Our goal is to complement the education being offered by government and informal schools. Having worked closely with primary schools for a number of years, Vision Africa’s role changed with the introduction of free primary education. In order to improve children’s ability to reach their potential we now focus on two areas of education:
- Early Years Education – Giving young children a strong foundation for their Primary education by developing language and numeracy skills.
- After School Support – Providing a supportive environment to reinforce learning and improve academic performance in partnership with local community based organisations such as Ngando Village of Hope.
Vision Africa’s programmes are located in urban informal settlements and rural communities. Children in each of these environments face several challenges when it comes to completing formal education; whether in informal learning institutions or public schools.
Although the Kenyan Government has been providing Free Primary Education since January 2003, there are still many challenges facing children who want to complete formal education.
- Costs such as uniforms, exams, shoes, textbooks, stationery etc are outside the household budgets of many low-income families.
- School attendance and completion are often compromised by poverty as children are either forced to work for food rather than attend school or find it hard to attend for a full day whilst undernourished
- The quality of education is often compromised by class size, poor facilities, quality of teaching staff and lack of teaching resources such as textbooks.
- The challenges faced by students extend beyond the classroom to their home situations where poor lighting and family pressure to carry out household chores can make completion of homework and additional studies an impossible task.
- Early Childhood Education is not provided for by the Government at the same level as Primary Education, meaning that a lot of children miss out on this essential element of preparation for primary education.
Vision Africa is seeking to address the effects of these issues by helping to improve the quality of educational opportunities on offer to children in urban informal settlements and rural communities. From 2017 this includes children who have been reintegrated to their families from the two children’s homes that we supported through the deinstitutionalisation programme.