Keeping Teachers in North Kenya Schools - Melako Conservancy

 
 NRT CEO Tom Lalampaa with Marsabit County Governor H.E Mohamud Mohamed Ali at the opening of the Merille School teacher's block 

NRT CEO Tom Lalampaa with Marsabit County Governor H.E Mohamud Mohamed Ali at the opening of the Merille School teacher's block 

By creating conducive learning environments and supporting teachers, NRT and partners aim to transform lives by providing access to high-quality educational facilities for children living in community conservancies across northern Kenya through the Northern Kenya Teachers Development Project. 

On the 23rd June 2018  Marsabit County Governor, H.E Mohamud Mohamed Ali, presided over the opening of two newly constructed teacher's block at Merille Primary School, Melako Community Conservancy, Laisamis.

The three new housing blocks were built with the technical support of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and the financial support of Medicor Foundation, ICEP (Institut zur Cooperation bei Entwicklungs-Projekten) and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Each block has the capacity to accommodate nine teachers and operate solely on solar power. 

“One of the biggest challenges for poverty alleviation still remains the improvement of the quality of schooling in these areas," said NRT CEO Tom Lalampaa. "The region performs particularly poorly in student enrolment (30-40%) and has a very poor performance on the Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education exams, where the average score of the NRT communities lies about 20% below the national average. The challenges faced by many communities including prolonged drought and reoccurring conflict of lack of resources, means many children do not receive any form of consistent education. By building these blocks and ensuring that the teachers have quality facilities creates a conducive learning environment which we believe will help reverse the situation and transform lives.”

This building project is one of several key deliverables under The Northern Kenya Teachers Development Project, which aims to improve the enrolment and academic performance of children in five primary schools in NRT member community conservancies. Specifically, this will be achieved by not only improving infrastructure but also by developing the capability of teachers and directors to increase the quality of the schooling that is being provided. 

Around 1,000 primary school children (5-14 years old) in five villages stand to benefit from the initiative. 

“Being in a position to visit and commission this school and later attend Melako Community Conservancy AGM is very important," said H.E Mohamud Mohamed Ali, Governor for Marsabit County. "As we move forward to building the resilience of and empowering communities, it is critical that we work together and lean on each other’s expertise and skills to deliver what the communities need. Once we secure the future of the children on the communities, then we know we are on the right path to securing peace, maintaining our wildlife numbers and uplifting the lives of the communities – all of which in line with the Kenyan Government's national development plans."

The implementation of this project expands on a successful four-year partnership which has seen Medicor and ICEP provide business development support to communities in NRT conservancies. The project sought to open and improve opportunities for communities to generate income, which included the development of collective eco-tourism, improvements in agrarian and husbandry skills (including water development), savings and credit groups and the establishment of market access plans.  

 
Sophie Harrison