Each year, apart from the usual headline activities we undertake like building school buildings, we also strive to equip our project schools with the necessary resources required for learning.
In all our project schools, we partner with the communities as well the government of Kenya. First, our schools are built on public utility land and become public schools right away which are supposed to be fully supported by the government as part of the Free Primary Education (F.P.E) program. This program should ideally provide all the resources needed in a school, teachers and administrators, stationery, textbooks, support staff like a watchman and a cook, repair and maintenance of the school etc.
However, from our experience there’s one glaring area the government doesn’t do well for a new school like the ones we build; provision of textbooks. The way the government runs the FPE program for public school assumes that the school has been existing for a long time like a majority of public schools. Only a small portion of FPE fund goes to replenish the textbooks quantities and variety. This is why we felt it was necessary to come in and buy initial textbooks resources especially for the very new schools we build even before they are registered and eligible for FPE program.
In 2015, we were able to buy textbooks for two schools, Safina Haji Primary School (Haji Farm) and Sinendet Primary School (Lemolo B). These were the new schools that WTA completed in 2015 and therefore such textbooks would help a lot. We provided textbooks for use in all classes even though not as much as we would like. Now as the school enrolls into the FPE program, they have something to start with and can build on that.
It is a much more difficult task to raise funds for textbooks and other ‘software’ resources needed in school since most donors like to give money towards building the classrooms-a very good thing in itself. However, in achieving the results needed; that is educating the children, these ‘software’ resources are equally important.
Sometimes people will ask us if they can donate old textbooks they don’t need anymore, this is not an effective gift. The kids in Kenya will not use such textbooks in their learning. Even older Kenyan textbooks are not approved for use in the classroom since the Ministry of Education revises the curriculum to fit with the changing times. The best gift in my experience is money to buy new textbooks. This also means we buy in bulk and can get discounts that enable us to buy more needed textbooks.
As we start this already amazing year, we will be building three new schools which is fantastic and a first for us. We will need a lot more than we have raised before in order to properly equip the new schools, it’s my hope that you can stand with us even on such an endeavor.
To all the people involved in raising these funds, we say THANK YOU and your gift will have such meaningful impact on young minds!
WTA Field Rep