Out of every ten Kenyan children, two do not receive any education at all, eight will go to primary school, but only TWO will continue into secondary school. In 2003, the Kenya government brought in a policy of “free compulsory primary education” However Kenya is a developing nation and state funding of primary schools is limited to the training, and salaries of primary teachers and providing a limited number of text books. Buildings and equipment must be provided by the parents and community.
Communities have to make a charge for each child attending primary school, in addition to frequent fundraising “Harambee’s” to pay for school construction and maintenance. However, in most rural areas nearly 60% of the population live below the poverty line of $1 (60p) per day, therefore it is difficult to pay for one child and impossible to pay for two or three to attend the school. This poverty leads to very basic buildings. About 10-12 text books are shared in a class of 35 children. We assist schools with gifts of text books, exercise books, pens & pencils, and to ensure that the books are in line with the curriculum being taught we buy these from local businesses which also helps the economy of the area.
We pay the school charges and provide uniforms for about 50 needy children to get them back to school. Pupils in Kenya we find, are very keen to learn, and overcome many of the limitations to achieve good results in their KCPE examinations. Unfortunately, due to poverty only 20% of them are able to continue at secondary level.
Our education budget is also helping communities with maintenance work to bring school buildings up to a reasonable standard.
We have also started a programme of constructing new classrooms to accommodate the increase in pupil numbers due to the 2003 Education Act.
These are built to the new standards required, far higher than in previous buildings.