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Volunteer to be a teacher in primary schools Kenya

A short history for our volunteers about Kenya´s education system in 2011

In 2002, during the general elections in Kenya, The National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) made a strong case for implementing free primary education in the whole of Kenya. Following it´s victory, the Minister for Education, Science and Technology launched a special program, called FPE, Free Primary Education. Fees for tuition in primary education were subsequently abolished which had some surprising consequences. Increasing numbers of children are getting educated every year since then. In 2003, some districts had an increase of 20 % children in their primary school system.

However, the influx of new pupils did not coincide with more educational funds from the government to maintain schoolbuildings or increase the number of professional teachers. Volunteer organisations did help out a lot but it was only a drop in a bucket. As a result, many teachers in Kenya nowadays struggle to teach their increasing population of pupils. The Ministry of Education even insists that primary school teachers must be assigned at least six subjects a day. It´s a great ambition but experts say that this underfunded ambition compromises the quality of education in Kenya´s primary schools. And this is where you come in. As a volunteer teaching in one of these primary schools you will unburden the load of many schoolteachers at that school.

To unburden Kenya´s educators

Currently, at Butterfly4Volunteers you can sign up to be a teacher in a primary school at the island of Lamu or in the city of Mombassa. You will teach English and Mathematics. At Butterfly4Volunteers you will help to unburden the stress in Kenya´s educational system. At present the government is still not up to speed with funding and organisation, maintenance and newly trained teachers. If you want to help out it will have a significant positive effect on the entire system. Evidently, many drops in the bucket will fill it eventually.

Information about the primary school system in Kenya

Education is not entirely free of charge in Kenya. Parents still have to pay for uniforms (which are mandatory) and other requirements. Children go to primary school from the age of 6 until they are 13 years old. In that year they sit for the national examination (KCPE), the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. Kids who fail this exam sometimes go to technical schools for learning masonry or carpentry, girls can learn tailoring or learn how to cook. If children pass this primary schoolexam, they can go to High School where they study for 4 years. At age 17, they have topass another examination, the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

Basis requirement to be a primary school teacher in Lamu or Mombassa at Butterfly4Volunteers:

The volunteer should have:

  • At least have a diploma on education and training
  • Should be vetted by the government
  • Should be ready to volunteer for 3 or 6 months
  • Should be able to work in hardship areas
  • Should be of age 20 years and above

When children leave High School, the next step

For those children who pass the High school exam at age 17, the most logical step, if financially possible, is to proceed to university. Some universities are privately sponsored and more expensive but the government universities permit the students to take up loans, to enable them to pay for their education. However, many high school graduates will not take the final step to university because of poor financial means, pregnancy or other reasons.

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