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kenya – kipetu primary

Kipetu Primary is located approximately 70 kilometers from Nairobi in Kajiado District – Rift Valley province.  It caters for 445 pupils in the 6-15 age range squeezed in to six permanent and six temporary classrooms.  There are desks for half the pupils and there are very few text books to share among the children.

The school, located in a semi-arid area, was recommended by the Ministry of Education and was selected from 15 schools that were reviewed against the Airtel Education Initiative strategy and guidelines.  Despite the poor facilities the children produce average results and, with better facilities, it is hoped that the school will produce good/excellent results.

The community is mainly pastoralist and undertakes subsistence farming.  These activities don’t generate enough money for them to participate in the development of the school facilities partly because the area is dry and most of the time their animals are affected by the harsh weather conditions and die leaving them with no source of income.  Girls of school going age have previously been married off to older men since to the parents they are considered to be a source of wealth.

The school faces many challenges.  The weather is harsh.  Most of the year the land is dry and lack of roads makes it inaccessible during wet weather.  Teachers walk approximately 9 kilometers to reach school.  Sanitation is poor.

By the virtue of being a pastoral community families believe that their children will continue to graze their herds on their pastures and they do not fully understand the need to invest in better education for their children.

Children are oten kept at home to look after the animals but the Ministry of Education is always urging the school administration to ensure that children are not withdrawn from school during studies.