In the past few days I have visited many elementary schools in rural Kenya. Most are overcrowded and in need.
If a family has money or are in an urban centre, there are private schools that may provide a reasonable teacher-student ratio, clean surroundings and teachers that are not well paid but at least can eke out a living teaching school.
Unfortunately that is not the case in many rural schools, particularly those in the public system. The government-funded schools may have 60-80 students per classroom. Often the infrastructure is quite simply deplorable.
Classrooms are in poor repair. Latrines are full or dirty or both. There is little access to clean drinking water and classes are not well ventilated, crowded and hot. Teachers are poorly “motivated” by very low salaries. There is a general lack of supplies, text books, even syllabus books for the teachers.
Privately run schools do better. The children are in smaller classes but the teachers are even more poorly paid, often by contributions from the parents. In one privately operated school I visited the fee for the 40% who can afford it is 600 Kenyan Shillings ($6.50 US) a month. Another 30% pay half and an even more vulnerable 30% pay nothing. I challenge you to run a school including supplies and salaries for 120 children on $450 a month.
Through CanAssist we have attempted to help several elementary schools, private and public by constructing classrooms, providing furnishings, latrines and water. Today I bought a few text books for one of the schools and will buy more next week.
These kids need help. There are so many of them and their government is stretched to provide only rudimentary support. Those in rural areas go unattended. It is sad.
The children and teachers are grateful for even modest contributions to help them continue. Sometimes it is frustrating but we will continue thorough the CanAssist African Relief Trust to attempt to improve educational opportunities for as many East African children as we can. Would you like to help?