School Programs in Community and Public School
Up to date, VICDA has been able to construct 10 new public schools (classrooms from grade 1 -8, office administration blocks, 12 washrooms in each school) in the marginalized rural parts of Kenya. Prior to 2003, school was a big burden to many Kenyan parents. Actually many children of school-going age were out of school. This led to the introduction of Free Primary Education in January 2003; over 2 million children joined the primary schools. The schools were overwhelmed since the classrooms were not expanded or added. Teachers were few and there were no desks or chairs for the newly enrolled students. Basically all limits were stretched. Some classes still have over 100 pupils. The teacher-student ratio was too big it did not make sense. The crisis lasted for a few weeks but finally the dust settled. The problems have never been solved to date. Then after realizing that the quality offered in the public schools was low, some well up parents transferred their children to private primary schools.
In some of the public primary schools, pupils still sit on the floor or learn under trees. In other schools the teacher cannot master all their faces due to their great numbers and text books/stationeries are not available. One book can be shared among 10 children. This situation may improve when the government expands the facilities and employs more teachers, though as to when is highly debatable. Most likely not in the near future. It is for this reason VICDA works with these schools to improve the learning environment of children.
Education support includes construction of schools and expansion, paying of school fees, provision of learning materials and school uniforms. Through donor support we have provided food, desks, chairs, carpentry tools in technical schools, renovation of classrooms, and water to children in need.