Nuru Kenya Education Team Receives a Warm Welcome in Mabera

Since the beginning of Nuru in 2008, Nuru’s education programs and initiatives had been concentrated in Isebania Division. As one of Nuru’s goals is to scale to new places, the education program began offering its outreach program in Mabera Division in January 2013.  Preparation for this expansion began in August 2012 with the hiring and training of the core staff for Mabera.  Eight new staff members came on board and began training with the Isebania staff to learn the ins and outs of the outreach program and how we do things differently at Nuru.

In November 2012, we met with the Area Education Officer who helped us identify the 3 schools with the most need in Mabera Division: Boremagongo Primary, Gosese Primary, and Moheto Primary.  We then met with each of the head teachers and told them about our programs, they agreed to let us come, and we continued our final preparations and planning for outreach in Mabera. We entered the three schools in Mabera in January, and the first two months have been an overwhelming success.

When asked about how the community in Mabera responded to our education program coming there, Field Manager Tinyi Johnson had this to say, “The community is happy with the program that we take to the schools. For example, in Moheto Primary, whenever we go to the school we always meet with the parents and they are always appreciating the good work we have done there and they are always appealing for us to continue going to those schools and helping the pupils there.”

Field Manager, Ambrose Maroa, excitedly said, “The community is energized and rejoices in our presence.”

The response of the teachers was also encouraging, “It was a positive response.  Teachers were ready for our program.  In fact, it was a time that they needed help from other stakeholders on the side of education,” said Johnson.

Johnson continued on by saying, “The teachers themselves, they are happy with us in their schools. They are ready to help us, even with materials like pens and chalks. The teachers want us to stay with them in the staff rooms and share with them the techniques that we have, so that they can use them.”

Finally, the pupils also seem to be enjoying Nuru’s presence, “The pupils are also happy with the facilitators going to their school.  They are eager to learn from the facilitators.  They always appreciate what we do by saying ‘Thank you for teaching us,’ and they keep on telling us to come again,” said Johnson.

In addition, Ambrose talked about the increased frequency we are going to the schools in Mabera  (up from once every two weeks in Isebania). “We go there weekly, which has created a bond, which is quite strong between us, the community, the teachers, and the learners themselves. “

Johnson added, “This is only the beginning, but outreach is picking up very well, because we are going there on a weekly basis.  For example if we go there on Monday, we will also go there the next Monday. This makes the learners remember what we taught them when we review the previous lessons. On the side of the staff, it is the same facilitators that see them each week.”

The Mabera team of Nuru’s education staff is working extremely well together and developing their teaching techniques quickly, something that has not gone unnoticed by the teachers in the schools there. In a recent letter regarding Nuru’s education program and it’s impact, the Head Teacher of Gosese Primary School had this to say, “Your intervention has not only added value towards the very successful improvement of literacy to our pupils, but much enhanced their morale and attitude towards education…Your staff is wonderful, creative, and innovative. They have a sound understanding of teaching and they are of unimpeachable integrity.”

We can only hope that this good will and success continues as we expand our program into Mabera Division and continue to try to raise literacy levels in rural, public primary schools.

Nuru Education Team in Mabera

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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