As reported previously the Kenyan Government is implementing major changes to the Kenyan education system. The Mustard Seed Project's (MSP's) school has been working towards a change in status from a "Primary" school taking children to the age of 14 to "Junior/Secondary" school where the children will leave us at age 15. Our very supportive parents and enthusiastic and hard working staff are very keen for this change in status as our school is purpose built, classes are no more than thirty, it is very well equipped and has a feeding programme. Our children are poor and would not otherwise be able to attend a school with facilities like those we provide and where we have excellent exam results at age 14. To achieve "Junior/Secondary" status MSP has had to undergo inspections and jump through a number of hoops to fulfil the necessary criteria. One criteria is that we should have our own playground. When our new building was first completed the children played on a piece of land outside the school not owned by MSP. Now we rent a playground but the rent has gone up and the land could be sold at any time. It is an urban area and land is expensive. Our aim is to buy initially one plot of land and then a second for a playground for our children. When our Founding Trustee is in Kenya in February 2024 finding the most suitable plots is her priority. When she and two volunteers were in Kenya in October 2023 they were able to see what an asset to the school our rented playground was for the children, from the three year olds in nursery to the oldest, not just for play but for many other outdoor activities, as well as fulfilling the criteria for a change in status. We have been told verbally that we will be granted Junior/Secondary status but are still waiting for the paperwork confirming it.
It is only because of the kindness and generosity of our donors that MSP has been able to achieve so much. Our aim has always been to give all our children the opportunity to escape poverty through education. Education is highly valued in Kenya and our school is highly valued by our parents, by our staff and by the children. Some of those who have gone on to higher education have come back to visit us and one, James, having seen our new building, said he would like to come back and do it all again. He is so grateful for the opportuniies MSP has given him and which we have only been able to do because of you, our donors.Please continue to give us your support, or join us. It really can change lives for the better and is never unappreciated by the recipients, so thank you.
Thanks to our wonderful supporters, our school Miche Bora in a poor area of Mombasa continues to thrive depite difficulties, not least continued very high inflation in Kenya and the changes which the Kenyan Government is making to the education system. As mentioned in a previous report Primary Education in Kenya was until age fourteen but wil change to age 12 to be more in line with the rest of the world. Our school so far has provided for children from age three in Nursery until age fourteen when the national exam, KPCE, takes place. Our exam results have been excellent so far, always above the Government expectation of at least a C grade. To become a Junior Secondary School, taking children to age fifteen, which is what our parents and teachers wish, we have to fulfil various criteria. Schools are inspected to ensure they are suitable. We have of course our beautiful school building with far better facilities than many schools. We have made and are making changes to enable us to take children to age fifteen. Reception Class children are only in school until midday, stay for lunch then go home as has always been the case. Nursery children will now come in the afternoon into the same area, which is a large room especially designed for young children. We have lots of equipment and resources for this to work well. Nursery and Reception were previously in seperate rooms in the mornings. We already have one free classroom but this frees another room so that we have space for a science lab, for IT etc. We have aquired a walled playground at a very small rent, another criterion, but are still waiting to hear whether we will be accepted as a Junior Secondary School.
In September our Founding Trustee and two volunteers will be going to Kenya again. Our teachers love to have volunteers in school and are always keen to find out about new ideas. One volunteer will concentrate particularly on taking photographs of every aspect of school life and the other will be working with the teachers of young children, mostly around six and seven year olds, on Maths and the use of resources. Both volunteers have been to Miche Bora before. Our Founding Trustee visits at least once and usually twice a year, working with the Headteacher, carrying out staff training, holding parents' meetings and dealing with the very many other things that always occur.
The success of Miche Bora is only possible because of our donors. We can't thank you enough for your support. Our families value education highly and are desperate for their children to have a better future. You are changing lives. If you are new to us please remember that the smallest donation makes a difference. Thank you from all of us at Mustard Seed.
We have had another successful year in our school, Miche Bora, with excellent exam results. Our staff work so hard and are always eager to learn, as are the children. In March 2023 two of our Mustard Seed Project (MSP) trustees visited Kenya. One of the main aims was to ensure that staff were ready for the new Performance Management system for schools introduced by the Kenyan government. Further training went well with a demonstration of an appraisal interview and guidance for filling in the required form with target setting where needed.. Lesson observations were carried out and feedback given. Charlie, our trustee, is a Middle School teacher with experience of Performance Management training of staff.
Our children are taught in classes of no more than 30, in well equipped rooms with good resources. "Primary" education in Kenya is until aged 14. The Kenyan government, with very little warning, is changing this so that Kenya is more in line with most of the rest of the world. Primary education will be until age 12, secondary to age 15. We can be either a Junior school with children to twelve years or a Junior/Secondary until age 15. Our parents very much want their children to stay at our school, Miche Bora, until aged 15, as do the teachers. We have been inspected and there are criteria which we need to fulfil to be able to do this. Luckily we bought a set of thirty laptops in the Autumn of 2022 and have good internet in the school at last.. We will need to employ two new teachers, have a science lab and have better playground facilities. There are also other more minor criteria. We have space for a science lab but will of course need to equip it. There is a piece of walled land very close to the school which we have been told we will be able to have to rent at a very low cost for a playground. (the owner is not in Kenya at the moment). We also have a room for an extra class (fifteen year olds) and we will employ two graduate teachers..
Our children come into our Nursery aged three followed by a reception class for aged four. For the new school year (January 2023) we bought beautiful new tables and chairs and some storage to replace broken plastic furniture, badly needed for both rooms. There is plenty of space for the children to play and learn as appropriate for the age group and the rooms look much more cheerful. The children and teachers love the new furniture.
Without you, our donors, none of this would have been possible. We are so grateful for your support. Your kindnes and gererosity make a difference every day, Here is the story of a six year old boy. He had never been to school and his mother brought him to us because he was so upset. Our Founding Trustee was in Kenya and agreed to make room for him to join us. He was overjoyed, as was his mother. He is a bright boy and just needs extra support for Language skills. His teacher is pleased with his progress. he is so happy to be in school. Thank you from the trustees and from the children of Miche Bora.
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