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Minutes from Trustees Meeting
05/04/2013

Present:



Minutes:

Mivukoni Secondary school trust Meeting April 5th 2013

Present

Sam Mutetei (BOG), Harriet Matsaert (TAS), Luke Arimi (teacher), Mr Muthya Joshua (Deputy Principal, Mr Kimathi, Boniface (Computer teacher), Jedidah, Ngoki Ngui (Parent representative), John Murithi Kamazi (Student representative), Peter Edmead (Hampton Academy).

Apologies:  Francis Koma (transferred to Kajiado, Stephen Kameti (sick), Lilian Syanda (maternity leave), female student representative (on trip to Kitui), Angeline Mbula (taking up office as Country representative).

In the absence of Francis Koma, the meeting was chaired by Sam Mutetei.

Minutes taken by: Harriet Matsaert

1.            Introduction

Meeting opened at 3.30 pm following a tour of the school.

2.            Approval of agenda

The report from visiting Hampton Academy teacher, Peter Edmead, was added to the agenda.

3.            Matters arising from previous minutes

3.1 Action completed:

3.1.1 Form 3 trip to Nairobi.  This was extremely successful “ the most fruitful trip we have ever had” (Luke).  The students stayed at Kenyatta University, visited the library and interacted with students and staff.  John MK (student representative) told us it helped students to see what university is like and to get an idea of what they want to study (he now hopes to study law).  It is extremely useful in choosing what KCSE courses to take.  Students and staff request that this trip be organized annually for 2nd form students before they choose their courses. The trust members agreed to propose a visit for form 2 students this year (see proposals below).  Joshua will prepare a completion report for the trip and forward it to Harriet.

3.1.2  Newspapers are now available in the library and the NIE (Newspapers in education) programme is ongoing.  The coordinator from the Nation visited and gave advice on use of the papers.  John MK told us students are very happy to receive a daily paper.  papers help you relax while expanding your mind and learning what’s happening in the world”.    A report by Mutisya Duncan (library assistant) also notes that newspapers have helped improve students’ fluency in language and helps them use their spare time constructively.  Teachers have used the papers as teaching aids.  The school proposes to put selected articles on a notice board to increase use and accessibility of papers.  Peter noted that articles could also be scanned and put on a computer screen.

 (See also attached report on the newspaper programme).

3.1.3 Proposal for computer covers and fans was developed and funded by TAS UK.  Peter suggested that it would be useful to have filters over the fan intakes to further protect computers[1]. This could be considered under the ‘IT strategy’.  Joshua to prepare a completion report (with receipts) and forward to Harriet

3.1.4  Library books.  Fiction and textbooks have been purchased. Joshua to prepare a completion report (with receipts) and forward to Harriet.

3.2 Not yet completed:

3.2.2 Production of school magazine/newsletter: Peter sent an article from Hampton academy but the newsletter was not produced.  Luke told us the problem was because the responsible teacher was transferred.  It was agreed that responsibility for the newsletter should be with the IT teacher and the languages department.  Luke will oversee and report on production (see Action points).

3.2.3 Upgrading of sports field: Peter noted that the track is not safe for students. The running track is uneven and there are many sharp stones and other objects.  This can cause injuries when students are running/playing on it.  Particularly as students often run in bare feet.  There is also no shade and no sanitary arrangements.  Joshua has talked to the chief, who is waiting for action from the BOG.  Sam agreed to follow this up with the BOG and Angeline Mbula.

3.2.4 School trip to Meru Park.  This has been delayed, as there is no bus.  However KWS are doing outreach work with the school.  Stephen to continue to liaise with KWS to remind them of this commitment.

3.2.5 Supply of sanitary pads for girls.  No progress as yet.  Stephen Kameti will arrange for a project that teaches people to make reusable sanitary pads to visit the school.  If the girls approve, we can fund this project with the Trademark donation.

3.2.6 IT strategy.  A draft strategy was prepared and circulated by Boniface.  Gill has made comments on this draft.  It was agreed that the first draft and comments should be circulated again to trust members as not all have seen it.  Boniface, assisted by Stephen Joshua will respond to the comments and develop an IT strategy and proposals for funding (if needed).  This will be presented at the next TAS meeting and will be the main focus of the meeting.  Peter will assist from Hampton Academy as required.

3.2.7 Additional Staff.  The school has received funding for a Maths teacher and for a librarian.  No staff have been hired.  Joshua to follow up with Lilian and report to trust members.

4.    Report on Mivukoni Secondary School Trust Finances

See attached report.  Finances still to be spent are: -

Maths teacher’s salary (in school account)

Librarian salary (in TAS account)

Trademark funds (in TAS account)

After these payments, the TAS account remains with a balance of 44,000 Ksh (due to favourable exchange rate in past transfers and to reduced meeting costs when meetings are held at Mivukoni school).  This can be used to finance future meeting costs.

5.         General report on school progress since last meeting

There are 55 new students in Form 1 this year.  This is lower than expected (one class instead of two).  Joshua thinks because of competition from cheaper day schools.

Construction

The dining room floor is now completed.  The dining room is ready to use but lacking furniture and kitchen equipment.  Funding is needed for these.

The boys’ dormitory is near to completion but progress has come to a halt due to lack of sand.  The parental contribution to the building includes transporting sand, but parents are not responding to the school’s request to do this.  In the meantime 150 boys are sharing the existing dormitory in severely overcrowded conditions.  This resulted in a recent outbreak of scabies.

Academics

Results for the last KCSE exams were very poor.  The highest grade was C+, there were 4 Cs and 9 C minuses.

Joshua Muthya feels that the problem was due to poor discipline in last year’s class.  In addition 4 students gave wrong information when they registered and were disqualified.

The school counseling and guidance department of the school are available to advise students on next steps, but students don’t tend to make use of it.  Students whose grades are not good enough for University may seek employment in the Police or will look for diploma or certificate courses.

52 students will register for the exam this year.  We discussed how results good be improved.  Suggestions were: -

-       Holiday study clubs  (used by students from other schools).

-       Better discipline

-       The school compound and classrooms are very dirty and full of rubbish, papers, broken chairs etc.  Regular cleaning up could help improve general morale and motivation of students and teachers.

Sam noted that the BOG will do all it can to support the school in improving performance.

Sam will talk to BOG about sponsoring two students who are particularly bright and would like to do a repeat year to improve their grade.

Students in this year’s form 4 have committed themselves to being more disciplined and working harder.

 4 students are currently representing the school at a leadership course in Kitui.

Computer Lab

Boniface Kimathi reported that the computers are well used.  Teachers are using them to prepare lesson plans.  New teachers require training so that they can integrate computers into their work.  Joshua will talk to Camara about additional/ongoing training.

Internet connectivity is very poor and downloading emails and other data too slow.  Kimathi to summarise problem in writing and send to Harriet.  Harriet and Sam to follow up with Safaricom in Nairobi.

Boniface reported that the computer class had a very successful field trip where they saw the use of computers at the Meteorological station in Nairobi and the digital library in Kenyatta University.

On our visit to the computer room, trust members observed computer covers were now in place.

NIE

See notes above and attached report.

Library

The library is now furnished with books, shelves and newspapers.  There are two computers in the library but not yet connected to the Internet.

A number of constraints remain: -

-       Books are not catalogued and there is no system for checking them out.

-       Use seems to be very limited at the moment (library was locked while we were there, Peter observed that it had been used for the week of his visit).

Funds are available to hire a librarian but have not yet been used. Once this person is hired, TAS will expect that the library is regularly used by teachers and students.

Student Report – John MK

John MK shared the conclusions of a ‘student voice’ session facilitated by Peter.   The session included student reps from each form.  They were guaranteed anonymity.

 Students’ priorities in this session were: -

-       Furniture for the new dining hall to make it useable.

-       Repair/replace decrepit furniture in classrooms.

-       Bring water supply closer to the dormitories please

-       A trip to the see Kenya (rift valley, coast etc.)  In a particular year (form 4?) would motivate students.

-       Students like the ‘student voice’ concept and would like more opportunity to share their views in this way.

It would be useful to have these sessions regularly (John suggested monthly).  An external person, perhaps a parent, could facilitate.  Peter will send basic guidelines for hosting the forum.

Students are interested in the idea of creating a vegetable garden and would like a greenhouse. The trust members asked students to develop a proposal for a gardening project to present at the next meeting.  This would be more likely to be approved if they can get some gardening activities up and running before this to show they are serious and able to manage a garden.

Parent report - Jedidah

Parents appreciate the bandas.

There is concern about the quality of water for student consumption (water is salty).

The water was tested when the borehole was sunk and has been judged fit for human consumption.  However the effects of drinking salty water over a long period are still a concern.

The trust members suggested that the rainwater harvesting structures could be repaired to provide clean drinking water.  Joshua will get estimates for this work.

Parents are also asking about student sponsorship. Many good students are having to leave the school because of lack of funds.  Others are transferring to cheaper day schools in the area.  Harriet will check TAS policy/contacts for sponsorship.

Teachers’ Report - Luke

Teachers are keen to revive the Hampton academy relationship and would like to visit the school.

Deputy head Report – Joshua

(See general notes above)

Report by Peter Edmead, Hampton Academy

See attached report.  Key action points were: -

Ø  Hampton academy gift of kindles to be added to school assets (value 130,000)

Ø  Follow up report on use of kindles.

Ø  Harriet to put together feedback from the school, students and TAS on the partnership. This can be sent to the principal of Hampton academy and to the British Council to keep the momentum going.

-      

6.     NEW PROPOSALS

6.1   Study tour for Form 2 students

Following the success of the recent trip to Kenyatta University, the school proposes to take Form 2 students to visit the University in May, before they select their course options for the KCSE.  In order to cater for different academic levels and aspirations, we agreed that the tour should also include a visit to a technical college (polytechnic) and a teacher training college.  Joshua to prepare the proposal with assistance from Mr Luke.  Sam will arrange for the Mivukoni students to meet other students who come from this area.

6.2   Joshua and Luke will rewrite the proposal for revision groups, based on Gills comments and circulate this to trust members.

Revisions to the proposal needed: -

-       Check costs and clarify how many hours for each subject per week. 

-       Explain why these extra hours are needed (as students already study from 5 am till 11pm).

-       Clarify ‘teacher’s out of pocket’ expense

-       Cut cost of food from the budget (TAS doesn’t pay for food).

-       Cut cost of exam papers from budget (should be paid by school)

-       Check cost of examiners (seems high).  Revise or explain the cost.

-       Demonstrate commitment and contribution from teachers.

First proposal attached.

6.3   IT strategy

Boniface will develop the strategy paper and funding proposals linked to this by August 2012.  It will be the focus of discussion at the next meeting.  The strategy will include attention to: -

-       Protection and maintenance of computers.

-       Staff training and access to computers for class preparation

-       Use of kindles.

6.4   Internship for students.

Trust members agreed that it would be useful for students to get some real life ‘work experience during the holidays’.    This would help the students learn about different career options, give them experience which will be useful when they look for work or apply to colleges.  Placements may also lead to offers of employment.

We agreed that this could be done on a pilot basis to start with – with 5 boys and 5 girls.   We need to ensure safe and productive placements for the students.  Possible organizations include: -

-       Local clinics and hospitals

-       NGOs

-       Catholic mission

-       Nation district office

-       KCB bank

-       DC’s office

Action to be taken

-       Sam to raise this idea with parents at the next board meeting and ask for volunteers.

-       Stephen, Sam and Joshua to approach possible employers.

-       Sam to talk to contact at Starehe about wording for agreements with employers

-       Draw up agreement with employers ensuring safety, supervision and productive work for intern.

We did not agree date for pilot internships.  – Any suggestions?

6.5    Gas and water supply for the new chemistry lab.

We agreed that the proposal should include necessary structural repair to the science room.  As we cannot get quotes for this before the next TAS meeting, the proposal will be developed and circulated before the next meeting.  (See Peter Edmead’s advice in attached report).

Date of Next Meeting.

The next meeting is planned for September 2013 (and should be held at least a month before the next TAS UK meeting.  The new IT strategy and all proposal should be circulated by end of August 2013.

Meeting adjourned.  8 pm.

ACTION

WHAT

BY WHO

BY WHEN

NOTES

1.  Produce school newsletter and circulate by email to ‘friends of Mivukoni’: Hampton Academy, TAS, donors etc.

Arimi Luke

English teacher (Panina)

Boniface Kimathi

Students (John MK)

May 31

2. Upgrade sports field to make it safe.

Sam will consult with BOG and chief to ensure this is done.

August

3.  Student trip to Meru park.

Stephen to follow up with KWS

August

Depends on availability of KWS bus.

4.  Sanitary pad project to visit school with samples.  If it meets approval project to be initiated.

Stephen to arrange visit and report back to trust members.

May 31

Trademark funding is available to move forward with this project.

5. Proposal for Form 2 trip to Kenyatta University, Polytechnic and teacher training college in May (before choosing courses for KCSE).

Joshua and Luke to develop proposal and circulate to trust members.  Harriet to forward to TAS UK in time for next meeting on April 18.

Sam to arrange contact with students from this area.

April 10.

6.  Newspaper programme to be enhanced by putting articles on a board.

Luke to coordinate

July

7.  IT strategy

Boniface Kimathi

With assistance from

Stephen Kameti

Joshua Muthya

Peter Edmead

TAS trust members to comment on drafts and assist where possible.

Circulate draft and comments to trust members by April 12.

Final draft and proposals August 31 2013

This strategy and funding proposals arising from it will be the main focus of the next meeting.

8. Completion reports (with receipts) to be prepared for: -

Form 3 trip

Library book purchase

Computer covers and fans.

Joshua Muthya with Luke

April 10th

9.  Hiring of Maths teacher and librarian

Joshua Muthya in consultation with Lilian Syanda and BOG

?

10.  Proposal for revision groups.

Joshua and Luke to revise based on Gill’s comments and forward to Harriet to be circulated to trust members and forwarded to TAS

April 10

11.  Ask Camara about additional training for new teachers.

Joshua

April 31

12.  Improve internet connectivity.

Kimathi to summarise problem in writing and send to Harriet.

Harriet and Sam to follow up with Safaricom Nairobi office.

Report by April 31

Follow up by May 31

13.  Pilot student intern programme.  Consult with parents, contact employers and draw up agreement.

Sam Mutetei

Joshua

Stephen

Parent consultation May BOG meeting.

Plans/agreement – date?

14.  School to host monthly student voice sessions. To be facilitated by a PTA member.  Peter Edmead to share guidelines.

Peter Edmead

Joshua

Student representatives.

Jedidah

Monthly

Share reports with TAS trust members.

15.  Students (business and agriculture) to develop plans (and start work on) a vegetable garden.

Student representatives.

August 2013

16.  Obtain estimates to renovate rainwater harvesting gutters and tanks.

Joshua

August

17.  Student sponsorship – investigate options.

Mr Muthya – list students who need sponsorship.

Sam – consult with BOG

Harriet – talk to TAS about possible funding.

May 31

18.  Follow up report on use of kindles.  How did students find them?

To be coordinated by Joshua.  Report to be circulated to trust members.

July 31

19.  Make contact with Worldreader to access Kenyan educational content.

Harriet to send contact to Luke.

Luke to make contact and identify what material can be accessed.

May 31

20.  Develop proposal to upgrade science lab.

Joshua Muthya

Peter Edmead.

August 31

21.  Prepare report on Hampton Mivukoni partnership impact from point of view of TAS and Mivukoni school.

Principal

Student, teacher and parent representatives to send short report to Harriet.

Harriet to compile and send to Hampton academy and British Council,

May 31



[1]There is a large amount of dust in the air at Mivukoni school. After a while, the computers will fill with dust. The dust "rubs" against the plastic surfaces, generate a static electrical charge - which can then damage the delicate electrical components. This is a problem that affects all computers, however, I think that the environment at Mivukoni will be particularly damaging. Here is a link to an article showing a DIY solution using hoover bag material. http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/how-to-keep-dust-out-of-your-pc-663270  Peter Edmead