The idea of starting St. Sylvester’s Girls Secondary School was first mooted by the now Rt. Rev. Linus Okok in 1986. The Bishop saw by then the Paris Priest of Madiany Catholic Church, which formed part of the vast catholic archdiocese of Kisumu. Bishop Linus was transferred before he could put his dream into reality. His place was taken by the vivacious Rev. Marcellers Kawasanga who did not hesitate to start the much needed school for girls.
Madiany is situated at the center of the four major clans of Uyoma; Kobong clan in Central Uyoma, Kabudha in South Uyoma, Katweng’a in East Uyoma and Kokwiri in West Uyoma. Each clan supported a secondary school but none of the girls.
Most of the girls, after completing their Primary level examinations, would have to either travel 50 kms to Lwak, Nyamira or Aluor to join the existing girls secondary schools at the time. The Catholic Church in conjunction with the local community of Madiany, put their first four classrooms. The school admitted her first students on 2ND February, 1987.
The Head teacher of Madiany Primary School nearby became the St. Sylvester’s Girls’ first Principal. He served for ony one year before Mrs. Mary Hinde, a British widow educationist, was identified by the school sponsors and asked her to be the official principal of the school. With support from her children, well wishers and friends, Mary put up a science laboratory, a staff room, three dormitories and four more classes. The student population quickly rose to over 360 in just four years.
Unfortunately, this increase in the number did not commiserate with the academic performance of the students. Parents, eager to have their daughters qualify for competitive courses in the Kenyan Universities, began to withdraw their daughters from Madiany to have them admitted to other better performing schools. The number dwindled over a period of time and by 2000, the school was almost being closed down due to a dismal population of less than 20 pupils in the entire school from form one to four. Mary Hinde had been transferred and her place taken by three other local principals in quick succession; Grace Jabuto, Jane Ikadu and Pamella Audi.
The Franciscan Sisters of St. Anna, having opened a new convent at Madiany in 1996 and seeing how much the school needed rehabilitation, posted on of their own Sr. Celestine Mangiti to the school from closing down. Through a spirit of enduring prayer, discipline and hard work and with the support of the support of her congregation and the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kisumu, Sr. Celestine, slowly and skillfully rebuilt St. Sylvester’s population while at the same time struggling to bring up the academic performance. By the end of the year 2003, the number had risen to 83 students with the performance also improving from a mean of 2.79 to 4.93.
The present Principal, Sr. Agatha Auma, took over in the year 2004. By the end of year, there were 104 students. The number has steadily risen to the present 268 pupils with the Mean Grades oscillating between 4.038 and 5.418. The present administrator has established a Computer Laboratory, bought a 33-Seater School Bus and Constructed an 80 Bed Capacity Modern Dormitory among othe notable achievements. There is electricity and running tap water in the school, thanks to Donor Support and Government Grants for improving School Infrastructure
- The school is still very much under populated. The school can carry a maximum of 400 students.
- Sanitation facilities are very dilapidated
- Very low KCPE Entry Marks into the school in Form One, making it very hard for students to perform well in KCSE.
- Community Support is lacking since none of the four major clans of Uyoma identifies with the school when it comes to distribution of resources or CDF Allocations.
- Increased number of orphans in the school, majority of whom have no one to pay their fees or cater for their basic day to day needs.
- Inadequate teachers: The school needs at least six more teachers to be employed by the Government. The worst shortages are in
a) Home Science/ Business
b) Computer Studies/ Physics
c) Kiswahili / CRE
e) English Language/ Literature
f) Physics/ Mathematics
- Increase students population by improving performance and aiming at quality grades.
- Construct modern toilets and bathrooms especially for both students and staff.
- Complete construction of the two classrooms started last year.