Friday May 16th 2014, Blog post 2

Public Speaking is a powerful skill to have. The worldwide popularity of Toastmasters is one proof of this. We thought that teaching this skill to children would be a worthy goal for our program to pursue. We adapted material developed in one of our school districts and brought it to Africa. With some additional adaptations made on-the-fly, the week long unit turned out to be a winner. Students from Class 3 to Class 8 presented, in their own words, on topics that included My Family, HIV Aids, Male School and My Garden among others. A final Speech Festival presentation of the best speeches before the assembled classes, seated on the floor, completed the weeklong theme. Teachers have told us that they will do the Public Speaking unit on their own while we are back in Canada.

Male Primary is not on the electrical grid but it does have a solar power solution to power a 20 station computer lab (not yet functioning). This will eventually be a useful addition to the school resources, but in the meantime ABW is implementing the cell-phone based study program, called Eneza Education. You can see a video of what this is here ( The importance of this program lies in the fact that it is a direct way to prepare Class 8 students for the high-stakes KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) in November.

We were assisted by Joseph Gitemi, son of Charles Muraguri, who can take credit for doing the lion’s share of the work getting the cell phones and SIM cards ready and for doing the Kiswahili explanation of the program so everyone can use it. Most of the teachers were in attendance for the training and have agreed to see that it gets used on a regular basis. Joseph recently  graduated in Information Technology from Kenya College of Accountancy University and will accompany us to the Masai Mara where we will introduce Eneza to Class 8 students at Irbbann Primary School, and then on to Nairobi where we will do the same at Agano Junior Academy.

We are deeply grateful to the teachers, students and parents of Male Primary for making our week successful.

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We are deeply grateful to the teachers, students and parents of Male Primary for making our week successful.