The education system in Kenya has had several mandatory curriculum changes in development since 2017 and being fully implemented during 2023/24. They have moved from an 8-4-4 to a 2-6-3-3-3 system. Simply, this means we need to provide two years in kindergarten, six years in primary school, three years in junior secondary, then find a way to support children in three years of senior secondary.
We must, of course, accommodate these curriculum changes and in so doing, are making some other changes that better focus our efforts on maximising outcomes for the children, further empowering our school’s leadership and optimising the use of funds.
Accordingly, Jolauarabi school has now registered as a lower secondary which means that we will retain our primary students through to completion of junior secondary, prior to proceeding to senior school.
Secondary funding at its current level allows children to advance into adulthood and complete their secondary certificate before hopefully proceeding to the college and university if they can access the funding.
Over and above the mandatory changes, we also face some issues with our current approach, namely, a substantial proportion of our current students are not achieving acceptable results at secondary school. There are many issues that need to be addressed here. Sponsor payments only cover school fees and families are required to provide other expenses, we feel this is an important principle to ensure the families are engaged, however as many of our children come from such impoverished backgrounds, books, transport and study opportunities are affecting the outcomes, and it’s an area we need to improve.
From a bursary fund we can support the additional costs involved in running the lower secondary in our current premises. Children who qualify for senior secondary by passing the national exams can apply to this fund for support in senior high school, along with children who need a bike to get to school or a new schoolbooks and other assistance This fund will also pay for an after school tuition group for our secondary students, (they are expected to study for at least two hours per evening) and as many of our students have poor home circumstances they are finding this challenging.
These changes may also mean that we retain more sponsorship at the primary/lower secondary level as currently when a student goes to secondary school, the funding paid by the sponsor is transferred to another school, meaning that our school’s facilities or resources no longer benefit.
In the long term (as soon as funding becomes available) we would like to support and develop of vocational training classes for the students who don’t qualify for secondary school or bursary grants. We currently have several students on apprenticeships and feel this is an area we could develop that would prepare those children who are not going onto formal higher education to flourish.
Sponsors who wish to continuing supporting the child they have sponsored at primary level will of course be asked to continue with the same child (if the child passes national exams), we hope to run the bursary fund alongside this and provide a better way of helping our students fulfil their ambitions.
If you have any questions or suggestions relating to the above, or feel the you have the means to contribute towards our bursary please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org