• Education for Children, Kenya

    Educating marginalized children in Kenya

    Project areas: Education

    Our Foundation is improving school curriculum in Kenya and educating hundreds of community members with the Education for Marginalized Children in Kenya (EMACK) project. Started in 2004 and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the project helps to prepare primary school children for the transition to elementary grades and has promoted quality learning and teaching in particularly poor regions of Kenya. It also increases parent involvement, builds educational resources, and makes education accessible to the most vulnerable children in society, including special needs students.
    EMACK takes a holistic approach to ensure quality education in Kenyan classrooms by involving community members and parents in school improvement. For example, in 2009 over 4,000 teachers, parents and education officials met to build support and understanding for the education project. To keep newly enrolled students in the classroom, EMACK also revamped schools’ curriculums. The project has trained approximately 600 teachers on active learning methods – inspiring children to get more engaged in each lesson.

    EMACK’s support for improved school management, which is implemented in partnership with other non-governmental organizations and Kenya’s Ministry of Education, ranges from developing mobile libraries for nomadic communities’ schools to teacher training and small grants for school improvement in urban settlements. The project trains teachers on how to manage large class sizes and how to promote active learning, as well how to provide guidance and life skills training to upper primary students. EMACK’s Whole School approach engages parents and community stakeholders in children’s learning processes, develops a community of reading, and supports identification of school challenges and solutions by School Management Committees.
    To increase the number of resources available to students, EMACK uses low - and no cost teaching methods. Using local materials like sticks, bottle caps and straws, teachers and parents can create simple and effective learning tools for children. The project has benefited children in over 800 government schools and early childhood development centers.
    With a new project grant extension of $11 million from USAID, the Foundation plans to strengthen its effectiveness over the next four years to reach even more schools, train an additional 4,000 teachers, and benefit 275,000 students overall.
    Education for Marginalized Children in Kenya is an initiative of the Ministry of Education and the Aga Khan Foundation made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development.