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Growing up....the Kenyan way

I see that I have more traffic here in Belize than anywhere else so far. Maybe you are wondering who this lady is. What does Kenya looks like? Is it part of Nigeria or South Africa? No it's not, it's a sovereign country. Do all children grow up like the way we see in CNN? Let me tell you briefly the normal growth of a child in Kenya, not in the countryside or rural areas but in the major towns where most population is.

We start at kindergarten/Nursery at the age of 2 or 3 for 2/3 years then we join primary school for eight years. When qualified we join high school for 4 years then university for minimum 4 years. This is
the structure for government schools system; private schools are different depending on which international system they are using.

The parents would wake us up in the morning and we have to take shower, brush our teeth, dressing up, eat breakfast and off we go to school. All students must have and wear a uniform and a badge. There is a school in almost all neighborhoods and it takes only 5 – 10 minutes walk or we take taxi if it is far. In school, classes begin at 8.00am and there is a break at 10am for half an hour where students can go to the school canteen and buy anything they would like to eat or drink. After the break, classes go on until midday for lunch break. We either go back home for lunch or if it is far we buy food from school canteen, nearby cafes or our parents bring us food in school.

We go back in classrooms at 2pm until around 4pm the official time, some schools especially high schools, extend it to 4:40pm for extra curricular activities like sports club, drama club, swimming club, science club, school debates etc. Then we are free to go back home where for kids, change clothes and it is time to play outside with the other kids and have fun. They have to be back home by sunset whereby they take shower, do homework and watch TV or play indoor games. Most of this routine will repeat until we finish high school.

Other towns could be completely different because of culture differences in some tribes.

The Government high School I attended in the 90’s had Biology Lab, fully equipped – I used a microscope for the first time in my first year, Chemistry lab with all the apparatus where we made all the mixing and produce gases such as oxygen, hydrogen, ammonium and other crystals. Physics lab – where we made electrical circuits, explore electromagnetic waves and did the legendary very long calculations solving out equations why ships float. We had several home science rooms – Kitchen equipped with gas cooking stoves and cutlery and some other electrical appliances, sewing room equipped with sewing machines and a knitting room. We also had typing room which was actually not used because it was optional to do typing and no one opted during our time. We also had computer room fully equipped with computers. We also had a school hall within the school which was used for meetings and other conferences; it was free for us to do our beauty pageants competition at the end of a term. We also had swimming lessons where we had to be taken to the pool by our school bus.

That’s all I can remember for now, at least you have a picture of how schools are in my country. In the countryside is different, there are some sad situations whereby some schools don’t have even classrooms and are learning under the trees, but things are changing and improving bit by bit.

After high school, there are tones of colleges to attend everywhere, there are also international universities.

There are also colleges for those who did not attend high school, technical colleges like art, cooking and beauty salon colleges etc.


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