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Fountain Baptist Church/GLP Kenya Educational Program at Isunguluni

The Republic of Kenya

Map of Kenya

Situated on the eastern coast of Africa, Kenya lies astride the equator. Its total area, including 11,230 sq km (4,336 sq mi) of water, is 582,650 sq km (224,962 sq mi). Kenya is notable for its topographical variety. It has a low-lying, fertile coastal region, characterized by coral reefs and islands, which flows into a gradually rising coastal plain then a dry region covered with savanna and thorn bush. About 480 km (300 mi) inland, the plain gives way in the southwest to a high plateau, rising in parts to more than 3,050 m (10,000 ft), on which most of the population and the majority of economic activities are concentrated. The northern section of Kenya, forming three-fifths of the whole territory, is arid and of semi-desert character, as is the bulk of the southeastern quarter.

Economy/Demographics/Geography

Both free enterprise and a measure of political debate helped make Kenya one of Africa's most stable nations after it achieved independence from Britain in 1963. But, more recently, corruption has been an undermining force, and the government-pressured for reform-moved to a multiparty system early in the last decade of the century. Barriers to progress are high population growth, electricity shortages, inefficiency in key sectors.

Kenya has some 44 ethnic groups. The largest are the Kikuyu, forming 20 percent of the population, the Luya, 14 percent; the Luo, 12 percent; the Kalenjin, 11 percent; and the Kisii, 6 percent. Depending on their language and the origin of their migratory pattern about a thousand years ago, ethnic groups in Kenya are classified as Bantu-speakers (69 percent), Nilotic (27 percent), or Cushitic (3 percent).

Intense competition for arable land drives thousands to cities, where unemployment is high. In Nairobi, East Africa's commercial hub, skyscrapers abruptly give way to slums.

Tourism is essential to the economy. Population: 28,809,000 (1999 est.). Ecological Problems: Poaching, particularly of the elephant and black rhino is rampant.

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Historical Overview

European exploration of Africa increased during the mid-1880s and after the subsequent Berlin Conference (1884), which recognized the Kenyan coast (leased from the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1888) as a British sphere of influence. The opening of the coast and then the interior to British settlers saw them expropriating the best land from the Africans, especially the Kikuyu, and forced many Kenyans onto European farms or themselves switching to cash crops of tobacco, coffee, and tea.

Confrontations flared between indigenous Africans and European settlers over dissatisfaction with the British colonial system, culminating with the so-called Mau Mau Rebellion in 1952–56. This would eventually lead to Kenya's independence on 12 December 1963.

Kenya's Education Challenges

The World Bank (in its Primary and Secondary Education in Kenya: a Sector Review) noted that the completion rates had been slipping over time – from a high of 95% completion rate at primary level in the 1970s to some 64% in the 1990s. Perhaps most worrying of all was the evidence of deterioration in student performance at the secondary level:

Mean scores in the secondary-completion examination (KCSE), especially in mathematics and the sciences, have fallen over time. If one goes by the KCSE results, students are not even absorbing as much as 10-15% of the curriculum material in subjects, such as mathematics, that they are expected to know by the end of their secondary schooling. (World Bank 1998: 92)

The World Bank also noted the impact of income disparities and inequities in access to both primary and secondary schooling. Despite being officially free, for example, primary education required from parents significant charges, levies and fees. Secondary education was not free, but its cost was more than two times the per capita consumption expenditure for those in the poorest quintile of the population.

GLP Project Areas

Map of Kenya's Administrative Districts

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Kenya Initiatives-Global Literacy Project Sites (2000-2005-2010)

Western Kenya

Teso District (HLC Initiative)

Kakapel Commmunity Learning Center-Western Kenya

GLP is in the midst of a multi-year project to create school libraries and Community Learning Centers in several Teso district sites.

  • GLP has helped to establish two computer centers in local high schools (Kolanya Boys and St. Paul's Amukura).
  • GLP, working to support the local community based organization PAMLO-Amagoro, donated a multi-million dollar science library collection to the Jomo Kenyatta University for Agriculture and Technology.
    • In return the university agreed to establish and award 10 full scholarships at JKUAT in order to increase the availability of technologically skilled people in the district
  • In 2003 GLP also helped establish library/CLC in Teso district (Kakapel) as part of its Community Learning Center initiative.
    • In 2004 this Kakapel CLC was voted Best Village Community Learning Resource Centre during Kenya's 2004 International Literacy Day Celebrations.

Current HLC Strategy

Note that we try to pair secondary schools with local primary schools. We strive to create GLP Clubs in the secondary school with the goal of having students from that secondary school mentor primary school students.

PRIMARY SCHOOLS:

  1. Chamasiri Primary School
  2. Kolanya Primary School (Proposed)
  3. Kolanya Girls Primary School-Boarding school (Proposed)
  4. Chelelemuk Primary School
  5. Moding Primary School
  6. Ataba Oburi Primary School (Not paired)
  7. Kawalun Primary School (Not paired)
  8. Kakemer Primary School (Not paired)
  9. Kakapel Primary School (Next to GLP's Kakapel Library)

SECONDARY SCHOOLS

  1. Chamasiri Secondary School (Co-ed; Day and boarding)
  2. Kolanya Boys High School (boarding school)
  3. Kolanya Girls Secondary School (Boarding school)
  4. Bishop Sulumeti Girls High School (Boarding school)
  5. Moding Secondary School (Co-ed; Day and boarding)
  6. Albert Ekirapa High School (Next to GLP's Kakapel Library)

Rachuonyo Village, Rachuonyo, Western Kenya

GLP volunteer Elly Ndire Rachuonyo inspired friends and family to come together and help build a school, Ngeta High School in his home village, Rachuonyo village.

Elly Ndire Rachuonyo raising support for a village library

GLP has provided books for the school library and plans are underway to transform a nearby unoccupied dwelling into a Community Learning Center.

Central Kenya

Nairobi

Nairobi Kids Academy-Kenya

For the last three years GLP has been supporting the Nairobi Kids Academy with educational materials as an exemplar of the difference quality literacy materials make in early childhood.

Jomo Kenyatta University for Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)

GLP-JKUAT Science Library

In 2002/2003 GLP donated a multi-million dollar science library collection to the Jomo Kenyatta University for Agriculture and Technology.

  • The donation was facilitated by librarians Betty Henninger & Andy Grannatt of BASF who arranged the donation by BASF of an entire science library from the company's Agro Research Technical Information Center in Princeton.
  • In return the university agreed to establish and award 10 full scholarships at JKUAT to low income students participating in the GLP-PAMLO initiatives in Western Kenya.
  • This scholarship program will dramatically increase the availability of technologically skilled people in the district and it is expected that scholarship students will commit to provide service learning time in primary and secondary schools in Teso district during their vacations.

Kiriri Women's University of Science & Technology 

Professor Matua of Kiriri University

ABOVE: Jacqueline Heads, Director of Undergraduate Programs at Douglass College, Rutgers University, Professor Rosalind W. Mutua, Vice Chancellor of KWUST, and Denniston Bonadie, VP-Program Development, GLP

In 2003 GLP worked through the Vice Chancellor of Kenya's first Women's University of Science & Technology (KWUST), Professor Prof. Rosalind W. Mutua, to create the core of the new university's library. A key requirement for the new institution to open was that it have a minimum ratio of library books to students.

The LIBRARY at  Kiriri Women’s University of Science & Technology

GLP was pleased to be able to support this new institution and its vision of being "committed to improving the lives of women by empowering them through scientific and technological education and training coupled with sensitization to the needs of and service to the community."

Eastern Kenya

Isunguluni, Makueni (HLC Initiative)

GLP volunteers with students from Isugunlini

GLP has been working with Fountain Baptist Church (New Jersey, USA) since 2003 to provide reference books for the entire school population of Isunguluni Primary School in the Makueni District as well as helping to establish a community library.

In 2008 GLP will be installing a small science lab and begin an annual "Science Camp" for senior students to expose them to the possibilities in science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.).

Maryhill Girls High School, Thica

Form 3 at Maryhill

Maryhill was established in 1933 as an all girls school. Current enrollment is some 560 girls (full capacity +). Current classroom size is about 47/48 students.

  • SCIENCE LABSScience lab at Maryhill
    The school has a room dedicated as a science lab (30 student capacity) but much of the equipment is 20+ years old. Currently the principal estimates that they have five (5) working microscopes).
  • COMPUTER ACCESS
    Dedicated room that can hold up to 50 computers. Currently they have 25 computers (via donations) but only 15 are working.
  • LIBRARY
    Dedicated room (about 25’ x 20’) with limited collection of books and limited furniture. No computerization.
  • CLASSROOM COLLECTIONS
    No book collections in any classroom currently.

GLP Program Goals at Maryhill

  • Restocking the school library.
  • Creating classroom collections.
  • Expanding science capacity.
    • Providing appropriate equipment, science texts and lab manuals.
  • Expanding capacity of the computer center.
    • Providing appropriate texts and developing a hands-on computer assembly class.

Taita Village, Taita-Taveta

GLP provided some 15,000 books to form the core of a new library/Community Learning Center that Mrs. Ruth Asya Mwashimba and her fellow villagers built with their own resources.

A selection of the books also helped to establish school libraries in Wongonyi Primary School and Wongonyi Secondary School.

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