Mivukoni Secondary School Meeting – Jan 11th 2011
Chair Angeline Mbula, Stephen Kameti, TAS Coordinator, Harriet Matsaert, TAS secretary, Gill Marshall Andrews, TAS, Julia Musyimi, parent representative, Samuel Maithya, Deputy Mivukoni Secretary. WK Njue, KWS, Luke Kinyua Arimi, Teacher Representative. Kasimbu, DM – DEO representative. Joyce Mbaiuka, Student representative, Sam Mutetei, Chair of Mivukoni board of Governors.
Francis Koma due to ill health.
1. The meeting started at 11.40 am. Angeline Mbula agreed to chair as Francis Koma was unable to attend.
2. Agenda approved
3. Approval of previous minutes.
These were read by the Chair. School staff had not seen the minutes as they do not have internet access to receive emails.
· Harriet will send to Sam a copy to give to the school. Also to use Kinyua’s private email until further notice firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Matters arising from previous minutes
Proposal for chairs is now on the TAS website.
5. Report on School Progress
Report from Deputy Principal,
Mrs Mutinda has been transferred and the school is awaiting a new principal. The Girls’ dormitory is now completed, the boys’ dormitory and lab still in progress (foundation level). Dining room almost complete. Have received money from CDF to do the piping, now sourcing pipes.
The school appreciated the support for remedial teaching (see report on how the money was spent). This year they would like to do more bench marking exercises through visits to other schools.
Because of increased demand, the school is in need of an extra classroom to accommodate the extra stream this year. Mr Kasimbu, DEO representative, said the request has been forwarded to their office. They have had no feedback from the Ministry and will push harder.
In last years Form 4 there were 21 boys and 10 girls. In form 3, there are 26 girls, 38 boys. There were a number of ideas as to why the number of girls was so low:
· girls avoided coming to the school in the past because of indiscipline.
· parents prioritise paying school fees for the boys when there is a shortage of funds (student rep).
· the problem is starting at primary school.
· this is the case in the whole district (DEO rep).
· Early pregnancy is one of the problems at primary level.
· Some parents don’t like to send their girls to mixed schools (BOG).
· boys have a better attitude to education. Girls don’t see it as an important factor in making their life better (teacher).
Gill requested some statistics on the number of girls who are attending school in the district.
What is being done to increase girl’s participation in school? There is a programme of peer education at class 2 level. Life skills education is being taught at primary and secondary level. Gill suggested using girls like Joyce to go into the primary schools to talk to younger girls. W Njue said he will work with Mark Cheruyot to try and organize transport for this. W Njue talked about a programme called Afya which works with youth in this area.
Stephen Kameti described a scheme where girls from University came back to the village to talk to secondary school students. Angeline said there is already an initiative in practice, called Desert Lily, run by professional women from this area. They meet with students and parents. Talk about issues like circumcision, keeping girls out of school. Funded by the members’ contributions. Angeline is one of the members (9 at present). Focus on changing community attitudes.
Sam Mutetei asked what can we do about Mivukoni? Angeline said we need to monitor what is happening in other schools. Some girls from Mivukoni are going to other schools. We need to monitor how many girls are going to waste after primary school. Unequal numbers may not be as bad as we fear because of the prejudice against mixed schools.
Joyce told us she feels comfortable in a mixed class. Girls are better at some subjects (language and ki Swahili), boys are better in maths and sciences. I get motivated by the spirit of competition.
The group noted that making girls feel comfortable at Mivukoni is a challenge that we need to keep thinking about. Gill asked Joyce to talk to the other girls and come to the next meeting with a proposal.
· DEO to follow up the progress of building a new classroom in Mivukoni.
· DEO to give us statistics on boys and girl’s school attendance in the district.
· W Njue to discuss with KWS to arrange peer visits to local primary schools
· Joyce to talk to her peers about how we can make the environment at Mivukoni more comfortable for girls and to come to the next meeting with a proposal.
Report by Mr Kinyua – Global School partnership trip
(See written report.)
Key lessons: Teachers treat their students with a lot of respect: “as if they were customers”. Teaching seems to be very student centred and lessons student driven. Use of technology and IT. Remedial teaching offered without stigma.
As a result of this trip, Mr Kinyua would like to :
· introduce more student driven lessons.
· introduce more IT in the school.
· Develop academic exchange between students in the two schools
· Think about introducing a foreign language in the school.
· Establish a botanical garden in the school
· Introduce a home science department: students could make their own uniforms.
· Improve developing remedial teaching without stigma.
UK teachers will come to visit in late March/April.
Gill said the first stage will finish after this visit. There is a possibility of moving to a second stage but this is quite demanding . Need to develop a proposal that shows equal participation by each school and good communication. One problem is that the ongoing interaction with Hampton Academy depends on access to the internet to exchange information, photos etc.
Mr Kisumbu, DEO rep said how much they appreciated TAS for facilitating this trip. Our hope is that the teachers will share their knowledge.
Mr Kinyua would like to train teachers in student centred learning and would like some written material on this and books for all students. Stephen requested that we don’t wait for a video, but get started using materials we have e.g the photos. The sooner the better!
Gill noted than in UK excellent teachers are identified and moved around schools to become trainer/practitioners (these are rewarded with a salary rise).
· Stephen to support Mr Kinyua in developing a presentation for teachers.
· Mivukoni staff to facilitate teachers visit in March/April
· Mivukoni staff to develop proposal for second stage with UK teachers.
A family meeting with students, parents and BOG is planned for the end of Feb/first week of March. At this meeting we can tell parents about the plans for the library.
· Inform parents of library construction plans at Feb meeting.
Student Report (Joyce)
Students appreciate TAS’s support and work of the previous principal. Students have been transferring to the school but are worried now the principal has left. Girls are now doing much better in school (best performing students in form 2 and 3 were girls). Students appreciate the idea of producing uniforms at school because it’s difficult to manage to buy the uniforms. Students appreciate the supply of water. Students are making use of the bandas especially on the weekends and in the evenings. Carry seats out from the classroom. Gill noted that more student centred teaching will make more use of the bandas. Angeline noted that electricity would help make the bandas used at night. BOG will discuss this at the next meeting on Jan 22. Kinyua observed that a larger banda would be useful for larger classes. Sam wondered about creating an open classroom.
BOG to discuss provision of electricity for bandas.
6. Report on ongoing projects
1.8 million (£15,000) has been allocated to the library and is ready to transfer to the Mivukoni trust. This amount was based on Kimanzi’s proposal.
School staff now need to identify the contractor, get the tender and TAS will transfer the funds. Stephen suggested that the contractors be shown the student picture as a starting point
Gill stressed that the quality of the tender is very important. Stephen will send Kimanzi’s tender to the BOG.
Ministry has offered to lend a machine which can make 1000 bricks a day and to analyse the soil and provide training.
Harriet will send library report to Stephen and school to help them develop a detailed plan for the library contents.
Stephen will find technical person to check if the school computers are working. Angleline to check if computers for Kenyan schools can produce us with more up to date, or can upgrade our computers.
With regard to the planned building work, Gill wondered if local authorities could support the issue of contracts. In many cases too much money is paid ahead of the work being done and the contractors let us down. Sam said the BOG has decided to pay only as each piece of work is completed.
· Mivukoni school administration to identify contractors and get three tenders for the work.
· When tender has been selected TAS UK will transfer funds.
· Stephen to send Kimanzi’s tender to the BOG
· Harriet to send copy of library report to school and Steven
· School to prepare detailed proposal for library contents.
· Stephen and Angeline to check current computers in school are working and options for upgrading.
Gill requested visual presentation of school funding in the school to improve transparency and accountability. BOG to action this.
Angeline suggested an educational tour for teachers. Gill suggested that a local lodge, like The Cottage, Mwingi could host the teachers for a day’s workshop (this has been done by another school). BOG will talk to The Cottage.
Samuel Maithya said teachers and students would be interested in a trip to Meru National Park. W Njue can arrange transport – 72 seater.
Gill requested that trust members look at the website and give feedback on the TAS website. Please mail your comments to Gill. Stephen will look at posting the school magazine on the website. W Njue challenged the school to help students get access to the internet. Joyce told us that the students never use the internet at present.
· BOG to ensure school has visual presentation of school funding sources.
· BOG to request Cottage Hotel to host a workshop for teachers.
· W Njue to arrange KWS transport for school tour to Meru National Park.
· Everyone to look at website and send copies to Gill on email@example.com
· Stephen K to put school magazine on the TAS website.
10. Date of Next Meeting
Next meeting in Mivukoni on May 21st together with BOG.