The successful kindergartens sent more and more students into the two government elementary schools in the area (grades 1 to 8). They needed to board at school because their nomadic families were far from the government schools in the area.
There were no dormitories, the school buildings were falling down and the students lacked even the most essential of supplies.
First of all we needed dormitories to house all the children coming in from the nomadic preschools. 10 generous supporters donated enough money to construct 10 dormitories with shower blocks, toilets, and solar lighting and we equipped them with new bunk beds, mattresses, mosquito nets and and sheets.
Other generous supporters helped us renovate old classrooms and build new ones so that there was one classroom for every grade. Each year we added new desks and at the beginning of the school year we bought each student a brand new school uniform.
At Ndoyno Wasin, students had been walking 4 kilometers a day to fetch water from an open well in a dry river bed that was polluted by animals at night so we put in a new solar powered well for clean running water. A new kitchen was built to prepare meals for the growing student population. An ambulance and driver were donated to look after the health of the students in both the grade schools and in the surrounding kindergartens.
When we first started helping the Samburu people Ndonyo Wasin grade school received just 30% of the funding it would need to function at a basic academic level: 3 government teachers were responsible for teaching 8 classes of students, one textbook was shared among 4 students, and students would receive a small lunch from the government, but no breakfast or dinner. Unsurprisingly, grades at our two primary schools were well below the national average.
In 2008, we decided to close the gap and produce a significant improvement in our student’s grades and academic performance.
We hired more teachers, bought more textbooks, provided breakfast and dinner, and built up a herd of camels to provide milk to improve each child’s nutritional intake. We made it clear to both teachers and parents that these resources were conditional on the schools achieving zero teacher and student absenteeism and completing the syllabus at the end of the second term. We also added extra teaching time at the end of the day.
We built a large new library at each school with more than 2,000 english reading books in it. An english language teacher is in charge of the library and the goal is to ensure that every student is fluent in english which is the language for all text books and exams. Each student has one hour of guided reading in the library every afternoon.
Opened in 1969 with just 6 classrooms. In 2002 it had just 34 students at school. It now has 348
Opened in 1970 with just 3 class rooms with another 5 added over the next 10 years. In 2002 it had 96 students. It now has 412.
In 2007 the people of Lerata asked us to help their primary school. This completed our coverage of North East Samburu