Incoming Form 1 Girls!
The COVID-19 pandemic caused educational disruptions worldwide, and Kenya is no exception. After a complete shutdown of schools in 2020, the Ministry of Education designed a staggered schedule to recoup time lost and attempt to mitigate anticipated educational setbacks. These setbacks are predicted to be particularly challenging for girls, with the Malala Fund anticipating that the number of out-of-school girls could increase by 20 million before all is said and done.
The new school calendar is incredibly challenging for both teachers and students. It began with welcoming back the Form Four students in January of 2021 to complete their final two terms of Secondary School and take their national exams. We were elated that despite the challenges faced, this class once again had a 100% pass rate and was twice as likely as the average Kenyan student to qualify directly for University! Then, WISER welcomed an entirely new cohort of students for an additional two terms. This meant that instead of the three terms and 240 students WISER usually engages, we welcomed 276 unique students over four terms of academic instruction. That’s right: we taught more students more material in the shortest amount of time in WISER’s history!
Beginning in 2023, all Kenyan Secondary Schools will be required to add US grade equivalent of 7th and 8th grade as part of the rollout of a new Competency Based Curriculum in line with Kenya 2030 goals in health, technology, and economic growth. WISER will be adding 120 students in 2023 and 2024 - a 50% increase of our current enrollment capacity to 360 annually - reaching girls younger and, therefore, closer to or even before the onset of many challenges they face, including menstruation and sexual activity. We will also be able to impact them for longer in their lives directly - six years instead of four - thereby creating more opportunities to provide the support necessary for future success.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our incomparable educators, our stellar alumni interns, and of course, our dedicated and focused students for yet again excelling even in the most challenging circumstances, and to you, our incredible donors!