We had a great visit from a friend, Andrew Ramsay, from England who was studying various school in Kenya for a thesis he is doing. He really enjoyed his visit to Sunrise of Africa School (SOAS) and these were some of his observations. Sammy is our Administrator and Daniel is our Headmaster. Thank you for your feedback, Andrew!
This is what Andrew said:
A number of things struck me about the way in which SOAS works. Firstly, it is properly managed. Secondly, it has a clear strategy. Third, you do not get distracted by other “community development” projects. And most importantly, the staff are motivated and enthusiastic.
To take the first point, my discussion with Sammy was rewarding. He is an impressive guy. He has a grasp of the important issues. As Sammy said, “Education is the only way out of poverty. Without education, they can’t even get a menial job”.
The governance of SOAS appears to be well done. I liked the fact that you have regular Skype discussions, that there are people on the ground in Kenya, that the staff know who the leaders of the project are, and so on.
Daniel was very helpful, even though he seemed to have a lot to do. It’s good that he still gets to teach on a regular basis, and I sat in on one of his classes. He was also a very good host. His apartment is humble, but he made me very welcome.
In terms of the staff, I did sit in on quite a few classes, so I saw several different teachers at work. I am not an educationalist, so I am certainly not qualified to comment on the teaching. The only thing that I would say, is that without exception, they were motivated and animated with the kids. There was individual attention to pupils, and they weren’t just being taught by rote. I noted that the teachers do get some CPD (continuous professional development) and that always helps to motivate staff.
What I found above all, was a happy school. The fact that the churn rate is low and numbers are increasing, is a good sign that you are getting it right. Well done.