*The following blog was written by our Kenya Programme Coordinator. Please note the comments below are entirely the opinion of Chrispinus Adams Okumu and do not reflect the organisation's as a whole.*
Written by: Chrispinus Adams Okumu (Gua Africa Kenya Programme Coordinator)
The Kakuma Teacher Support Programme is one of our major successes of 2015. Established in the summer, the Programme was designed to help address the low quality of education among the refugee children in Kakuma Refugee Camp Schools in Northern Kenya.
We sent three qualified teachers (who had themselves graduated from our degree level teacher training programme) to Kakuma. They are currently based in two schools. Two of the teachers are teaching at Somali Bantu Secondary School. The above photo shows one of these teachers with a group of students outside their classroom. The remaining teacher was assigned duties at the Kakuma Refugee Secondary School.
The arrival of our teachers in the Kakuma Refugee Camp has been a great boost in addressing quality education in these schools; particularly given that a large proportion of the teachers in these schools are untrained.
- An increased number of students taking Physics as an examinable subject after getting help from the two Gua Africa teachers teaching Physics
- Improved performance in Biology among female students after extra coaching received from one of our teachers
- Improved relationships among South Sudanese students from the two main ethnic communities. The unrest in South Sudan extends to the refugee camps, this can be characterised by divisions among students/young people from the two major communities. A reconciliation programme was initiated by our teachers in the refugee camp secondary schools upon their arrival. It is progressing well.
- Our teachers' participation in the Kenya Equity Education Programme (KEEP) has led to remarkable improvement among girls in academic performance. KEEP promotes extra tuition coaching among girls. This programme also supplies sanitary towels to girls in schools.
- Overpopulated classrooms making it hard to effectively attend to students (classes often larger than 100 students - see the photo below for an example)
- Evaluation of students' performance not efficient as students sometimes copy from each other during exams since they sit closely squeezed together
- Lack of teaching and reference materials including text books
- Lack of equipment Laboratories for effective teaching of science subjects
- Lack of play grounds for students
- Absenteeism amongst girls due to lack fo sanitary products
Kakuma Refugee Camp is host to the world's most populated school, Hope Primary School, which has 7,636 students! In conclusion the need for more trained teachers in Kakuma is still enormous.
I want to thank our donors for their support in enabling us to maintain this important programme.