Mikoroshoni Newsletter – February to April 2018
Trustees Pat and John Lloyd
During the past few months we have had to pass on the sad news that Pat is at the moment in a care home in Stoke and very sadly John passed away in February this year. We have managed to make contact with most of the supporters of Mikoroshoni who were on Pat’s list. We thank all of you who sent messages of condolence and donations in memory of John. Most of you have decided to continue with your support for which we thank you.
At Mikoroshoni the whole school held a minutes silence to remember John, as Headteacher Joshua said “Our dear father, friend and trustee of our education.” The children were reminded to work hard in their studies as a way of appreciating “The devotion of all The Friends of Mikoroshoni.”
In February/March Evelyn Lyall spent three weeks in Mombasa and in March John Brooker spent two weeks out there.
Changes to the education system
There are many changes taking place in the education system in Kenya. Eventually Primary School Education will finish at the end of Standard 6 instead of Standard 8 as at present. Then there will six years of Secondary School Education instead of the present four years.
This means that a new curriculum is being introduced and there are eight subjects – Maths, Language, Kiswahili, Religion, Health & Nutrition, Environmental Studies, Music and Creative Arts. New text books will be required for most of these subjects and paints, brushes, crayons and raffia will be needed for Creative Arts. The teachers will teach Music but parents from different tribes will come in to teach their own tribal dances. The children will make many of their own musical instuments, bells from metal bottle tops and shakers from seed pods.
Training for the teachers
On 26th December 2017 the teachers attended a four day National Training Course for the new curriculum. They found it very difficult to take in all the information as they had ten 1 hour lectures each day. The course began at 8am and was attended by 200/300 teachers all in one room and with no sound system! The Government will give further training in school but this would have to be paid for.
This is the Governments new way of collecting school data on line. All learning institutions must register their school, all staff and all pupils. Straight away there was a problem as each pupil must have a birth certificate. Many of the children do not have this document and do not know when their birthday is. Each child must also have a passport size photograph. Deputy Headteacher, Oscar is spending many hours at the Internet Café filling in the details. We are looking into the cost of having Wifi in the school.
“It was a happy moment” when John Brooker took money from The Rotary Club of Bolton Le Moors to buy the maize flour to help each family with meals during the holidays. The ugali that the flour is used for is eaten by itself or with vegetables and beans. Fish and meat can be added but only occasionally if there is a little extra money. This Rotary Club is also funding the holiday flour until the end of 2019. We know how thankful the families will be to receive the flour.
To earn a few shillings parents take on some of these activities around the village,
- Cooking & selling potatoes
- Washing clothes from house to house
- Selling mangoes
- Making then selling porridge (a cup of porridge costs 10shillings – 8pence)
- Collecting garbage
- Cleaning other people’s compounds and toilets
- Felling young coconuts & selling them along the beach
There was a national exercise to distribute free mosquito nets to citizens in the last week in February. The school was used as one of the centres where tens of bags of nets were shared and given to the villagers. Despite the use of nets children and teachers still get malaria.
Pendo Hassan, the girl who did so well at the Chess Competition came top in her Standard 8 National Exams. She has managed to start Secondary School because her very large extended family managed to raise enough money to fund her first year fees.
At the end of April the new term began and so did the rain! Only 90 children out of 300 managed to get to school. The roads and paths had turned into rivers of orange mud. But the next day the rain had stopped and the sun came out and so did the children.
Headteacher Joshua visited the homes of all the new KG1 children. These comments occurred many times in his report. Both parents are jobless. They struggle to pay their rent. They live under a leaking roof. They have 6 Children. They have no furniture at all. They sleep on rotten mattresses on the floor. Some days they do not eat.
I think all of us can only imagine what it must be like to live like this. Mikoroshoni School provides a caring, safe & happy learning environment and a daily meal for 300 children. This is made possible by you, our supporters .
THE TRUSTEES, CHILDREN, PARENTS AND STAFF OF MIKOROSHONI PRIMARY SCHOOL WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU ALL.