Educational Plan

All of our educational activities are part of a larger plan which aims to develop education for all across the entire region.  The text on this page describes the history to education provision in Kataboi and the subsequent need that BBF is planning to deliver against. 

Kataboi is located approximately 85 km to the north of the town of Lodwar in the Turkana North of northwest Kenya. Kataboi Division is one among four established settlements within Turkana North District.   Administratively, it is divided into 3 sub locations and is home to nearly 20,000 people who rely on fishing, pastoralism and small-scale enterprises for subsistence.

Kataboi was officially recognized as an established settlement in 1975, but the people have been living in this area for many generations. The location was built by Catholic Missionaries of St. Patrick who arrived from Ireland decades ago. The aim of these missionaries was to establish a branch of the Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) in Turkana, a structured Christian community from which to spread the Gospel to the people’s living along the shores of Lake Turkana. In 1977 the missionaries built a church and established a primary school offering free education for the local youth. It was the beginning of ‘civilization’ for these people and new hopes were instilled within the families and communities. Most families responded and sent children to school where they would learn the English language and develop other life skills. Since then there has been growing community awareness of the benefits of having a formally sponsored education system within the communities of Kataboi. Citizens are able to learn about the world at large and their condition within it, and work to advance themselves accordingly.

The Christian Children’s Fund ended its service in Kataboi in 1992, due to the passing of its manager and a subsequent dissipation of funding. Consequently, the responsibility of ensuring that the children continue with their educations shifted to the resident s of Kataboi but due to economic difficulties, this task proved financially impossible. Poverty indicators here are quite troubling: less than 2% of the population is salaried, and the remaining population is involved in mere subsistence production for livelihood.

Recent efforts made by the Kenyan government to introduce free primary education are commendable. Indeed since this policy was introduced, primary education has become more accessible to many young people throughout Kenya, as evidenced by 93% national enrollment statistics. However, little attention has been paid to expanding existing infrastructure to accommodate the ever increasing demand for formal education. Funding from the Kenyan government does not extend to early childhood education and yet this level acts as a springboard to other higher levels of education.

Before the intervention of BBF/KAPADO, Kataboi Division had only one nursery school for an estimated population of 3,000 children across the settlements.  The nursery school is situated at Kataboi center and the remaining villages did not have any formal nursery education. The catholic mission and CCF had initially supported the nursery school but as soon as they terminated its aid, the situation became worse because all children were sent to the primary school before attaining the recommended age. When this happens, the child will have no basic education foundation and eventually affect the learning process. Provision of early childhood education must be a priority if meaningful learning process is to be achieved. It must then become possible to increase access to nursery education so as to develop a holistic approach to education and lay foundation for higher levels.

Kataboi Division has only 2 primary schools situated in Kataboi and Lomekwi centers and the schools are 30 km apart. The operations of the schools are supported by the government under the free primary education programme but the existing facilities are not enough to cater for the increasing need for education. Children from other villages have to walk long distances daily to school and back and this affects the learning process. The government and non-governmental organizations working in Turkana have been stepping up the campaign on attainment of universal education by 2015 and the Turkana community increasingly appreciates the importance of formal education and is willing to send their children to school but the facilities are not sufficient for the increasing need. In order to accommodate the anticipated influx into the BBF supported nursery schools, 2 more primary schools are needed in places where there is none.

The government of Kenya recently introduced a cost shared secondary education system. This was indeed a relief to the poor. However, the government has just withdrawn its support of secondary education and the parents have to raise full fees and provide all the requirements. The children who graduate from Kataboi primary school don’t have a school to further their education but are forced to look for chances in schools found elsewhere. Despite the importance of provision of secondary education, the infrastructure and facilities required are not currently the priority of the government and few other people are keen to get involved.  

£12,000 builds a school for 300 or more children

£688 gives the school a teacher for a year

£292 buys a school a years worth of teaching equipment

£57 pays for a teacher for a month

£17 is the amount to educate one child for one year

£2.50 buys a child a school uniform