January 19 - 25, 2014: Issue 146
Supporting the Secondary Education of Milami Primary School Graduates
The pioneer graduating class of Milami School performed very well in the 2013 external examinations – KCPE. All 19 students achieved a pass grade. This is an unusual achievement for any comprehensive school. Some achieved at a very high level, with the mean score well above 300/500.The maximum score for any student is about 430/500, so our student with 409 did very well.
All these Milami students now face the prospect of finding places at secondary schools to continue their education.
In Kenya the government schools are ranked as National Schools, County Schools, District Schools and local secondary schools. None are free. The tuition fees are highest for ‘National’ schools and generally go down as they get more local and/or have a less successful reputation. The highest ranked students at KCPE are offered places in the highest level school they sought entry to and then place availability trickles down the line. Places that are not filled by top performing students who cannot afford the fees are offered to lower performing students with money.
Private Schools can be of high or low standard, and each needs to be assessed for performance as well as affordability. A good one will usually be expensive. There are advantages at University entrance level for the students of government schools. All the higher achieving Milami students have said they prefer a government selective school at National, County or District level.
There are a few bursaries offered by large banks and the local government but our students, even the top performer might not be good enough to receive these. They are heavily lobbied.
Most students attend boarding school for the four years of secondary education. This is especially attractive to poorer students as it avoids the cost of transport daily, assures the student of regular meals, provides security, avoids the temptation of parents to add work duties to the student’s day and allows the student to focus on education. There are also few day school opportunities in the Joska area. There are no National or County Schools nearby.
Of the 19 KCPE candidates at Milami Primary School we believe there are 10 students who would be good candidates for secondary education but whose guardians will not be able to find the money to pay secondary fees. In future years we are anticipating a smaller proportion of needy students.
Because of the schools origins as a ministry to disadvantaged children in the Joska area, this first class contained many students who could not afford the meagre Milami fees let alone the full cost of boarding at a secondary school. Once the school established its reputation, more fee paying families joined. There are still needy families enrolling but they are a smaller proportion of the total.
The story of each of these ten students, along with their career objective and their preferred school is listed below. We are hoping we can find ten sponsors who will commit to a child for four years to complete his/her secondary education. They will then have a better chance of reaching their God given potential.
The Milami Primary School Standard 8 Class, 2013, with Brenda Allsop.
1. PAGIEL CECIL ASHERS - KCPE score 409.
Pagiel is likely to be offered a place in a good National School with his outstanding result. He has aspirations of becoming a surgeon and would seem capable of achieving that goal given the necessary financial resources. His father died when he was young leaving his older siblings with disrupted education. Pagiel is lastborn and was fully supported whilst attending Milami since standard 4.
His school preference is not the most expensive amongst the top schools – either Maranda Boys at about 200,000 ksh pa ($3,000) or Makueni Boys at about 140,000 ksh pa. ($2,000). This would cover tuition, uniform and boarding. They are both National Schools.
2. PAUL MURUTHI WAITHERA - KCPE score 375.
Paul has been at Milami for 7 years as a fully supported student. He was a rough street boy when found by Michael and Melab and is turning 16 in 2014. His single mother was unable to provide for him and his younger sister. He shows great potential from such a difficult start. He holds not unreasonable aspirations of becoming a doctor. His school preference is either the Makueni National School (about $2,000 pa) or the Masinga County School (about $1,500 pa)
3. MARIAN MUENI – KCPE score 330
Marian is the firstborn of a family with 5 children struggling to make ends meet depending on casual work. She has been at Milami school for 8 years and recently the parents have tried to pay half fees but this was a struggle. She aspires to become a Journalist. Her marks should be good enough for her to be offered a place at a County School such as Machakos Girls (about $850 pa) or Mumbuni District School (about $800 pa)
4. LILIAN KERUBO – KCPE score 312
Lilian has been at Milami for 7 years and in all that time the directors have never seen the
father though they are told he is around. The family arrived here as a result of post election displacement in 2007. She has one older sibling who is married. Lilian lives with her mother. This child needs help. She is considered to be at risk if she is not able to attend boarding school for her secondary education. She aspires to become a Journalist. A District School such as Kathiani Girls School at Kangundo would cost about $800 pa.
5. PERPETUA WACHERA – KCPE score 319
The child of a pastor who survives on casual labouring jobs, Perpetua is considered to have great potential. Her older sister dropped out due to pregnancy and the family seeks help to send Perpetua to boarding school to try and protect her future. She would like to become a journalist. A District boarding school would cost about $800 pa.
6. JOYCE MUMBI – KCPE score 310
Joyce came to Milami School in Standard 7, having achieved failure grades at a government school. She has worked hard to lift her grades to this level. An enterprising young lady, now during vacations she is busy earning money for the family as a street food vendor. This would be her life if she cannot gain further education. With some help the school believes she could lift further and do very well. Her career choice is open at this stage.
Joyce would hope for an offer from a County School like Machakos Girls which costs about $850pa but she is more likely to gain entry to a good District school like Kathiani Girls School or Masii Girls School which cost about $800 pa.
7. NATALIE MAYABI – KCPE score 353
This is a very good result achieved through hard work. The youngest of this group at only 12, she is the firstborn of Michael and Melab, school founders. Their whole livelihood is tied up in Milami School as it has been for the past 8 years. Providing help with Natalie’s secondary fees would be a blessing to the school as well as to the child. Her parents are going to have trouble finding fees for a school suitable for a child of this ability without some assistance. Natalie would like to study Accountancy.
Natalie had hopes of attending a top National School such as Moi Girls Secondary a long way from home (with fees of about $2,200 pa) and she may still be offered a place there. But there are good county Schools available in the district (still for boarding) in Machakos Girls and Muthale Girls (both about $850 pa)
8. BARBARA KANDIE – KCPE score 388
Barbara has been at Milami for 7 years. She has consistently been a committed diligent hard worker. She therefore has the potential to be a high achiever. Her father is a casual worker with a small vegetable plot to supplement the family income but life is difficult.
Barbara aspires to be a Pilot – and her focus would probably see her achieve this goal if finances were available. Barbara is likely to be offered a place at a National School which might cost $1500-$2000 pa.
9. PAULINE MWIKALI – KCPE score 284.
Despite being the lowest achiever amongst the Milami cohort Pauline is submitted as a request for funding because her home situation puts her at some risk. She stayed with her grandmother and did KCPE in 2012 achieving 205. The family moved her to stay with her uncle and his older male children and enrolled her to repeat at Milami School. He pays half her school fees, the mother lives far away and can make no contribution. So this may be the end of Pauline’s education unless she gets financial help. Note that with this pass mark she is ahead of most of the country’s 2013 candidates and has put in a good effort to lift her grades in the past year. She would like to be a Nurse.
The best option for Pauline at this stage is considered to be boarding at a District School such as Kathiani G S (about $850pa) to which she may be fortunate to get offered a place or more likely, a private boarding school such as Mission of Hope International a local catholic secondary school at about $800pa.
10. MURUA THEOPHILUS – KCPE score 333
Theo is the lastborn of older parents, now in their 50/60s. The father is unable to do much work. There is no social security here. Older siblings are not nearby and none received much education, so unable to lift the youngest. He has been supported by Milami School for 8 years. This score is a high achievement for a child living in difficult circumstances. He would like to be a pilot one day. With this score Theo should be offered a place at a County School or District school which will cost about $850 pa, all unaffordable for his parents.
These are the ten students who we would most like to support for secondary education.
*We anticipate paying fees directly to the schools, not through the parents.
*And we will request copies of reports and advice of progress on a regular basis.
*Most schools have not yet produced their Fees Schedule for 2014. These are due week ending 17th January, 2014. The above amounts are estimates based on 2013 fees.
*Each school requires about half the annual fees to be paid by 1st week of January each year and the balance in May and September. In Form ONE, the first payment is due End January.
*We ask each donor to make a commitment to see a child through all FOUR years of secondary education. Small percentage increase in fees may occur each year but most schools charge less for upper forms than for Form ONE. So we hope the above estimates are indicative of each of the four years.
*A detailed sponsorship agreement will be drafted once we know whether any/all students might be supported.
Thank you for considering this request. Please contact me by email should you feel inclined to help one of these Milami children achieve their potential.
Kenya Care Wear - Nairobi
New Works at Milami School
Milami will have about 300 enrolled this year. The word is out that they are doing a good job!
More works at Milami, thanks to Avalon concert proceeds. Above: Hand wash tanks and another class for 3 year olds.
Another Milami latrine photo. The 'after' shot as promised. Renovated, ready for 2014. Thanks KCW supporters!
Update and Pictures from Brenda Allsop, Nairobi, Kenya, 2014.