What we can learn from Kenya’s Education System | Documentary
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What we can learn from Kenya’s Education System | Documentary


Do you hear it? That’s it. Our life. Day after day. The same ways, the same food, the same work. Caught in the routines. But how long? If we want to break out, we buy our freedom. The cheaper the better it must be. Far away and yet a lot to see. We’re looking for the adventure. Climbing mountains in Indonesia, exploring rainforests in Bolivia and chasing The Big Five in Kenya. We do not shoot with rifles,
we are on the hunt for the best picture. We book trips into the slum to see the poverty and hide us with fear in the evening back in our bunker. But what do we really take with us? .. and what do we leave there? What am I leaving? My name is Rafi and as an aspiring teacher everyday life also dominates my life. My escape is Kenya and off the beaten track, I discovered the everyday life with the camera. The result is not a travel documentation rather an appeal. An appeal for the education of the
generation of tomorrow. Nairobi. The capital of Kenya. With more than 3 million inhabitants
a vibrant magnet for East Africa. Kenya is a country full of contrasts
and that’s quickly visible. As soon as you leave the modern city center. What keeps me going is the resilience, the hope my family, my child makes me wake up early in the morning wash my face, think positive and try to come up with solutions trying to seek how we can survive. I’m called Moses Nyali. I’m 29 years old. I was born and raised here in Kibera. I came back to Kibera to my community to give back to better my life and also that of my community you have to have hope, you have to continue you have to wake up early in the morning you have to go an extra mile you have to make sure as much as for example you fall down
you have to wake up you have to wake up and keep on moving, keep on walking because you never know So I’m dad and I tried to sacrifice a
lot for the sake of my family Personally I did not grow up with a dad because my dad passed away when I was about age 12. So I have to be a good dad to my son
that at least my son can be able to experience the father he loves. And I do anything to make sure that my son makes it. I wanted a better understanding of how it is
to grow up on nairobi’s streets. And on the way I met Kissmart
who told me his life story. singer-songwriter I was born in the slums of Mathare. In the second biggest slums in Kenya I grew up in the streets.
I raised myself in the streets Because my mother was in an abusive relationship So every time she was beeing beaten by my father
it was like just fight the houses was noisy Since I knew no other relatives I didn’t have relatives I had to flee from home and I came to the city Now the streets became my mother The streets were my parents. So from that time
I got involved in so many things Crime became part of my hassle. Begging, just street life. I had to do anything so that I could survive and then after that time I was lucky and from that time I branded myself
and called myself Kissmart which means lucky I got adapted by a children’s home Moses and Kissmart showed me what it means to grow up on nairobi’s streets. But I had more questions than answers. What does this mean for the education?
And is it possible to go to school? About the informal schools in a nutshell. Most of the schools are to the interiors of the slum. This schools have many challenges. The reason why we started this school I wanted to support the most vulnerable
and poor children in the slums for them to be able to acquire
some basic education. My name’s ___.
Head teacher future leaders primary in high school Ranging from learning materials, sitting materials,
even classrooms. Some children, even if it’s not all of them end up even sitting on the bare ground. Because (I’ve you) look at the setup of
Kibera most of the parents are very poor and they cannot be able to afford
those expensive schools within Nairobi. The key challenge is learning material another challenge is space for the learners. Classrooms. We don’t have enough
classrooms. And then the feeding program. We only depend on the parents
who are very very poor to support their feeding program
which is not enough. So sometimes they stay in school without lunch and of which it cannot be able for them to learn. I wondered if this school is an isolated case or if the same things are in other schools also visible? I would like to feed this children a good diet. But sometimes I have to go with what is there. Because I can not afford. My name is Jaqueline Mwangi. I work with the children, especially the little children and the babies. This is basically a daycare where we receive children from
basically one year to seven years. We’ve the name of helping mothers especially mothers who have no place to leave their children or a safe place for the children. you know that children also need to play. play is one of the best things you can give to children. Because mostly the children in the slum
they lack this things. They have nowhere to come and play and do their activities. So far I had only seen private schools in the slum area. So where are the public schools? And how does they look like? The problem is – the government of Kenya has not have enough schools. For example in Kibera slum here, we have
only one public school and see that one public school cannot be able to
accommodate thousands and thousands of people within here and that’s why these
the community school are on charge. They come in and support these
children who have no chance in the government school. So for the formal education:
It is under the government of Kenia. So the government provides almost everything
ranging from the qualified teacher, the good infrastructure, the security.
All that the government provides to the community. So the only problem actually is condition. And by condition we focus on the lesson. So one teacher attending to in between 40 to 45
children or even 50 children. and it’s really crazy. My name is Francis M. Warui.
Headteacher Karen ‘C’ Primary School. Karen ‘C’ Primary School is
a public primary School in Nairobi. About 1200 pupils and 26 teachers. So we are under the free primary education,
which started in 2003. A milestone in the Kenyan education history is the commitment to free primary education from 2003. But not everyone agrees today. Since they introduced this ‘free education something’ many children we’re taken to school,
especially the City Council’s schools So they didn’t give more teachers
or more rooms and all these. they opted to to give their children
in this called private schools. Which are informal schools, like now the
ones which are here in Kibera. The enrollment hiked, we used to have
about 800 children, it hiked to even it went 1300, almost doubled. Because of that increment of enrollment became strapped so we had to tell the parents to see how they can subsidized for that. Then, the other thing is about the teachers. but now they went up to 1300. Find teachers who are overwhelmed with the workload children before, but after Free Primary
Education each class was taking about 60-70 children. So there is no interaction
between a child and a teacher during the lesson. Because our lessons are 35 minutes. So in that 35 minutes you cannot interact with 70 children. Yes, it was a very good move.
It brought children who are out, to school. Teachers are doing a lot. They have to be
appreciated. So if for example teachers are giving their best and sometimes
they’re not well paid. You know, they don’t end up giving 100%. Children we know are playful. Some of them will concentrate some of them will not concentrate. so the best thing actually to do is to invest more in education, come up with more classes, hire more teachers and make sure you pay them well. If you teach because that is what you love, you will do it When you change somebody’s life and make them to do something that they are not able to do You are creating a legacy in your professionally. You see, legacy you can never change and you can never compare it with any amount of money. Most of the private schools will not give you loans,
but I will say our school is unique. Because we give loans to our teachers who want study So it means we are developing
them to be better teachers. So I think it’s up to different private schools This school showed me, how important good teachers for the pupils are.. And I experienced exactly the same myself at this school on the coast as an asisstant-teacher. I’m ___. They call me Madam Ziada.
Our school is called Manuel Alexander School. I teach class three and I’m also the deputy of the school. I’m the deputy head teacher. What I found in this school as a teacher and is similar to a quote from Albert Einstein. Everybody is a Genius. But If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Many Kenyans told me this story in a similar way. and in simple terms Kenya’s system does not create thinkers,
but many parrots. But the school showed me also the opposite. How the students identify their strengths
and present them Most parents opt to take their kids to
private schools because you find that there’s a lot of laxity in the public.
The teachers are not really driven or motivated most of them, they go
there and they teach. Most of the children are not even getting what is taught so you find the quality of education is
a little bit lower. Private schools are always thinking of what is
the next thing we are supposed to do what haven’t we done and what put us ahead of everyone else. But you find that in public school
everybody’s relaxed nobody has to earn anything and on the
end of the day children still come, the salaries will still come. So teachers are not
motivated to come up with creative ways of staying relevant. a number of years. It’s called the eight-four-four system. Eight years in primary, four years in secondary, four years in
university. And one thing about the 8-4-4-System is that it’s so exam oriented. Children are pressured to do well in exams. In exams that has even pushed
so many children and so many schools to actually indulge in exam cheating.
Everybody thinks you’re only valuable if you are you doing well in exams. There is a lot of pressure from the
teachers for us to do well on the exams sometimes a little bit too much but you
can understand they’re trying to make sure that you have learned something and
to make sure that you do excel My name is Sasha Elizabeth
In America we didn’t wear a uniform here you have to a uniform. No matter how
old you are or which class you are in you have to wear uniform because that’s
the school I would say it’s not as advanced as in America. In America we
have laptops things like that but it is also ok here because it proves that
you don’t have to have all the money in the world just to able to
get education or to learn.You can still learn and excel in your life without
money and technology. Those people who can not afford private
schools they go to public schools and they are cramped but how else would you
learn if you can’t afford the private schools. At this particular moment we are using the
new curriculum, the CBC. Whereby it is practical, we are not exam oriented. This curriculum will prepare the learners from basic education to the job market. I would say for the private school we are better placed than the public school because even the public they are promised to be given
books. They are supposed to be given free books and those books have
never been supplied to the schools. So the teachers have to go an extra mile
to find out by themselves. But for us, it is like in the bloodstream of the teachers they have to do it by themselves. And the private schools were
able to buy the books for their children to continue with the CBC but in
public schools up now we are waiting for the government to supply the new
curriculum text books to school. When it comes even to the performance you get most of the private schools are performing better than the public schools, when it comes to the general analysis of the examination results that are normally produced
by the end of the year. So if the government has not look at this and do something in a different way, like bringing all
the stakeholders together, getting their view, sitting down and discussing what
are some of the areas we need to improve on, then the gap between the
public and the private will be more wider than it is. You find the private
school is like for the rich and the public school for the poor. The private
schools have got more resources for teaching as compared to public schools were the resources are limited. So children are not private, they’re all public. And even this children in this school require an expert in education. Remarkable, as even the headmaster of the public school denounces the school system. And how big that gap between private and public schools already is I realized with another visit of a private school. Education is not free in Kenya. I teach German and English,
which are main subjects at the school are teached in many lessons. We have small classes and large rooms what enables to teach in cooperative forms. We’re surrounded by huge organizations and get from there our pupils. We have students whose parents
work at the UN, in embassies or are kids from teachers. It is a large, green compound with a pool, a tennis court, a large sports field, a volleyball and a new basketball court. And we have the possibilities for computer science and art education. My name is Sibylle Seite,
I’m the principal of the ‘German School Nairobi’. If you look at the surroundings of the school
you can see the change. You can see that Nairobi is changing. and it would be a surprise to me
if the school is not affected too. The question is: How open is the school? Does the school want to get bigger? That are questions which the school can answer itself. And I I hear again and again the students complaining, that they know not enough about the country. or it doesn’t matter. But many colleagues feel the pressure from the German Curriculum and say that there is not enough time. I compare many things in Kenya
with Germany 50 years ago. And with this comparison, the difference is not that big. My name is Jack Nyanwanga.
Founder of Victorious Craft Group. We started Victorious in 2006 at zero. By then we had nothing. For example myself
I just came out from the streets. The business is sustainable We are currently 16 employees Our business is mostly
focusing on employment of the youths. and also making a difference to
conservative our environment. I do not only want to complain,
I want to show what’s going well. We change the lives of street kids
and also give them a chance in life so we give the less
privileged people drop out of school and people who have been into drugs and
want to change a chance in life to share with the world and meet the world and
make history with the people. The project NaiNami gives Kissmart a new perspectivity. and helps to shape the change of Nairobi. Hi! My name is Benson.
I am 33. What we do at the iHub:
we are an innovation hub that means that
we have entrepreneurs techies and other inventors who come to the iHub to get
guidance and to grow. Our superpower is connecting people. Hi! My name is George Kibaru.
I’m 26 years old. I’m a full-stack developer, right now I’m
working on a e-commerce called __. Building a start-up in Kenya
it’s a bit tricky because first of all we have a financial problem So one of the
challenges we have is the lack of startups in Africa or in Kenya knowing
how to tell the story this makes a lot of them have a lot of lack of financing because they don’t really know
how to express themselves. People say developers are introverts they only share what they know within themselves.
But then the sharing what you know we’re another different level of different
generation I’d say it’s a great step. My name is Peter __. I’m an instructor at __ . We teach kids how to program. We’re looking forward to
empower these kids with the great basic knowledge. by the time they get
they get into computer science and universities sections, they have a very
clear foundation of programming and what it entails to actually be a software
engineer in this current time. We can separate for different levels of
different kids but it doesn’t matter on how fast a kid can understand something.
It’s all based on the creativity of the minds and the mindset
I wanted something to share it with the community as well the developer community in Kenya and people have different ways of sharing knowledge or what they have with the community. I think one
reason why we are leading in the startup scene in not just Eastern
Central Africa is our solutions work there are very few startups that get to the level of funding and the solution does not work. I think that Kenya is kind of a quite developing country who is in like a East African region and also Kenya has kind of the hub for East
Africa. It has a lot of exportation to Middle East, the European market My name is Atshuhiro Oguri
from Japan. I’m 34 years old. I’ve been here in Nairobi for one year. I’m a member of like agriculture project which s funded by Japanese government and what we do is try to introduce green house farming and also the new cultivar of
like cherry tomato and strawberries. I can see a lot of startups here and people quite passionate about that they’re doing startup. The elite people don’t have to go abroad
they still can make a start here because now they can connect to
people are over the world. And also they can make use of their knowledge. We have brain drain all over Kenya. It’s not just in tech, it’s in anyone who’s
exceptional in anything they do. The opportunities are there out abroad. Like for me when I finished campus last year in December and they really
struggled just to get an internship. So most of them they’re like running away
from that struggle of getting internship and employment because they believe if
they go for greener pastures abroad they’ll find work and maybe it’s
not like so hard to get it there. That’s the assumption that most of them have. My name is Jessy -__. I’m 22 years of age. I’m a graduate of economics
and statistics from the University of Nairobi. Currently I’m doing a research
on consumption of fruits and vegetables I personally, I went through the 8-4-4
system, like the normal system in Kenya so skills like problem-solving, critical
thinking, reasoning. they aren’t developed. So it’s kind of affected me when I joined university I was supposed to use critical thinking and I could
not. With the change I really believe I strongly believe it will really like
influence the students and the pupils more positively compared to the other
system that was there I see myself as an entrepreneur managing my own businesses, but not employed. I see employment as like rigidity like working
five years doing the same thing over and over again for me it’s it’s like boring. The education system that we have in
the country does not prepare people to become entrepreneurs. It basically prepares them to become employees My name is Simon Muriithi
I’m 31 years old and I’m working at iHub. For us it was all about study
very hard to get good grades and get a good job. The new curriculum is
building these kids up to become more self-directed learn.
It’s building them to become thinkers. It’s building them to become someone in this society.
It’s building them to give them more confidence. So I think the new
curriculum is going to disrupt that but you’re given it a grace period of maybe
the next 10 years. That’s the time it begins with the
fruits of the new curriculum because you’re going to get the first graduates
out of it. We’re still miles away from it. I definitely see a difference in ten years.
I think the startup scene will be bigger I think the traditional investors will
now move into startups. I think this is a trend has been there abroad and it’s
bound to start happening here. I am proud to say that we have literally transformed the tech and innovation scene in the last eight years. I’m proud to see over 300 startups we’ve worked with. I’m proud to see impact in the startups that
we’ve had so far. There’s a lot to be proud of. Imagine living in a country which offers by law free education, but most people prefer not to use it. Even if it sounds unbelievable,
it’s exactly that what I found in Kenya. This film has shown
that free education is not free for everyone. And that there are not only winners in a conflict between private and public schools. Nevertheless, I see Kenyas future
with a new curriculum in bright light. Also because the talents of the students are now in focus and may be supported. The generation of tomorrow has now a voice that should be used. What’s your opinion? Let us continue the discussion.

2 Comments

  • Nai Nami

    Awesome documentary! Thank you for including Nai Nami into your documentary and please let us konw if you will be back in Nairobi. We would love to host you on our storytelling tour again… Regards from donwtown and all the street kids,
    Kissmart, Donga and Cheddaz

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