When Kenya closed schools in March due to the spreading pandemic, the students and teachers in our partner schools lost their lifeline. Some students are now forced to find work when possible because any additional income made will go a long way in supporting their families. The Ministry of Education has now confirmed that all schools will remain closed until January 2021.
Online Learning for Students
With the decision on school closure, we are responding by providing a unique opportunity for our students to continue learning. We have created a space for positive social interactions where our students continue to learn as they interact with other students and mentors every week. Our distance learning opportunity focuses on student identity and students’ identification of challenges in their community that they are willing to tackle while strengthening their communication skills and other essential competencies needed to succeed in life. We provide students with data bundles to each student so they can connect to the classes three times a week. This means that students need to have access to a smart phone to participate. Because of this reason, we have not been able to reach all our students, as many of the families have no access to these devices.
We are also working to support our schools to meet the Government requirements for school reopening in January 2021. For schools without running water, this means creating hand washing stations and providing other required supplies so that families do not have to struggle with higher school fees in 2021.
How you can connect and support
We need your support so we can sustain our classes until end of 2020, get devices for other students where possible and prepare our partners so they can be ready for re-opening in 2021. You can join us on this journey by donating on our website (There is a donate button on each page). You can also make a difference by becoming a Patreon donor! Each gift helps us plan for a brighter future! See our Patreon Page here and register today. Kenya Big Picture Learning – Patreon Page
Our Partner Schools
Kibera is home to an estimated 600,000 children. However, there are only three accessible public schools serving 10,000 of these children. We have found similarly low public school coverage in other informal settlements and marginalized communities, such as Kangemi and Kawangware. To respond to the overwhelming need, individuals open “informal schools”, or as we call them, community schools.
Community schools often face resource and capacity constraints, but are necessary to fill the wide education access gap in poor communities.
In Nairobi, there are far fewer trained educators than children in need of education. In fact, a recent study published by the African Population and Health Research Center revealed that in Nairobi, 46% of teachers are untrained. In poor communities, the rate is even higher. KBPL found that 60% of teachers in community schools in Kawangware are untrained. Yet the dedication and commitment to quality education we have seen in teachers and school leaders is an invaluable resource.