Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chogoria School Partnership

Cosmos Education is partnering with a group of volunteers from the United States and Kenya who are working to expand Chogoria Primary School near Mt. Kenya in Central Province.

Cosmos Education taught in schools in and around Chogoria in 2006 as part of the Under African Skies (UAS) program.

Chogoria primary school is registered as an official school, but there is no official secondary school on the compound. The school has become especially crowded in recent years as students stay on into Form 1 and Form 2 (the first two years of high school). The school does not have funding for to pay for secondary school teachers or materials, but many students can’t afford to attend secondary schools elsewhere, so teachers have volunteered to teach students who want to stay on, squeezing them into the existing facilities.

Chogoria Secondary School Classrooms Under Construction

Although there are secondary schools near to Chogoria, the schools only accept boarding students, and one or two local day students per year. Boarding school is significantly more expensive than day school, and these schools can’t accommodate the many local students who want to continue their education. UNESCO estimates that less than half of Kenyan students who complete primary school go on to secondary school.

To give students the chance to continue their education, Chogoria native Davis Mwera launched campaign to construct the high school classrooms that are necessary for the Chogoraia school to become registered as an official secondary school that will receive funding from the government. Davis, who was the first child from his village to attend university and now works for the Clinton HIV/AIDS Foundation’s Kenya Program, mobilized his coworkers, especially some young Americans, to collect donations for the school. From July 11-15, Davis organized a group of volunteers who worked with parents and students to lay the foundation and complete the lower half of the walls of the school.

The project organizers contacted Cosmos Education Kenya about a collaboration as an effort to ensure that the new school will receive more permanent attention after the buildings are constructed.
Davis Mwera
School donors and local community members expressed their hope that Cosmos Education Kenya team members will visit the secondary students regularly to encourage students and inform them about possibilities for continuing to study science or pursuing a career in science or technology. One mother is a teacher at Chogoria Girls Secondary Boarding School remembered Cosmos Education’s visit in 2006 and urged CE to return to her son’s future school. The new secondary school will include laboratory facilities and equipment, creating more opportunity for students to get excited about hands-on science education.

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