Strathmore University

Empowering Kenyan students with life skills and ensuring academic proficiency

Elementary and secondary education

The project aims at empowering students with ICT, life skills and academic proficiency to complete basic education. Focus will be 2000 schools across Kenya.

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Lead Organization

Strathmore University

Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

http://www.strathmore.edu

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

In a survey done in 2017 by the Aga Khan Foundation 44% of the youth mentioned finding employment was a major challenge[1]. In addition, there are at youth challenges facing students at school which prevent them from completing their education successfully. The Nairobi Youth Survey 2017 indicated some challenges facing youth include drug and substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Many solutions have been suggested from public health education, sensitization, parental guidance and abstinence [4].Strathmore University has established a number of youth programmes in Nairobi and Kitui counties that have empowered youth to complete secondary education, successfully transit to tertiary institutions and acquire life skills. It has used a multi-stakeholder approach of government, parents, families, schools and other stakeholders. We aim to replicate the same successful approach in terms of structures and processes in 10 other counties in Kenya targetting 2,000 schools.

Problem Statement

Kenya's population is approximately 48 million. The median age of the country is between 19-20 years. 44% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line. The population of youth under 35 years in Kenya is 70%. 43.1% are aged 15 years and below (Daily Nation, September 23rd 2018). Each year, approximately 990,000 students sit for the final primary school examinations while approximately 600,000 sit for the final secondary school examinations. Transition of students from secondary to tertiary education in 2017 was less than 15%. Many students who do not transit to tertiary education get involved in criminal activities since they are not engaged in meaningful employment. The engaged population in Kenya is 16.9 million, and out of this only 2.7 million are engaged in the modern industry. In a survey done in 2017 by the Aga Khan Foundation[1] 44% of the youth mentioned finding employment was a major challenge. In addition, there are challenges facing students at school which prevent them from completing their education successfully. The Nairobi Youth Survey 2017[4] indicated some challenges facing youth include drug and substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (Standard, 18th Jan 2016). The introduction of the new competency based curriculum by the Kenyan Government has brought confusion and many have voiced concerns. The aforementioned requires interventions that require multi-stakeholder support both at county and national levels. The best interventions are through schools with parents, teachers and students through continuous sustainable capacity engagement programmes beginning at grass-root levels.

Solution Overview

The solution will meaningfully contribute through the following activities: i) academic mentorship of students in approximately 2,000 schools; ii)creation of parent+teacher support mechanisms; iii) setting up life-skills programmes in the 2000 schools; iv) setting up an online community of learning,.We will know we are making progress when: a) there is increase in pass rates compared to the baseline survey. We aim for a target of 60%-70% pass rate; b) termly meetings between teacher and parents which respond to students challenges; c) creation of sustainable domesticated peer mentoring groups in schools with teachers' support; d) reduction in teenage drop out rates. A retention rate of 95% will be the aim; capacitating youth for employment through ICT.The impact of solution within five years will be: a) increase in academic performance, 100% progression in the chosen schools in the 10 counties; b) documented regular contact and advice between teachers and parents; c) reduction in number of teenage pregnancies and crime rates; d) reduction in number of students involved in drug abuse especially in final years of secondary education; e) improved ICT facilities in selected learning centres; f) youth aware of career pathsThe direct beneficiaries from the solutions will be: parents, students in the respective schools, teachers and immediate communities; indirect beneficiaries include government, health facilities, religious institutions and tertiary institutions.Outcomes are: an engaged youthful population; positive attitude of students on life challenges; youth able to find gainful employment especially using ICT skills; sense of commitment & bonding of parents.

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Project Funders

  • Wellsprings Philanthropic Fund

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