Until 1999, Karuri was one of the poorest schools in the area; all of the buildings were made of mud and there were no books for the children. The old mud classrooms were rapidly crumbling, and the iron roofs let in most of the rain. Little light came through the windows, which made reading extremely difficult.
Karuri was completely rebuilt between 1997 and 1999 at a cost of £35,000. The new school has 8 classrooms, a staffroom and offices. In 2003 a new stone water tank was finished. The community was heavily involved in construction and planning throughout. Much of the labour was undertaken by unwaged members of the Karuri community. The school was built to a very high specification; the stone classrooms are large, airy buildings, and the windows are fully glazed throughout.
Further donations in the last few years have allowed further improvements to be made. Karuri has new furniture, noticeboards and cupboards in every classroom, and a good staffroom and Headmaster's office. They have also received permanent metal football and volleyball posts. In 2005 a library was added, which is fully furnished and equipped with some new books. It is available for use by parents as well as pupils. In addition, the nursery school at the end of the playing fields is nearly complete; the parents have been able to raise the funds for its construction themselves with money that would in the past have been spent on school fees or the construction and maintenance of the main primary school.
Karuri now has 280 pupils, having started with 120 in 1999, and is thriving academically.
Although Karuri is a relatively new building, we have had problems with acidity in the sand, which has caused slight erosion of the floors. This will need to be rectified at some point, although it is not an immediate priority. Future building projects will source higher quality sand from further afield. In addition, we will always need more books for Karuri's library.