Osiligi Obaya Primary School – Educational excellence.
The school is now finished – well almost. On a five acre plot in a broad valley, the blue roof can be seen for miles around – blue being the Maasai colour for generosity. What has surprised us is just how proud the Maasai are of their new school. “We are now like other areas” or “we thank all the people from the UK for this great opportunity”. Interestingly, land prices have started to rise in the area, in expectation of the school’s greatness.
“Education is the most important weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela.
For phase one, we have built:
A 6 classroom school (initially 1 will be used as a staff room and office)
Dining room / assembly hall
4 Teachers’ houses
The Osiligi Obaya Primary school is one of the few schools in Kenya with a website.
We started the first year (2012) with 3 classes and are adding 1 class of 25 children each year. The youngest child is 4 and the oldest about 9 (the Maasai usually do not know their exact birth-date). In 2014 we will build 2 more classrooms and teachers’ accommodation, ready for the new intake in 2015.
We have incorporated a number of ‘green’ technologies into the school. Long term, we want the school to consume nothing apart from food, and to produce no waste. Green technologies are almost unheard of in Kenya, so this school will educate 25 new children every year who have been brought up on sustainable living.
The ‘green technologies’ include:
A 50,000L rain water catchment tank. This year we are also drilling a solar powered bore-hole to supplement the tank and give water to the community.
Solar electricity. Solar makes great sense in a place with constant sun.
Energy efficient cooking stoves.
Water re-use from the septic tank onto the vegetable garden.
With additional funds, we wish to add:
Solar hot water.
Bio-gas generation for the kitchen stoves.
How will this school help the area?
This school is different to other rural schools. It has excellent, fully qualified teachers (we had to build teacher’s houses to attract them), electricity, water, computers, lights and plenty of teaching aids. These are all things we take for granted in the UK but although available in the private schools in Nairobi, are rare in the rural areas. Most rural schools are a little more than a tin shack lacking electricity, lights, water or books.
It may take 15 years for our children to become fully qualified doctors, nurses and engineers who return to help their people but once they do, they will banish the extreme poverty and hardship in the area. The primary school is the first step on this path. Without this school providing the first step, the rest is not possible. The education of children is the catalyst for positive change in this area and the whole of Kenya.
Adult illiteracy and poor numeracy is high in the community. Apart from teaching children during the day, the Maasai have asked for the school to be available for adult education in the evening.
Education for the poor.
Due to low life expectancy, there are many orphans in the area. Because of the cost, most do not attend school. The charity’s child sponsor scheme is available to offer school places to many of these orphans and other children from poor families.
Please consider helping us to complete the school project by sending a donation.
Exceptional teachers wanted.
For January 2014, we will require one more P1 qualified teacher. If you think you have the qualities required for a modern high performing school, please see here for more information.
This video is an interview with one of the governors of the school:
Click here for information on the Kenyan education system