Why is another new school needed?
The parents and the Catholic Parish in Munyu have been asking us for a long time if we can help to build a new primary school. We built Mary Magdalene Academy together because we think, that the children must get quality education which is affordable for the parents.
The pupils` numbers in the Academy have been declining recently. Public schools nearby poach the best students.
Because of the risk of infection with Corona, parents from Gatuanyaga and Como did not want their children to go to school in the overcrowded matatus.
The parish and the school raised money in a "harambee" (= donation auction). They bought a used matatu and painted it yellow.
We are happy that the school is standing more and more on its own feet.
Now the classes are filling up again.
As in Germany, there are also learning deficits in Munyu due to the corona-related school closure. Especially in the 8th grade, the students need to be optimally prepared for graduation.
It is particularly gratifying that parents, teachers and the school board are taking care of the weak students together.
At the end of the school year there were prizes. In addition to good academic performance, students who improved the most or paid special attention to cleanliness, for example, were also considered.
The small prize giving took place in the fresh air in the shade of the trees.
Religious education teacher Inge Völkl received a great thank-you video from Munyu for her retirement. She really hadn't expected that.
Since 2004, the Nikolaus Kopernikus Gymnasium in Weißenhorn has been supporting the "feeding programme" at the Academies in Munyu and Athi. There, the children receive breakfast and a warm lunch.
To make the room safe, a concrete ceiling was installed. The Sheltered Workshops made the furniture. Until now, electricity was only available in the small office of the headmaster and in the secretary's office. An electricity connection for the PCs had to be installed first.
Mr Gitau from the board of managers installed the computers and gave an introduction to the programmes. The teachers were encouraged by Mr Gitau to use the technology. In other schools, it is often the case that the equipment is locked away to protect it from damage. It is not made available to the students. Mr Gitau gave guidance and tips on how to handle and use the equipment.
Another milestone for the school!
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All schools in Kenya had to be closed from March to early October 2020 because of Corona. Now the holidays between terms and school years are shortened.
The Ministry of Education has imposed a number of conditions for the reopening of schools. A lot of hygiene measures have to be fullfilled and minimum distance must be kept.
The schools must make sure that there are sufficient opportunities for washing hands, disinfectants and masks. In a country like Kenya, however, it is difficult to implement all the hygiene measures.
We also support our schools as best we can.
Your help is therefore still necessary. The schools benefit directly from your help.
The employees of the metal workshop and Hubert Senger built sinks with foot operation at the Maria Magdalena Sheltered Workshops.
The sinks were installed outdoors in the academy's schoolyard. The liquid soap comes from a central tank. For anchoring the sinks, holes had to be made in the bedrock.
The school board inspectors were delighted when they visited the Academy and praised the project.
The Sheltered Workshops are now hoping for further orders from other institutions.
We support the teachers by paying them 50% of their salaries. Teachers in private schools in particular do not receive any salary payments.
We have tied our support to the promise that the teachers keep in touch with the families and provide the children with teaching material or “homework”.
The materials are even passed on to children in the neighborhood who go to other schools.
In 2018 the school building, the sanitary facilities and the school kitchen were checked and approved by the school autorities. Now the Academy is finally registered. The first students of grade 8 were able to do their final exams in 2018. And they did very well.
With a good KCPE (Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education) a student cango to a secondary school.
Now the primary school in Munyu has got enough chairs and tables!
Thanks to the support of numerous donors, we were able to commission the production of chairs and tables for the growing number of students: every child of the Mary Magdalene Academy now has his own table and chair The teachers have enough work space to work well.
With our donations, the workers in Maria Magdalena Sheltered Wood and Metal Workshops were able to produce school furniture for the Academy in Munyu.
They produced tables and chairs and lockers. Desks for teachers were made, too.
Both institutions have benefited from our help.
The staff room of the Academy was equipped with desks for the teachers. The tables were produced in the Sheltered Workshops and delivered directly to the Academy.
Before that, the teachers had to work at an old table tennis table.
In January 2011 we started building Munyu primary school. Before that time there was only a kindergarden with three nursery groups in an old church building.
In 2012, the old church building was expanded with four classrooms. In 2014, four more classrooms upstairs and an "administration block" were created.
The parents removed the soil for the foundations and leveled the school grounds.
They often help with a lot of the work.
In 2015, a new toilet system was put into operation. The former toilet house had become far too small for more than 200 children.
The handicapped people of the Maria Magdalena Sheltered Workshops also participated in the construction. In the wood and metal workshop, they produced school furniture, railings, window frames and doors.
With great enthusiasm we celebrated the inauguration of the school in August 2016 with Cardinal Cardinal John Njue from Nairobi.
The classes are doing very well in comparison tests. In Kenya, primary schools end up with the KCPA (Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education) an exam after grade 8. It corresponds to the German Hauptschulabschluss.
We have been sponsoring the school meals for many years. We want the children of the Mary Magdalene Academy get a daily breakfast and a warm lunch. Nobody can learn well when he is hungry.
The parents contribute by providing firewood and some money.
The community of Munyu was unable to finance the construction of the school. So during the first years we financed the construction of the school building. We continue to support the school with equipment and maintenance.
Over time, the school should be able to manage itself through moderate school fees.
In the next few years, the old school building has to be renovated urgently, and the kitchen must be adapted to hygienic standards. Also school materials and equipment of the playground is needed.
Help the children in Munyu!
The nursery building in Munyu originally had been built as a church. Since 1989, the building is used as a nursery.
So far we have supported the following projects of Maria Magdalene Academy:
- Renovation of the broken roof of the old church
- Installation of larger windows and doors
- Subdivision and renovation of the rooms
- Attachment of a simple kitchen
- Procurement of mattresses for the afternoon nap in ursery section
- Upgrading of the sanitary facilities for 50 children, later for 300 children
- Completion of the school building, basic furniture, construction of an office block
- Equipment with tables and chairs, built by the Maria Magdalena Special School