Vision and Mission
Vision: a world where the injustice of extreme poverty is ended, and where all children can flourish.
Mission: to deliver affordable, high-quality education to Kenya’s underprivileged children.
PROBLEMS IN SLUMS
The period immediately after independence saw a large influx of rural-urban migrants seeking economic opportunities in the highly concentrated manufacturing and service industries in major towns. The migrations gave rise to unplanned settlements in towns and cities, which came to be referred to as ‘slums’, ‘urban squatters’ or ‘informal settlements’. The Kenya Government Policy on District Focus for Rural Development (DFRD) (1985) failed to address the situation, since resources remained concentrated in towns and cities. Unplanned settlements continued to grow to a level where the ‘slum’ populations exceeded ‘non-slum’ city populations. These settlements are characterised by the absence of adequate social amenities such as schools and hospitals.
Even though Basic Education for All has been written in Constitution of Kenya since 2010, public school is catering less than 30% of school-aged children under its 8-4-4 curriculum, whilst the private schools are only for the privileged few. As a result, majority of the students attend non-formal, low-cost, private schools. To lower the cost, many teachers are untrained and classrooms are not spacious enough. However, according to the Nairobi City County Taskforce on Education Report (2014), "the public primary schools in Nairobi have on average posted inferior results to the non-public schools (private and complementary schools); the public schools do not compete favourably with the private and complementary schools". This is because public school is over-populated (often teacher student ratio can be 1:60 to 1:80 per class), and government teacher has no incentive to care for individual students as their salary is static.
Designing Tailor-made Programs
In addition to continue advocating for our members, we initiate programs to increase student performance, teaching quality and school capacity. We decided to start with improving teaching quality by lowering the cost of teaching training. We launched our first 5-day pilot ECDE (Early Childhood Development Education) Program on Aug 22, 2016 for teachers from 220 different schools from four slums (Kibera, Mathare, Embakasi and Kasarani) in Nairobi in partnership with Complementary Schools Association of Kenya. The pilot was to test whether community-based, in-service training can lower the cost by 75% in comparison to formal government training college. The pilot has been a success in terms of its cost effectiveness - as proven by the financial statement and evaluations results of government assessors and independent researchers. Our work now is to scale the pilot to cover the content of two-year training in formal college while maintaining the low cost, so that our teachers can pass the national examination and register under Teacher Service Commission (TSC), so that our teachers have the same qualification as public and private school teachers.
In the long-term, we aim to:
Build capacity through induction and seminars for teachers and managers
Manage and coordinate of internal exams within slum schools
Lobby and advocate to other relevant stake holders for slum schools
Mobilize of funds to develop the network and participation of slum schools
Complement the government efforts in the provision of quality education and eradicate illiteracy
Monitor and evaluate member schools to follow guidelines, standards and laws