Education Program Transitions to Local Leadership
On March 14, 2014, the Education Program celebrated becoming the first program at Nuru to successfully transfer all day-to-day operations from expatriate staff to local Kenyan staff. After nearly two years, my role as Education Program Manager/Facilitator for Nuru Kenya has come to an end. I have now transitioned to Nuru Kenya Strategic Consultant and will begin to prepare for Nuru Ethiopia’s Education Program Planning Process, but let’s take a few paragraphs to reflect on the Education Program in Kenya.
Since I came to the Education Program in June of 2012 the following changes have occurred:
- We have increased the number of schools we serve from 9 schools in 1 division to 17 schools across 2 divisions. This has increased the number of students served from around 3,800 to close to 5,500 in grades Pre-Unit (Kindergarten) through Class 7.
- The Education Program has increased from 10 staff to 33, including hiring a District Manager, George Baridi, and Training Manager, George Nyamweya.
- We have successfully rolled out a new curriculum based on Common Core State Standards and learning progressions.
- We have seen positive gains in literacy rates across all of the schools we’ve worked with.
- We developed a training team and they have built out and implemented a training series on literacy skills and teaching techniques.
- There are new systems for transport, material purchasing, planning, scheduling for outreach, and increased communication with teachers in the schools.
- We have seen increased teacher and community support for our programs with many wonderful anecdotes about the impact our program is having on children in the community.
All of these accomplishments are due to the hard work of the Nuru Education team, as well as the foundation laid by past Program Facilitators/Managers: Meghan Baird, Chelsea Barabas, Thomas Hong, Jessica Hansen, and Lindsey Kneuven. I am very grateful to have had a chance to work with such amazing people during my time here who are so dedicated to helping to improve the level of literacy of children in rural public schools in Kuria West District.
While it’s a sad time for me as I transition away from my role here in Kenya, it is also a very exciting time. George Baridi, is now the Education Program Manager for Nuru Kenya’s Education Program. We have worked together for over a year and he has really taken charge of things. I am excited to see him lead the Education Program into the future as Nuru scales to more divisions and eventually to other Districts. He, along with Training Manager, George Nyamweya, and Program Leaders Victoria Tissian and Tinyi Johnson form a great management team. They are all extremely dedicated, have a long-term vision for Nuru’s Education Program, and above all are great servant leaders. I look forward to continuing to work with them from afar as I move to Ethiopia and eventually other countries to help continue the good work they started. I’m privileged to know all of the Education team members on some level and have been able to see them grow into their roles as facilitators. It has been a pleasure.
Thank you, Nuru Education Team.
About Jimmy Leak
Education Program Strategic Advisor — Dr. Jimmy Leak has designed and managed early grades literacy programs in East Africa. While completing his Ph.D. in Education and Policy and Social Context at the University of California, Irvine, he was named a 2011-2012 Public Impact Fellow for his research on teachers and early grades student achievement.Read More Stories of Hope