Parents also need to provide school uniforms, shoes, socks, books etc. which many cannot afford to do, so many children are unable to go to school. And many Government schools are oversubscribed leading to overcrowded classes and a reduced quality of learning.
Education is highly prized among many Kenyan adults and children and is seen as the only way to escape from an existence weighed down by poverty. Gap Kenya sees educating the children and mother’s in our projects as important and believes that all learning can be the conduit to changed lives.
The children attend the centre on an ad hoc basis. Some children attend every day, others for a short period of time, others drop in once in a while. When attending for the first time, their educational ability is assessed by our qualified teacher and assigned to a class for learning. The centre uses Kenyan educational books similar to use in schools.
Each day, the children are taught in small groups for one hour. Street connected children have shorter attention spans and the lesson time is as much for them to learn discipline and respect for those teaching them as it is the academic input of their lesson.
Children who have never been to school are taught numeracy and literacy as a priority no matter their age.
All school age children attend the nearby local Government school. Children who have never been to school before begin in the nursery classes in spite of their age.
Pre-school children are taught in the centre – letters, numbers, shapes and colours. The charity is able to give these children a head start for when they begin school, added to which they now begin school when they should at age 4 years. Alongside teaching, children are able to play with toys and have fun, singing and playing games.
The creche for the youngest of our children provides fun and stimulation for their developing brains. The mothers who are unable to read, write, or do maths are taught to do so within the centre, alongside their tailoring lessons.
Children in the home are sent to private schools. The reason for this is to enable them to catch up quickly with their education after spending time on the streets, away from any educational facility. Private schools also have much smaller class sizes in general.
This has proven to be a successful strategy as seen by the results achieved by these children. Several are now at High Schools, one is at Teacher Training College, and one boy attained a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Mombasa University.