates achieve the required grades for university admission with only 3 missing out.

The institution had 12 candidates scoring A-, 50 B+, 57 B, 32 B-, 11 C+, and 3 scored C plain. The principal attributed this exemplary performance to the candidates’ discipline, positivity, and focus. Additionally, Opondo hints that the tutors had strategically come up with a blueprint policy where teachers were assigned specific candidates per their academic strengths.

One of the best school choirs

Maliera also boasts of one of the best school choirs in the country. Over the years, it has been known as a giant, especially in the Rhumba/Zilizopendwa class with its items being performed at the national level.

Lately, the school has partnered with a local studio to have its choir performances recorded and uploaded on YouTube.