Why build a high school?
In Kenya, primary school is comparable to 1st through 8th grades in US schools. At the end of primary school, students take a national examination which is in effect an entrance examination for high school. Based largely upon their results, students are assigned to a high school locally, regionally, or nationally.
BEADS-sponsored girls were finishing a quality primary school -- most placing well on the national examination -- but few with a high school option where they could continue in this kind of learning environment.
This was the biggest factor in the decision to build our own high school. We want our students to have the opportunity to continue the learning experience in the best possible environment where they get the highest quality education. At Tembea High School, our students not only learn the required Kenyan curriculum but also develop the skills to prepare them to succeed for the rest of their lives, whether they continue on to college, enter the work force, or chose to marry and start their families. Our goal is build a strong academic program based upon critical thinking, practical experience, reading and writing programs, environmental stewardship, community service, and also cultural understanding.
Quality of Education
1. Since 2005, BEADS has presented teacher and student workshops to promote student centered interactive teaching which follows the Kenyan curriculum. Additional BEADS programs which enhance the Kenyan curriculum include: critical and creative thinking, reading, writing, career counseling, mentoring, leadership training, the value of hard work, community service and pride in their traditional cultures and handcrafts.
2. The above programs have been developed and presented at Top Ride School (a small private elementary school) where most of our elementary students attend, but are not continued at the high schools. BEADS works with the high school girls during the term breaks.
3. Vocational training is not offered in the high schools which means that girls who are not college bound graduate without skills to support themselves. BEADS will develop vocational training to include tailoring, cooking, animal husbandry, carpentry, plumbing, auto mechanics traditional beading, running small businesses etc.
Funded Student Body
BEADS sponsors more than 320 girls. Each of our girls is funded from 4th grade through college by individual sponsors at $400/year. Approximately 40 girls will be eligible to enter form 1 and 2 in 2012. Annually , we expect that 40 more BEADS girls will enroll. Admissions will also be open to the general public.
BEADS sponsored girls are beginning to graduate from college with degrees in teaching and other fields that will be instrumental for running a school. When a BEADS sponsored girl graduates from high school, they volunteer for one year of service as teachers for the nursery school at Tembea . In 2012, 15 girls entered this program. The closest elementary/nursery school is approximately a two hour walk.
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