With the increasing youth population across Africa, class sizes range from 50-80 students, making schools extremely congested and overpopulated.
“The research shows that children learn better when they are motivated and encouraged to participate in classroom activities. Therefore, class size needs to be manageable for a teacher to give adequate attention to motivating each child.” (UNICEF 2009) As recommended by local governments, our class size will not exceed 35 students.
Private schools are becoming big business in Africa. Seen as a lucrative investment, many entrepreneurs are building schools but are not providing good learning environments.
Though Shule-built schools are private, no one will be getting rich off of them. The majority of the operating costs will be covered by the revenue generated by our farm. In addition we will collect money through school fees and other income generating activities. Every dollar raised will be put back into the school.
Most schools lack basic supplies including but not limited to textbooks, libraries, laboratories and science equipment. The absence of these materials results in poor performances and reading culture among students.
Shule Foundation believes that libraries, labs and textbooks are vital to a student’s education and growth. Each school will be equipped with modern-day computer and science labs, tablets and computers, current textbooks for all students, and a public library stocked with culturally suitable and age appropriate materials.
In rural areas, teachers are not provided housing and are highly underpaid therefore recruiting qualified educators to teach outside the urban areas is impossible.
Shule teachers will be well compensated, have access to teacher development seminars and workshops, provided with housing, two meals a day, and health insurance. This will allow us to hire the best and help them continue to get better.
There is a common misconception that Universal Primary Education includes free education and free school lunches. Education ends up not being free because guardians must cover the cost for school uniforms, supplies, textbooks and meals. These added expenditures make it financially impossible for many parents to send their children to school.
Students who receive full scholarships as well as our teachers will be supplied with everything they need to succeed, even meals.
The School Management Committees do not function well because many members are semi-illiterate and are not properly oriented, resulting in an unclear understanding of their roles.
Shule will work closely with government agencies to help improve the reading and writing skills of the school management committees and implement orientations that clearly state their roles.
The competition among schools has killed the spirit of teamwork, networking and exchanging of information.
Shule doesn’t think of education as a competition, but as a collaboration. We will share our redesigned national curriculum, offer a “teacher shadowing” program to any teacher who wants to improve their skills and open our doors to any of the schools who want to work together to improve the quality of education for all children.
Many teachers lack the competence to both interpret and apply the curriculum properly. This is largely due to the poor development of the English language, both written and verbal.
All teachers must be proficient in English and Shule-built schools will never stop investing in teacher development. We also support the implementation of a universal African language, Swahili. Our teachers will work to make sure that all of our students can read, write and speak both languages fluently.
The educational systems in most African countries are entirely exam-based. Students are in school for the sole purpose of passing their exams. New approaches to education have been completely ignored because of this.
Though we understand the importance of our students passing their exams, at Shule we feel education is more than an exam. We will offer a fun, inclusive educational environment that is not based solely on reading from a textbook, but will include exposure to things outside of the classroom. Our modernized national curriculum is designed to prepare our students to grow-up to become productive global citizens.