Bridge Mills Galway Language Centre sponsorship 2019 aims to support 30 young adults who have had to drop out of school in the Turkana County of Kenya of as a result of poverty, pregnancy and early marriage etc. to return to education. Turkana County is an isolated Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) region in Northern Kenya that borders Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Almost the size of Ireland, it is populated by approximately a million Turkana, a traditionally nomadic tribe for whom pastoralism (raising of livestock including camels, goats and cattle) is the dominant livelihood.
The programme involves those selected taking part in a 9-month, accelerated learning course covering the Kenyan primary curriculum for grades 6-8, ultimately sitting for their Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in November 2019.
Specific objectives include:
- To cover the Kenyan Primary curriculum up to Grade 8 to prepare students to sit and pass their KCPE;
- To support the development of life skills in participants by ensuring regular attendance, participation in class and group work and completion of assignments;
- To build the personal confidence and self-esteem of participants to act as leaders in the community and advocates for the importance of education.
Students attend class on Monday - Friday, from 8am to 2pm whilst in the afternoon (2-4pm), students have the opportunity to attend IT classes, have one-to-one tuition with the tutors or to study in the library. Students study 6 subjects: English, Maths, Sciences, Social Studies, Swahili and Religious Education.
Under the project, the students contribute their own exam fees and stationary as a sign of their commitment, and receive tuition, learning materials including text books and exam papers, coaching, counselling support and lunch, all of which are essential in removing the financial burden of returning to education and ensuring that participants are able to concentrate on their studies. For those women who are successful in gaining access to the programme but have small children, the project is committed to supporting them to make suitable arrangements which allows them to attend classes.