They came in early Saturday morning, young and old, women and men, in all manner and form excited to be finally receiving a certificate that would officially show that they are trained teachers.
Representing numerous education centres across informal sectors in Nairobi, the 200 nursery school teachers finally accessed an early childhood development education through an initiative by the Complementary Schools Association of Kenya in partnership with Nairobi county government and Care for All Kids International organization from China.
“Some of our teachers have served up to 15 years with no training and the government urges all informal school teachers to be certified within three years, but no one can afford college training,” says Mr. Charles Ouma, National Chairman of the Association.
They queued one by one receiving their certificated from a five day training pilot programme course that only costed them 250 shillings per day instead of the high cost that institutions in Kenya cost.
“I send my teachers to community training because the cost is 300 shillings instead of 1200 per day, whilst its passing rate in national exam is over 90%,” says Mr. Buluma, a retired government teacher and school manager in Kibera
These teachers represent only a small portion of the many untrained nursery school teachers across the metropolis in about 1500 alternative basic education and training schools (informal schools in slums) that have not received proper training due to lack of finances among other reasons.
Even as they sing kindergarten schools to show their passion in their work and their jubilation on their graduation day, the teachers still have two years school based program that will see them complete their studies and get registered with the Teacher’s Service Commission in Kenya which is in charge of employing teachers in the East African nation.
This training has come at an opportune time with the government of Kenya requiring all alternative basic education and training schools to be registered by next year, showing at least 30 percent of teachers trained or face closure. These informal schools are very important especially to the slum dwellers since it offers them a bridge between the overcrowded public schools and expensive private school.
Sponsored by Care for All Kids Foundation, the pilot programme has proved to be a success, therefore will continue into the future hoping to train all nursery school teachers in the informal sector in four years.