Nuru Kenya Education Team Grows Stronger

For the second straight year, Nuru’s Education team was faced with a long national teacher strike. Last year, the strike lasted nearly three weeks. This year the strike over pay closed schools for nearly one month. While these interruptions result in our team not being able to go to schools and teach, the time was certainly not wasted.

From July 8th -August 16th, Jolene McCall joined our team in Kenya and worked closely with our Training Manager, George Nyamweya, to build our curriculum for the future based on the learning progressions Harvest Learning Group delivered to Nuru. These learning progressions were based on the Common Core Standards, and we really believe that these lessons will increase the impact of our program even more and help students build literacy skills.

In addition to the curriculum development during July and August, our staff created and delivered a number of literacy-focused trainings during the school strike time and break between Terms 2 and 3. Field Managers Moses Merengo and Sabora Chacha delivered a training on searching the internet for resources on teaching and learning. Training Coordinators Ambrose Maroa and Joseph Ginono delivered trainings on different types of learners and strategies for reaching struggling learners. District Manager George Baridi gave trainings on time management and classroom management. These were just a few of the examples of team members rising to the occasion over the several weeks of being out of school. 

The August break time also provided an opportunity for our upper management team to travel to Nairobi to the 8th Pan African Reading for All Conference in Nairobi from August 12th-16th.  Training Manager, George Nyamweya was sponsored to attend the conference and present about Nuru’s Education Program.  District Manager George Baridi and Division Program Leaders Victoria Tissian and Tinyi Johnson also attended.  They learned from scholars, organizations, and ministry officials from all over the continent and made many contacts, which Nuru’s Education Program hopes to learn from and partner with in the future.

Finally, our Training Manager George Nyamweya was awarded the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship by the Institute for Education at the University of London to pursue a Master’s in International Development and Education. We are all very proud of George and know that he will use this opportunity to help continue to build Nuru’s Education program as we move to new areas and face new challenges. Hongera! (Congratulations!)

After a short break in the U.S. to get married, I have returned to a team that is stronger than when I left.  I am excited about the capacity of our team now and the plans we have to increase that capacity over the year to come.   

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.

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