"Capacity Development Project for a Village-Based Sustainable Primary Education Strategy" (CADVES)
CADVES is a project to improve basic education in Loitokitok, a town in southern Kenya. By introducing data analysis to school management, developing teaching materials in Maasai, and supporting out-of-school children, CADVES aims to develop the capacity of communities to provide high-quality education for their own children.
Since its independence in 1963, the Republic of Kenya has always put basic education as one of the most important sectors. Regardless, unequal access to education and declining quality of education have become serious problems that need to be addressed. These issues are more pronounced in the poorer districts, and in such areas school management is becoming increasingly more difficult due to the excessive burden on the community members.
Education in Kenya
The school enrollment rate in Kenya is 85%, which is not sufficiently high. Universal Primary Education was introduced in 2003, but since the number of teachers remained the same despite the government's commitment at the policy level, communities have had to take up the role of employing teachers from their community members. Also, after the introduction of Universal Primary Education, the level of academic achievement has been declining in mathematics and science education, which SDGs focus on, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
Education in Loitokitok
Loitokitok in Kajiado County is an area that historically has had a particularly low education level, especially in terms of enrollment rate, poverty rate and the quality of teachers.
Most residents of Loitokitok have been pastoralists, but many of them have become unable to continue the pastoral livelihood due to environmental degradation and the government policy to promote settlement. The demand for jobs, as well as education to be qualified for the jobs, have therefore been rising in recent years.
There are, however, various issues that the education sector of Loitokitok needs to overcome. One of the challenges is that it is difficult for small-scale schools to collect and analyze information on their quality of education as part of their school management activities. Another problem is that there are not enough teaching materials and textbooks in the children's mother tongue, Maasai, preventing effective learning of the children in basic education. Furthermore, out-of-school children have not been given adequate assistance.
Summary of Activities
Training local staff
In order to create an environment in which communities can make full use of the information collected on the quality of education, we train our local staff, who are responsible for giving support to the community members, in educational statistics, conducting analyses using statistics software, as well as giving technical assistance including the development of a School Education Plan.
The local staff are also given instructions to publicize the analyzed data on a web page so that the communities gain access to high-quality information and can make use of the information to expand their community activities.
Improving literacy and intra-community information sharing
"Governance and Leadership Training" is held annually to the chief, the school principal and the representative of the school board of management to improve school management. Also, the meeting to spread awareness of the current situation and the future outlook of education in the target communities is held more than 6 times a year, after which the establishment of the School Education Plan is expected. Furthermore, literacy classes are held to improve literacy rate.
Training teachers and developing teaching materials
The schools in Loitokitok often lack textbooks in Maasai as well as teachers trained to teach in Maasai. For lower grade school children, however, getting basic education in Maasai, their mother tongue, ensures better understanding and smoother transition to education in Swahili and/or English in later years. CADVES therefore is creating appropriate teaching materials as well as textbooks in Maasai to be distributed to each target school. Based on the analysis and revision of the existing textbooks, the Maasai people develop teaching materials for the lower grade school children. We also plan to train teachers of the lower grade classes every year and evaluate its impact on the quality of education.
Establishment of a resource room
There are a number of out-of-school children who cannot attend school for various reasons including parents refusing to let their children attend school, schools rejecting enrollment in fear of getting a lower result for the national exam, and a lack of appropriate environment for the disabled children to receive education, etc.
In all the target communities, we promote each community to acquire information on the number of out-of-school children and increase awareness of the problems that those children face.
From the second year onward, a "resource room" will be established at schools to facilitate learning of out-of-school children according to their diverse needs.