Ngara Girls’ High School started as an Asian mixed secondary school during the colonial era in 1957. The first head of the school was Mr. Waller. Five years later, in 1962, the boys were moved to Nairobi South ‘B’ where they started the present day Highway Secondary School. The following year, 1963, which was Kenya’s year of independence, the school, being a girls’ day school, received its first lady headmistress, Mrs. Serah Joseph who served the school for only one year. She was replaced by Mrs. Reina D’Souza in 1964. It was this year when the Ominde Commission abolished the system of education in Kenyan schools based on racial lines. Ngara Girls’ High School was now open to all races. However, the school still remained under the management of Asian heads up to 1987 when Mrs. Ottaro (the first African headmistress of the school) took over from Mrs. Vimala Chaudry, the longest serving head of the school (1968-87)
For a long time, efforts were made to turn the school from a day school to a boarding school. The project took root in 1986 when classrooms that used to be for ‘A’ level tuition were renovated to make dormitories for Form Four girls. This was done after the Kenyan government had adopted the recommendations of the McKay Commission which did away with the 7-4-2-3 Educational System and adopted the present 8-4-4 system. At this time, Mrs. Macharia was the principal of the school. One factor that made it easy to turn Form Fours into boarders was because the previous principal, Mrs. Ottaro had organized for the school canteen to be renovated into a kitchen which was already serving hot lunches for the students.
Under Mrs. Macharia, parents, students and teachers embarked on various activities to raise funds to put up more boarding facilities for the students. This was done through harambee contributions, sale of raffle tickets, walks and even variety shows.
In 1996, the Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF) gave a grant and together with the parents’ contribution and money raised by the students from walks, sale of raffle tickets and variety shows, a new hostel complex was started. The phase one part of the hostel complex had two floors which managed to accommodate 372 girls after completion. These were Form 3 and 4 students. The 348 day scholars continued to waste a lot of time commuting to and from their homes. The matatu menace continued to interfere with their discipline and therefore academic performance. The boarders were also getting a lot of influence from outside through the day scholars. There was therefore one urgent need; to have all the students in the hostel so that we could concentrate on only one agenda which was to uplift the academic standards of the school. This was one of the tasks which Mrs. Josephine Mwandoe who became the new principal of the school in 2000 took in her stride.
Mrs. Mwandoe wasted no time and organized for a harambee which was held on 8th September 2001. The money collected helped to complete the two top floors of the hostel complex and 180 girls were accommodated in it leaving 168 girls out as day scholars. This was not enough. The school community wanted all the girls in the hostel. New challenges also came up for example, the security of the students and frequent blackouts. Therefore, as parents continued digging deeper into their pockets to raise funds to put up a new hostel block, they also had to try and raise funds for the construction of a perimeter wall round the school and for the purchase of a generator.
The new hostel block was constructed and completed in 2004. It accommodated the rest of the students who had been locked out of boarding. Ngara Girls’ High School therefore, became a full boarding school. A stone wall was constructed round the school and Securicor Company (the present day Group 4 Security) was approached to install a security alarm system in the school. The school is now under 24 hour surveillance by the company. To curb the problem of frequent blackouts, parents contributed money and a generator was bought, which goes on automatically whenever there is a blackout.
The school has a clinic which is run by a full time school nurse. This clinic is an important facility in the school because it deals with the health of the students, both mentally and physically. The clinic is fully equipped with adequate drugs and other medical tools.
The school can also boast of a computer laboratory which was opened in May 2007. This is a great inspiration to the students. The ones taking the computer lessons enjoy them very much.
Mrs Munyasya came on board in January 2009 and under her able leadership the school’s infrastructure has been renovated and both the students and staff are enjoying the change that has come. Higher academics standards have started taking root.