In Kenya, primary education is compulsory and begins at the age of five or six with a year of kindergarten commonly known as Nursery School or pre-unit. The first class or year of primary school is known as Standard 1, the final year as Standard 8. Most primary schools are day schools with pupils living at home. All public primary school pupils sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination at the end of the school year in Standard 8.
However, many parents can only afford to send their children to public schools, which are virtually free of charge but hopelessly overcrowded. On average across all primary schools in Kenya, there are approximately 40 students per teacher, which means average class sizes amount to around 60 to 70 students. This means that teachers are forced to use teaching methods that cannot take into account individual students’ needs. Students’ strengths and weaknesses cannot be addressed adequately and individual talents can never be revealed.
The KINGS’ ACADEMY in the Loitokitok District of Kenya started in January 2013 introducing the first 20 children to the school and has been growing continuously since then as an additional class is accepted into the school every year. In order to allow for smaller class sizes with 20 to 30 students, we have to be privately funded through school fees and donations. Since most people around the school barely have an income, every third student is intended to receive a scholarship, allowing him or her to attend school free of charge. This will enable students from varied social backgrounds to attend the school and for them to receive more individual support than in public schools. In the first years the school's headmaster Peterson Nyaga accepted more students in need of financial support in order to give everybody an equal chance. While the school becomes accepted and well-known within the local community, more students whose parents are able to tribute a small amount will attend the KINGS' ACADEMY.
Furthermore, we strive to introduce new enriched teaching methodologies equipped
to promote creativity, individual talents and the development of every students full potential. In East Africa normal means of teaching tend to concentrate on lecturestyle teaching, primarily
encouraging a mentality of learning by heart and often overlooking the importance of self-reliant learning. Based on the Kenyan curriculum and in cooperating with several foreign universities we
therefore plan to establish an open source project to develop learning materials providing our teachers with the necessary teaching aides. Additionally, we are happy to announce that we will be
supported by schooled volunteers, providing supplementary methodological training and assistance to the staff.
Finally, violence will not be tolerated in any situation at THE KINGS’ ACADEMY. We rather wish to foster a strong sense of equality, democracy and justice in a secure and caring environment, sensitive to the individual needs of our pupils. By introducing a firm understanding of other cultures, traditions and beliefs we further want to encourage respect, awareness and positive relationships with one another – far beyond the school borders.
EXPECTED RESULTS AND OUTCOMES
In the long term, we intended to grow to include students from Nursery School through Standard 8, with no more than 30 students per class. We thus aim to provide an individual education to up to 270 students at a time, allowing up to thirty students per year to graduate with their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. Approximately one third of the students will be provided with scholarships allowing them to be exempt from the school fees. Additionally, orphaned or abandoned children are supposed to be provided with the opportunity to live on the school campus and thus grow up in a sheltered, safe and nurturing environment.
We recognize the value of individual talents, which are not discovered in the course of a standard Kenyan primary school curriculum. We thus intend to profit from international cooperation hoping to learn for best teaching practices from abroad and present the students with the option of taking part in additional activities to discover themselves and their strengths. The plot of land is large enough to accommodate space for art and music buildings, as well as space for sports. The King’s Academy will thus provide children with a range of social backgrounds the opportunity to receive an excellent primary education. These children will grow up in an environment that fosters critical thinking and focuses on individual strengths.