For most village schools in Kenya, holiday break is a time when many students spend many hours of their day performing a wide range of chores including herding cattle, gardening, gathering water and collecting firewood leaving them with little or no time at all to study. However, over this past month of August a group of 14 high school students drawn from 11 different schools had to take a little break from the norm by spending at least half a day of their vacation at the LRC for much needed remedial classes and library use. This group of students is part of Kenya Connect scholarship program that supports needy but very capable students through secondary education. With the help of a college student volunteer these students were given guidance through the challenges, which they identified in different subjects within their course work. Much emphasis was placed on science and math where most students needed help. They were organized into small groups and were able to successfully discuss and improve many of their weak areas in different subjects.
Over and above the coursework, the opportunity of being at the LRC enabled these students to check out some books and magazines to read. With the recent purchase of a magazine rack at the LRC, the magazines are now prominently displayed and look quite appealing to read. Many of the students took the opportunity to read these magazines and the collection of books at the LRC library. It was a meaningful way for these high school students to spend their school holiday vacation.
"This holiday has been life changing! The remedial classes at the LRC have helped me a great deal in my weak areas while the discussion groups enabled us to identify our strengths and build on our weakness. I look forward to do well in my forthcoming final exams in high school."
Alex; A student at Miondoni secondary School
Meanwhile, our students from Nunga, Kituiu and Mwaasua Primary schools who begun computer literacy classes in June are now back after the August school break. These students are busy doing word processing and keyboarding. Slowly but surely this group of students are gaining skills for the 21st century with each passing day.
We remain most grateful to you for supporting this big transformation that continues to happen among our area schools. Your support echos the words of Nelson Mandela that ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’
During this past month of May, we marked our third graduation ceremony with 120 students from Makaalu, Sofia, and a group of teachers graduating after successfully completing a 5-month training program. By attending two-hour intense and hands-on class sessions once a week, these students gained skills on computer hardware, software, word processing, Internet and email. The graduation ceremony was celebrated with music and dance and was officiated by visiting guests from St. John's and Trinity Episcopal communities from Maryland and Virginia, USA who awarded merit certificates to all the graduating students.
This number brings us to a total of 115 teachers and 230 students who have been successfully trained and graduated with computer litercy skills since the Learning Resource center was started in November 2011. Our dream of empowering our students and teachers with the skills for the 21st century is slowly becoming manifest! Thank you all for your great support.
"It was a great opportunity for my students to gain computer skills at the Kenya Connect LRC . Knowing how to navigate through a computer is a solid foundation in building a bright educational future for our students. Our students are most grateful for the training." Mr. Kilonzo: Head teacher Sofia Primary School.
In the meantime, a new group of 180 students drawn from three different schools (Nunga, Kituiu and Mwaasua primary schools) have already started their computer literacy lessons. Both Nunga and Mwaasua are located a long distance from the LRC and therefore the parents of these students have to hire a public bus to bring the students to the LRC. We are looking forward to having a bus to transport students from far away schools in future.
The visting team also brought over 100 more books to the LRC ,therefore buidling up the library resource for our students and teachers. They also conducted a proffesional development worshop for teachers on interactive reading, with a lot of emphasis on reading aloud. Many teachers were able to check out books to use with their own students back at school.
Most important, we are glad to share with our donors that our project is now listed under Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. Microsoft YouthSpark will be running a Match Day on 25th June 2014. All donations made to our project on this day will be matched 100%. We welcome our supporters to consider participating on the bonus day.
As always, we remain most grateful to all our donors. Thank you all for choosing to make a lasting difference in the lives of our students and teachers.
We are most excited to announce the inclusion of a tailored educational training resource in our computer literacy programs that is being piloted among 5 schools! 'Exceed Academy' as it is branded, is a e-learning module for English lesson for standard 5 that was developed by Jacaranda Designs and Avallain Africa. We have commenced piloting this e-learning module among 190 students in standard five from 5 of our enrolled schools at the Kenya Connect Learning Resource Center (LRC). The beneficiary Schools include Makaalu, Mbaikini, Wamunyu ABC, Kambiti and Nyaani Primary Schools. The adoption of this training module has so far been a smooth transition as most of these schools have had prior training on basic computer skills.
'Exceed Academy' module has incoprrated standard 5 English curricullum (as listed in the national primary sylabus) for the first term. The e-module takes learners through language building skills like reading, listening, writting, speaking and holding conversations. The e-module includes instructional tools like video clips, maps and charts, picures, audio recordings etc all which help boost the learner's enjoyment and motivation to learn. It is evident that happy students will achieve higher learning outcomes. Another, resourful feature about this e-module is that it is offering a link between the classroom and the workplace thereby bridging the existing gap between schooling and the work place. Students are presented with an opportunity to discover, explore and most important to apply knowledge. By and large, the lessons in the e-module are promoting communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity/innovation among our students. We are very excited that our team of teachers and students will be trailblazing pioneers as Kenya begins the process of integrating ICT in education. What a great leap forward towards our dream of bringing 21st century learning skills among the rural schools in Wamunyu, Kenya!
"Learning through 'Exceed Academy' is alot of fun and enjoyable than I have ever experienced before! Learning computer has made me to discover the opportunities I have in the future. I now want to be a computer engineer!" Muthomi K. - A grade 5 student at Makaalu Primary School.
We remain most grateful to you our donors for the great support in providing better education opprtunities for the children of Wamunyu. Your commitment and support is going to narture hope and a future among hundreds of thousands of children from our enrolled schools. Again, thank you.
As we draw the curtains for the year 2013 and reflect back to take stock, we are grateful to note what a fruitful year it was. The highlight of 2013 was the culmination of the first anniversary since Kenya Connect solar powered Learning Resource Center was officially opened in November 2012. The Center started off with training for one school – Wamunyu ABC but to date the number has grown to six schools who continue to benefi from computer literacy training program. At the same time, over 100 teachers drawn from all our enrolled schools have been trained. This means that at least two teachers from each of our enrolled schools are computer literate. Over the same period, over 600 students from 8 other schools visited the LRC for a daylong educational visits. Another notable highlight, is that 2013 was the year that re-known master teachers on arts integration from US conducted the first ever professional workshops among our teachers at the LRC. These are just a few among other remarkable milestones in the pursuit of our goal to reach out and improve literacy standards among all students and teachers of the 54 schools enrolled in Kenya Connect.
During the third quarter of 2013, we enrolled three new schools in the training program. They are Sofia PS, Makaalu PS and Makaalu Secondary School. These Schools are located at middle-distance relative to the Center so after 35 minutes walk from school, all the students are sitted at the LRC ready for an instruction class! At the same time, we enrolled a new class of teachers drawn from different enrolled schools. All the four classes have been running concurrently visiting the Center once a week for two-hours training sessions. Over the same period, Mwaasua, Mavitini and Miondoni Primary schools visited the LRC for daylong tours. All students attending trainings continue to show a great sense of motivation to learn new skills.
“I have never experienced a better practical way of learning than what ‘am learning the Kenya Connect LRC”
Mbithe Mwilu, student Sofia PS.
We owe all these accomplishments to your great support through out 2013 and look forward to achieve more in the coming year. Again, thanks for your great support.
Wishing you happy holidays!
We just marked the second graduation of students since the Kenya Connect Learning Resource Center (LRC) was launched in November of 2012. At the event over 100 students graduated marking a 50% increase compared to the last event. The group - 70 students from Mbaikini and Kambiti Primary Schools as well as 35 teachers from different schools - all underwent intense training for a period of 5 months learning word processing, Internet navigation, email messaging, and hands on practical experience regarding the hardware.
The students attended training sessions for two hours once a week. During the training period, all students showed a lot of enthusiasm to learn. As a result it is exciting to note that the class attendance rate was very impressive: over 97%! The culmination of their hard work was marked in a colourful graduation ceremony where everyone was awarded certificates and special awards were given to the exemplary students.
" My students and I are very grateful to Kenya Connect for empowering us with computer literacy skills for the 21 century. We are very motivated and enthusiastic to learn. As a teacher, I found this training very invaluable for my professional development. It has empowered me with skills to do online research which is very enriching considering we have limited resources in our school. This will enable me to be a better teacher and in turn influence my student’s performance positively."
Benjamin Mwilu, a teacher at Kambiti PS.
“ I thought computer was a hard subject but to my surprise, I found it easy to understand. With computer knowledge, I feel very confident to face any challenge in future!”
Kyule philliph, a student from Kambiti Primary School.
Over the same period Kyeengai PS, which is a relatively far distance from the LRC, had the opportunity to visit for a day-long educational tour. A group of 51 students and teachers had the opportunity to learn basic computer operations and keyboarding.
We are now enrolling a new group of students and teachers for the third intensive training program and we are happy to report that the training is highly desired in our community. At the moment, each of our schools has already two computer-trained teachers and it remains our goal to reach out and train all the teachers in our enrolled schools.
We remain most grateful to you for your great support. It has provided a helping hand to allow us to make a giant step forward in developing the capacity of our teachers and students for the 21st century workplace.
Please spread the word about our upcoming bonus day on October 9th. Your donation will have the most bounce if you give on that day when Global Giving will match it by 30%. Thanks for your support!
Thank you again to Global Giving staff, Ms. Farley Sawyer, who visited during the month of August. We were honored to host her and the students from Kambiti and Mbaikini Primary Schools had the great pleasure of spending the day with her. The visit was quite enriching for both the students and Kenya Connect staff.
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