Why Starehe is needed
Why the poorest pupils rely on the Starehe schools
In theory every child in Kenya can go to primary school free of charge, but in practice they have to pay for items such as school uniform and study materials. Over half of the country’s families earn less than a dollar a day, which precludes many children from even basic schooling.
As a result, many extremely bright children are unable to fulfil their academic potential, to the detriment not only of their own life chances, but also of Kenyan society as a whole.
The most recent figures show that 84% of Kenyan boys attend primary school, but only 40% go on to secondary education. Many will have no choice but to work instead to contribute to family finances, if of course they have a family at all.
For girls the picture is bleaker. 65% attend primary school, with only 20% entering secondary education. A mere 1% will qualify for University. Early marriage is a factor in poor families (who rely on the dowry), and families will often prioritise boys for schooling.
Starehe therefore provides a vital alternative for the brightest, most disadvantaged children, by providing free education and covering their living expenses all-year round, as boarders at the schools.