Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome To The Schools Of Shimoni

GVI Kenya's Community Education Programme is expanding. Up to now we have focussed the majority of our time and effort in Mkwiro on Wasini Isalnd supporting the primary school and orphanage. However, with the focus of our coastal forest research on the mainland in Shimoni incresingly evolving in to community-based conservation we have found ourselves in the schools of Shimoni more and more. With so many volunteers eager to join our Volunteer Teaching project we feel able to expand and support some of the other local schools that are crying out for help:

Shimoni Primary School is the only government school in Shimoni, with class sizes of 70+ students; with one teacher for each class, students have to take turns in sharing the classroom in shifts as they simply can't all fit at the same time!

Shimoni Base Academy is a community-run school. With the government school full to bursting, parents pay a minimal fee to educate their children here, which goes direcly to paying teachers and maintainng the school. Community-run schools are quite common in areas where govrnment schools are simply too overcrowded. The good news is that if these schools can meet certain requirements the government will recognise them and provide financial support which enables them to offer schooling for free to their students.

We will also be working with Shimoni Secondary School for similar reasons. This school has been slowly built over the years by donations within the local community and opened for its first intake of students this year. Up until now there has been no secondary school in the Pongwe-Kidimu location with students from Shimoni having to commute daily on public transport (a significant cost for parents over the course of a year) or pay fees to attend boarding schools.

Its not just about the younger learners however - we have had developed our presence in Shimoni thus far through adult classess. Our initial four regulars have grown and Adam our community officer has relly enjoyed teachign these enthusiastic, energetic learners, as well as the volunteers. Although we normally concentrate on English language, we have have been making the most of our international volunteers; Matt (below) gave them a taste of French with they loved, as did he.