Few girls and boys are able to attend school. Even if they still live with their families, their parents don’t have the financial means to pay for education. What's more, every breadwinner is needed to ensure the family's income. The teaching materials in state schools often fail to address people's everyday needs and Curricula are of little relevance to their situation.
- The teachers particularly respecting the situation of their pupils.
Kindernothilfe has joined forces with its partner organisation Undugu Society of Kenya to offer the Undugu Basic Education Programme (UBEP) to give children in four slum areas a four-year basic education carefully tailored to their living conditions. The curriculum for the 800 children and young people at four schools in the urban districts of Pumwani, Kibera, Mathare, and Mgomongo includes reading, writing, arithmetic, Swahili, and English. In contrast to the methods used at state schools, the curriculum is practical and closely connected to real life challenges. The schools attract girls and boys who dropped out of regular schools and are actually too old to attend primary school. Furthermore, they receive instruction in economics, agriculture, natural sciences, and domestic science. Great emphasis is also placed on musical subjects that allow pupils to learn new ways to express themselves. The programme has been a great success. The dropout rate in the project schools is 50 percent lower than in state schools.
Some graduates manage to transfer to a state school. In 2006, 76 children passed their exams and now have the opportunity to continue their education.
Teachers have to give special consideration to the children's living situation. It is not uncommon for a large number of children to miss classes at the beginning of the school year. When they resume their studies later during the course of the school year, they have difficulty making up for lost ground. Absenteeism is often caused by major challenges families are facing. In these situations, project staff speaks with the parents to point out the importance of regular school attendance. In some slum areas, violence also prevents children from attending school. Violent clashes between rival gangs can make it too dangerous for children to leave their homes. This means that school instruction has to be suspended for a certain amount of time.