The Kenyan educational system is divided into three levels: primary school, secondary school, and the university/college levels. In our previous blogs, we have detailed the experiences of the students in the primary and secondary school levels. In this blog, we move a step further and explore the Kenyan tertiary educational level.
At this level, there are two major institutional categories. First are the universities. These are the highest-level educational institutions, offering degrees and post-graduate study opportunities. The second level of tertiary education is the vocational institutions and colleges. These are the intermediary level institutions that cater for the students who do well in their KCSE examinations, but fail to attain the C+ grade required to join a university. At this level, artisan certificate courses and diploma courses (an equivalent of a college degree) are offered. The college course takes a period of at least 6 months for an artisan course to a maximum of 3 years for the diploma courses.
Unfortunately, the transition rate between the secondary school levels in Kenya to the tertiary level is reported as below 50%. This means that less than half the total population that completes form 4 acquires an opportunity to progress with their education. The burning question is: why the low transition rate?
Essentially, it all comes down to money. The tertiary level of education, unlike the primary and secondary, is not subsidized by the government. As such, students have to pay additional fees, covering tuition, accommodation, and upkeep, each term to take care of their higher level education.
The high cost associated with continuing their education keeps many students from attending colleges. At Moja Tu, we hope to improve the transition rate of students continuing their education after secondary school by supporting them financially and emotionally. Our role in getting the students into college starts at the application process. The process requires the students to search and apply for their preferred colleges online. We facilitate this by ensuring that the students have access to the Internet and laptops. Once this is done, we arrange their travels to the different schools to collect their admission forms well in advance. In preparation for the reporting dates, Moja Tu supplies the students with all the necessary materials, such as school supplies, textbooks, clothing, and more. Upon reporting to school, Moja Tu pays all required fees and also gives the students additional pocked money for traveling back home over holidays and for emergency uses.
Moja Tu also offers moral support to college and university students through a mentorship program. Our team in Kenya conducts regular visits to the colleges and universities to meet with students and learn about their progress. Our board also hosts weekly Skype calls with the students every Friday to guide the students through their university days, and to help prepare them for post-graduate life.
At Moja Tu, we believe that by acquiring a college education, students gain the necessary skills to serve as skilled and reliable employees, as well as successful employers in the future. We seek to develop an independent and financially stable society through our sponsored students.