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14 September 2023 - News


Judith Oyombe in her class showcasing some of the creative materials that her young learners have made in class.

By Diana Maweu

On a sunny morning in Kiboro Primary School in Mathare North, Nairobi, we find children in a class completely engaged in a painting activity given to them by their teacher, Judith Oyombe. She goes around assessing the learners’ work and assisting them where necessary.

The lesson comes to an abrupt end when the bell rings announcing break time. The children run out to play as Teacher Judith remains in class to assess her pupils’ paintings some more. She smiles as she goes through the paintings, her face that of a proud teacher. She tells us Save the Children donated the crayons her pupils use.

“Save the children has enabled these pupils to enjoy learning. The crayons you see here were donated to us by Save the Children. They also gave us some of the play equipment you can see out on the playground,” she says adding that she has witnessed first hand the tremendous improvement in the growth of the children since the start of the project back in 2020.

Kiboro Primary School is one of three Early Childhood Education (ECD) centers in Mathare informal settlement, supported by Save the Children’s ECD project. The support this project offers includes training of teachers, parents and Boards of Management. Save the Children’s ECD Coordinator Patrick Ooko says these trainings center on inclusive education, provision of inclusive learning and play materials for learners, child protection and positive discipline to ensure that all ECD children, regardless of their vulnerabilities, learn in safe and protective environments.

“Save the Children is very passionate about education for all children because we believe that education opens doors for children. Access to safe and quality education forms part of the Country Strategic Plan 2022-2024 and is among our 2030 global ambition of ensuring children learn. We picked ECD Centers in Mathare to at the very least, break the cycle of disadvantage for children living in such areas,” said Patrick.

Teacher Judith confirms that since the beginning of the project, she has seen massive improvement in her young learners.

She adds that parental participation has increased tremendously.

“Before the program began, teachers had a difficult time convincing parents to enroll their children up for extended learning. These activities are encouraged under ECD to help parents get more involved with their children’s development. We have seen tremendous development since this program began because it has helped parents to understand the importance of parental involvement in a child’s learning activities, this has in turn helped better the parent-child relationship.”

The project, which has been running since 2020 has seen children in the community and ECD centers benefit through parental involvement in their day to day lives from home to school. There is a lot of focus on fathers because in most informal settlements, it is often a belief that it is a mother’s responsibility to take care of the children – with fathers playing a peripheral role.

The program has seen more men get trained, and as Patrick tells us, they have seen tremendous improvement with more fathers now getting involved in their children’s development.