The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

How graduates are providing quality education in slum areas

 Ms Roselyn Gombe teaching learners at Mukuru Kwa Njenga Primary School. [Winfrey Owino, Standard]

Young graduates from various parts of the country have opted to offer assistance in realizing quality education in informal settlement areas.

This is in line with the United Nations Development Program’s Sustainable Development Goal four, which aims at ensuring all children have access to quality education.

Therefore, a non-governmental Organisation (Teach For Kenya) has devised a way of working with young graduates in the community to achieve this.

Samson Mwangi graduated from Kenyatta University in 2016, with a bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies: Community Development option.

He has been working with schools in the informal settlement areas since September 2020 to address the challenges that face quality education in these areas, which are mostly inhabited by low-income earners.

“About three years after graduation, I was still jobless when I came across an advert by Teach for Kenya that was looking for graduates to join the program. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic and I was trying my luck on any opportunity I came across, just to get something to keep me busy,” he said.

When his application was successful, he was trained for six weeks before being posted as one of the fellows in late 2020, months before schools fully resumed after the pandemic break.

Since the platform is not exclusively for teaching graduates, he says it provides an opportunity for graduates to give back to society and build their skills further.

“After completing the Summer Institute training, one is eligible to join the program. After joining the program, all you need to do is identify issues that need to be addressed to ensure smooth learning then come up with mechanisms to solve the issues,” Mwangi has told The Standard.

Through this, a young person in this program gets a monthly stipend which helps them survive the tough economic times, he added.

“In most cases, adapting to different cultural behaviors is hard but it takes a while to adjust. In some schools there are no resources, meaning the team has to come together and ensure the resources are provided, even if it is temporary. You find schools with iron sheet walls divided by cardboards, others are understaffed and overpopulated,”

Roselyne Gombe is a Bachelors of Education Graduate, who is passionate about social change and improving the lives of children living in high-need communities.


Ms Roselyn Gombe teaching learners at Mukuru Kwa Njenga Primary School how to make detergents. [Winfrey Owino, Standard]

She is a teaching Fellow at Mukuru kwa Njenga in Nairobi. While at the school, Roselyne has initiated an Entrepreneurship Project involving agriculture (Agri-preneurship) and soap detergent-making activity with her grade 4 learners.

“As a Fellow, I realized that most of my learners had torn uniforms that had contributed to them having low self-esteem. In the pursuit of restoring the dignity of my learners and improving their self-confidence, I came up with the two projects as a fundraising strategy to mobilize resources towards buying school uniforms for needy children,” she said.

Therefore, she designed lessons and innovative activities to help teach her learners how to make soap detergent and use recycled plastic bottles for packaging. 

Additionally, she has taught her learners the importance of agribusiness and how to venture in agricultural activities to make an earning.

Sylvia Njambi is the Partnerships and Development Lead at Teach For Kenya. 

She explained how the organization recruits interested graduates, trains them and then through their diverse expertise, they identify, and address by offering solutions to the issues hindering the achievement of quality education in the slums.

“Most of the people living in informal settlements in the country are very underprivileged. Sometimes you find learners who come to school on an empty stomach. Some even miss school for lack of food,” Njambi explained.

“This is wher our trained graduates come in. If they identify food deficiency issues in the school, sometimes they offer solutions by planting vegetables that can be prepared and fed to the learners while in school,”

According to Njambi, after the training, the fellows are posted to various schools in the slum areas to support teachers employed by both the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) as well as the Board of Directors.

They also help in nurturing additional skills in the learners and navigate challenges such as poor sanitation, period poverty among others.

“In some instances, we have been to schools with very old and unhygienic ablution blocks that are very dangerous to young learners. We have dug and built toilets for learners,” Njambi added.

Although the organization gets funding from like-minded partners, challenges of curriculum changes, high demand for schools in the slums, and natural calamities like flooding and finances still pose a great challenge in the work.

Teach For Kenya started in March 2019 with an aim of working to bridge the gap in education inequality.

In 2023, Teach For Kenya partnered with 25 schools in two counties; Kisumu and Nairobi, to improve quality education by placing young graduates upon undergoing 6 weeks of training.

Since more graduates showed interest in the program and the number of applicants skyrocketed, the program has now extended to Machakos County.

In 2024, 140 fellows have been placed in 49 schools in different slums in the three schools. Of the 140, 70 are in the slums of Manyatta and Kondele in Kisumu, 40 in Nairobi’s Mathare, Kayole, Mukuru slums in Nairobi and 30 in Athi River and other slums in Machakos County.

According to Njambi, the organization is in talks with Nairobi County to include Early Child Development learning centers since it is a devolved function of education.

They attribute this to the low number of schools in Nairobi slums, where most children attend informal schools because public schools are few and over-populated.

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week