Monday, July 23, 2007

School Still a Dream for Many

The Washington Post had an interesting feature about education for street children in Kenya. The piece also discusses how “free” education is deceptive, because students still must pay high fees for uniforms, books, and other (sometimes bogus) fees required by teachers and administrators.

The government of Uganda offers tuition vouchers for “free” primary and secondary education, and Kenya, where primary is free, is expected to declare free secondary education before the election in December. However, the government has not adequately financed school facilities or teacher training efforts to cope with the flood of new students.

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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Mr. Peter Kanja
Engineer, KickStart Inc. (formerly ApproTEC)
President, Cosmos Education Kenya

Mr. Peter Kanja has been consistently involved in education and technology for five years. He holds a B.Sc. Degree in Mechanical Engineering (majoring in Agriculture & Technology) from the University of Nairobi. For five years he has been an officer and an educator for Cosmos Education.

Through Cosmos Education Mr. Kanja has established links with schools throughout Kenya as well as the Kenyan Ministry of Education. He has also been very actively involved in the on-going UNEP “Plant For The Planet Campaign” since its launch in 2003. He is also the Cosmos Education Kenya team leader in the recently launched “The Billion Tree Campaign” by UNEP. All of this, Mr. Kanja has achieved while holding positions as a Design Technician in a non-profit making NGO called Kickstart Int. (formerly ApproTEC). Mr. Kanja has inspired students in schools and universities with his concept of “Think Big and Wide” and is the current President of Cosmos Education Kenya.

Ms. Bridgit Syombua
Executive Director, Cosmos Education Kenya

Ms. Syombua has been consistently involved in education and technology for 4 years. She is a veterinarian having graduated from the University of Nairobi. For the last 4 years she has been an officer and an educator for Cosmos Education. The teaching and mentoring of the younger generations by the older ones is of utmost importance to the advancement of all the sciences. Ms. Syombua has taught in hundreds of schools throughout Africa including Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya, reaching thousands of students individually. Through Cosmos Education Ms. Syombua has established links with schools throughout Kenya as well as the Kenyan Ministry of Education. Ms. Syombua has also fundraised for computers from Scotland, which she intends to distribute in schools so that they can move with the changing information, communication and technology times. She is also spearheading the mentoring project, which has started in schools in Nairobi. The project invited professionals to schools to talk to students about their professions and what actually happens in one’s career. This is a very inspiring project for students.

Mr. Isaac Musyoka
Student of International Relations & Journalism, USIU-A
Vice President & Acting Treasurer, Cosmos Education Kenya

Mr. Isaac Musyoka has also been consistently involved in education and technology for three years. He is an International Relations Student with a minor in Journalism and Management in the United States International University. For three years he has been an officer and an educator for Cosmos Education. Mr. Musyoka has taught in hundreds of schools throughout Kenya reaching thousands of students individually. Through Cosmos Education Mr. Musyoka has established links with schools throughout Kenya as well as the Kenyan Ministry of Education. He has been a key player in organizing global activities here including the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Under African Skies trips in Kenya. Mr. Musyoka is currently involved in the facilitation of the Getting there professional insights and is working on documentary project for Cosmos Education. He is therefore well linked with the teachers in most of the schools and is keen on doing the PR for Cosmos Education Kenya.

Dr. Evalyn Mwihia
Educational Director, Cosmos Education Kenya

Dr. Evalyn Mwihia is a recent graduate of the University of Nairobi with a Bachelors degree in Veterinary Medicine. She has also undertaken a higher diploma course in Management of Information Systems. She has been a volunteer of Cosmos Education since the year 2004.
She participated in the Under African Skies program in the year 2004 held in Kenya within the Nairobi area. She has served as the Director of Education – Cosmos Education Kenya for the past one year. She has also participated in the recently completed, ”Getting there…Professional Insight 2007” program. She sees a great future in Cosmos Education and believes through science everything is possible.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Welcome to the Cosmos Education Kenya Blog!

We will use this forum to post updates about our activities, and to share photos, videos, and interesting links.

Cosmos Education Kenya (or CEK) is a registered charity in Kenya dedicated to engaging, inspiring, and empowering young people through science and technology education. The mission of Cosmos Education Kenya is to foster an understanding of global sustainable development through improved science and technology education in developing regions of the world.

Our method is working from the ground up - reaching individual students and teachers by being effective in the classroom. Our model is grassroots development within a community; we want the youth in developing regions of the world to decide how their nations should develop. In order to do this, the youth must understand the rapidly changing world around them. They must be inspired, empowered, and engaged in their education. Our goal is to encourage children to ask the questions that will drive development from within.