Shine the Light Kenya... Helping make a brighter future for our children.
The level of poverty in these regions has led to a complete lack of necessary supplies for both the students and their educators. Books, pencils and backpacks are three basic resources that facilitate the learning process, but are considered rare luxuries at the schools we have visited.
During my visit to one of the three schools, the Deputy Head Teacher took me to her office and showed me all the books that were available in the whole school. This school has more than 700 students, and their entire library fits on one small shelf in her office. The same case applies to the other two schools as portrayed in the pictures we have provided. This greatly affects students' performance and makes the teachers' work more difficult.
The books were torn, covered in red soil and numbered very few. Students share these books when in class and they're not allowed to go home with them. This means that they are unable to do their homework or even study at home. Most students can't afford backpacks and so, they carry their few exercise books in plastic bags.
As it stands many students are already burdened by meals and water whereby the schools are incapable of providing even those basic resources.
In my visits I also discovered that having a full-size pencil is a luxury. We presented pencils to students and their amazement was evident as we saw their reaction after receiving a full-size pencil. Students normally start with a pencil that has been cut in half. They write with these until they are barely an inch long and impossible to hold.
It is not unusual to see children borrowing pencils from their friends if their friends even have any to spare. It then becomes the responsibility of a teacher to carry spare pencils and lend them to those students without. This means that students then have to return them to the teachers at the end of the lesson.
Students fall behind in their work because it is impossible to do their work without pencils. This is as a result of poverty in their homes. Teachers in public schools are paid low wages, so it's difficult for them to equip the students out-of-pocket even if they wanted to.
Students’ performance is greatly affected for all of these reasons, which in turn greatly affects the schools' performance in national exams. Shine The Light Kenya will work with the parents, guardians and teachers to ensure that these students get the books and other supplies that they need in order to study and pass their exams. Please join us in this effort.
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