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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The teachers are on strike but the students are even more keen to learn

It’s been two weeks since the school holidays in Kenya ended, but the students at the public schools are still not going to school. What happened? Over 200,000 teachers in the whole of Kenya are on strike. They want better wages and are demanding a 200-300% pay rise. To be fair, teachers here don’t get paid much so it’s their good right to fight for this. However, in about one or two months time the students will have to sit for their national exams. Not being taught for such a long time will most likely influence their exam results, which is a shame.
Shimoni Primary students study hard outside of school

Here in Shimoni we try to help out as much as we can. The few private schools we teach at, Matunda Bora, Base Academy and Shimoni Junior Academy, are still open as the teachers there are not paid by the government, so we continue to do a lot of teaching there. The public schools Shimoni Primary and Shimoni Secondary, however, are closed so all our classes there are cancelled. Luckily most students at Shimoni Secondary are very motivated to pass their exams, so they are doing a lot of self-study. To help them we are doing tutoring with some of the students, for example helping them with reading books for English or writing essays.
Reading in the village has become increasingly popular over the coming weeks

Some Shimoni Primary students have been put in one of the private schools by their parents; it’s easy to recognize them in their bright orange and blue uniforms between all the other students in light blue or green. However, for private schools you have to pay and there are many parents that can’t afford this. Their kids are just at home and playing in the village all day long. To keep those kids learning, we try to do as much reading in the village as possible. Every day we take a big pile of books and some educational card games and sit down under a big tree in the village. We usually do this to give the kids that are not in school a chance to read or just look through some books. Now there are suddenly a lot of kids that are not in school! We have a few Shimoni Primary students that come and read with us every day, so they at least keep practicing reading as they don’t really get to do this at home.
Other than that, we can only wait and hope that the schools will open again soon, in time for all the students to be well-prepared for their exams.

Lisanne Spruit, Shimoni Community Field Staff



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