Sunday, January 16, 2011

We like to keep you posted on our life in Kayole/Matopeni

January 2011: incoming class exploring new surroundings and smile to the camera.
In January, the nursery school welcomed our newest class of 20 students (11 boys, 9 girls), keeping our total enrollment to 101 children the first two weeks after opening,we expect more of our children to report back. On the first day of school, incoming students are fitted for uniforms with the help of teacher Grace. Often with parents/caretakers close by, the new students are a bit shy and need some time to get used to their new surroundings. Meanwhile, parents/caretakers are excited for their children to have the opportunity to attend pre-primary school - less than half (48%) of children in Kenya are enrolled in pre-primary school, and in Matopeni this is even more rare.
Funds are being used to purchase uniforms, shoes and food; provide teacher and staff salaries; purchase educational supplies; pay utility bills; and contribute to the school fees of 56 children who are unable to pay full tuition.

December 2010: Nursery School Graduation Day

Joan delivers the graduation speech. 

In December 2010, the Ingrid Nursery School graduated 17 of our students from the program. Graduation festivities brought together proud parents and caretakers, teachers, and children in a celebration that included singing, dancing, a fashion show, and speeches by the graduates, plus awards, and of course, a big feast! It is an opportunity for children to celebrate their achievements with their families and to say goodbye to the pre-school course years and teachers who have played an important part in their lives over the last few years as they join primary section.
                    Parents,Guardians and teachers pose for a group photo after graduation.

We are pleased to report that following graduation, the entire graduating class of the Ingrid Nursery School was qualified and enrolled into primary section - a huge success considering the environment surrounding education in Matopeni.
In 2003, the Government of Kenya made primary education free to all children. Despite this important step, families continue to face significant barriers in sending their children to primary school due to two main factors. First, while enrollment in school is free, the costs associated with attending school are burdensome to many families, particularly those in Matopeni. Without funds to purchase uniforms, textbooks, and other supplies, children are not allowed to attend school. Second, as a way to control overpopulated classrooms, government run primary schools are allowed to turn away prospective students that are not considered to be adequately prepared for entrance. To be admitted into primary school, students must therefore go through an interview process. As such, despite education for all policies in Kenya, 86% of school age children are enrolled in primary school in the country. (According to a 2003 study by Oxfam, 37% of school-going age children in Kayole /Matopeni and its environ were not even in the educational system and 70% of the children attending school only have limited access to informal schools and community centers.)
proud graduates of 2010 on the catwalk

Within this context, the 100% primary enrollment of the Ingrid Nursery School graduates is an important achievement. Enrollment of the entire graduating nursery school class indicates that not only did all students successfully pass the primary school interview process, but all parents/caretakers of the nursery school students were motivated to identify resources to purchase the required materials for sending their children to school.
In conclusion thanks friends of Ingrid centre for the plan underway to get each child a uniform. you know whom you are thank you again! Welcome all to 2011.
From the desk of:
Douglas Monene,
Ingrid center,