A long way to school in Kenya | Global Partnership for Education

A long way to school in Kenya

Photo story of the week

Fifth grader Sinangoa Mohamed, 12, sleeps at her desk during break time at Mwangala Primary School Kenya. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

Fifth grader Sinangoa Mohamed, 12, sleeps at her desk during break time. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

CREDIT: GPE/Kelley Lynch

At Mwangala Primary School in Mombasa County, Kenya 70% of the students must walk 7-10 kilometers to school. Most are from poor families and are often tired and hungry when they get to school. 

Fauzia, a student in class 5, says, “Life is difficult because some days there is no food so we sleep hungry”.  Asked if she had breakfast this morning, she says no. Fauzia walked an hour to be here on an empty stomach. At lunch she will walk home, eat some ugali and small fish, drink a cup of tea, and return to school. After school, and another hour’s walk home, Fauzia will walk another hour each way to fetch water, and then eat dinner, study and sleep.

Fauzia, a 5th grader at Mwangala Primary School in Mombasa County, Kenya. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

5th grader Fauzia. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

“Maybe 70% of our students come here from more than 5 km away,” explains deputy head teacher Shee Omari, “so a lot of children arrive late—and they haven't had any breakfast, and they don't get lunch here. The only get food at night. Can you imagine trying to teach a child who has not eaten anything all day and has walked so far?”

Kenya has been a GPE partner since 2005 and has received more than US$200 million in GPE grants to support the provision of basic education and improvements in the quality of education. The government and its partners are making efforts to improve the education system and ensure that children like Sinangoa and Fauzia can get to school and learn.

More information about GPE support to Kenya

Sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya

Comments - Join the Conversation

Basic Education

There is need to invest in basic education in many African countries. I partnered with a university in Kenya to work on an education project in 2015 and 2016 for five months. One of the project activity was visiting primary and secondary schools in the country. We performed chemistry demonstrations to students and facilitated hands-on activities in order to inspire them to develop interest in science, encourage them to work hard in school and complete their education. It was heartwarming to see students excited about science and how much they appreciated the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities. Partnering with institutions and mentoring teachers and students will help improve student learning and quality of basic education.

Leave a Comment