Schools

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Since independence in 1963 Kenya had striven for a free primary education system but that was not finally realised until 40 years later in 2003 and even to this day it is not compulsory. The overall standard system of education is now 8 years in primary, 4 in secondary and 4 in higher.

Although Kenya has one of the highest literacy levels in Africa the situation in remote rural communities in which our charity is working is quite different. Certainly there are plenty of primary schools with growing enrolments, due largely to the recent introduction of 'primary free', but there is still a desperate need for classrooms and basic facilities. Also the opportunities for secondary education are very few and far between and largely private with virtually none for the girls. Opportunities for girl child education after primary school are of growing importance to alleviate the problems of too early a marriage and motherhood and to make strides into the greater awareness of equal rights.

The challenges in education are also being exacerbated by the shortages of teachers due to low pay as well as the growing number of orphans largely due to HIV/AIDS.

For example, Geoff's linked primary school in Chebukutumi started in 1973 with 3 classes and now has 8 classes, Standards 1 to 8, with an enrolment of 1000 including 150 in Early Childhood Development (ECD). However the orphans number 100 and this is a shocking reminder of the devastation of families due to HIV/AIDS and waterborne diseases and other health issues. The successful growth and development of Chebukutumi Primary School has been assisted through financial support via the diocesan link and this success has now led to the opening of the Geoff Brown Girls High School there which was registered with the government in 2010.

On 4 March 2012 the Bishop of Bungoma, The Rt. Rev. George Mechumo officially opened and blessed the new Geoff Brown Girls High School in Chebukutumi.  It was a grand occasion and cause for much deserved celebration, see the 3rd Newsletter in News.  Each year we are able to provide one or two UK sponsored scholarships for girls from the most needy families.  By 2016 we had 9 scholars at the school.

Our charity's aims in schools are to provide encouragement and support where possible and to consider grants for infrastructure and facilities. The pictures provide a vivid insight into the current situation in primary schools in this remote corner of Western Kenya.


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