The Problem

What are the contextual barriers that hold back children in Kenya’s underprivileged schools from achieving their full potential?

  • In Kenya, more than 850,000 primary school students lack access to quality education to develop their full potential. (UNICEF)
  • Over 1 million children in Kenya are out of school. (UNICEF, Situation of children and adolescents 2018)
  • On average, 6 out of 100 Kenyan children aged 6 – 16 years have never enrolled in school. (Source - Uwezo Annual Learning Assessment Report 2015)
  • Nationally, 8 out of 100 pupils in Class 8 cannot do Class 2 work across the country. (Source - Uwezo Annual Learning Assessment Report 2015)
  • Children going through the Kenyan education system are losing an estimated three years of learning. When years of schooling are adjusted for quality of learning, this is only equivalent to 7.8 years, a learning gap of 2.9 years. This means Kenyan school-going children are having a learning loss of close to three years. Going to school doesn’t mean that children are learning and this is mainly because of the quality of education. (World Bank, 2019)

The Opportunity

What would change the trajectory of children in Kenya’s low income communities?

The only way to address these complex and interconnected challenges is through collective leadership – and we propose building a movement of Teach For Kenya fellows and alumni working alongside local communities, who are committed to developing local solutions to challenges in the following dimensions:

  • School and communities’ basic infrastructure (teacher housing, classrooms)
  • Early childhood education
  • Increased government investment in education
  • Curriculum alignment between primary and secondary levels
  • Family support & engagement in children’s education
  • Focus on girls’ education
  • Attracting talent to the teaching profession to close teacher gap
  • 21st century skills including closing the digital divide
  • Books and other teacher resources
  • Focus on primary instruction in English, Math and Science
  • Teacher in-service training and leadership development
  • Healthcare & nutrition

Our Solution

How would Teach For Kenya fuel the change?

Leveraging the support of the local authorities, parents, schools principals, teachers, students, and other key stakeholders and other local NGOs, Teach For Kenya will:

  • Tackle systemic challenges within low income schools by cultivating a long-term movement of leaders including alumni, allies, and community members in pursuit of progress towards a vision for student success. In particular, Teach For Kenya alumni will contribute to the ecosystem transformation starting with the Mukuru Kwa Njenga area with hopes to scale through social innovation, policy influencing, and community development.

  • Contribute to the transformation of low income schools as national hubs of innovation and community development by contributing Teach For Kenya fellows and alumni who become social innovators working alongside local stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions.

  • Help address the shortage of quality teachers in schools by recruiting and selecting Kenya’s diverse and promising future leaders to channel their energy into expanding opportunity for children in their communities. Targeted candidates would include recent graduates from the country’s most prominent universities.

  • Support the capacity development of the existing pool of teachers in Mukuru Kwa Njenga, by also recruiting and selecting committed teachers in the area to become Teach For Kenya fellows who can benefit from the initial training and ongoing support of the fellowship. Also, we would offer opportunities for ongoing support to teachers in partner primary schools who are not part of the fellowship.

  • Prepare primary students for a successful transition to secondary education by placing Teach For Kenya fellows as teachers for at least two years in Kenya’s most under-resourced primary schools and communities. Teach For Kenya fellows will focus their teaching on English, Math, and Science, through practical instruction, while also developing socio-emotional and 21st century skills in their studentshelping expand the pipeline for leadership in Kenya.

  • Strengthen parent engagement and support to children’s education by developing mindsets and skills in fellows to work alongside community members, families, and local leaders towards a shared vision for student success. In particular, Teach For Kenya will work with parents to build a deep understanding on the importance of education for all.

teachforOur Model