A day in the life of a Starehe Boy

Students at Starehe are expected to work hard and apply themselves across all aspects of the curriculum – and to play an active part in school life from the very start.

Starehe boy

Clement - Form 4 student at Starehe Boys' Centre

06.00 a.m.

A typical day begins at 6.00 a.m. when the boys get up, wash and dress in their distinctive blue and red uniforms.

Junior students (those aged 15 and 16) must also clean the 12 dorm houses and bathrooms before they join the Senior boys for breakfast at 6.30.

07.00 a.m.

Starehe’s culture and ethos is focused on developing a sense of pride and responsibility in every student. So from 7.00 until 7.50, the Juniors take on the duty of cleaning the school, whilst the Seniors have time for their personal studies.

07.50 a.m.

At 7.50, the boys congregate around the quadrangle for ‘parade’. All students must attend, unless they have a very good reason not to (e.g. exams). Prefects help to co-ordinate this roll call, and the Director and School Captains also attend. A bugle is played, the school flag and the Kenyan flag are raised before the boys disperse in class groups - ready to start their lessons at 8.00a.m.

Aside from a 30 minute break, lessons then continue until lunchtime.

12.40 - 2.00 p.m.

The lunch break lasts from 12.40 until 2.00, during which time there is a ‘common test’, which helps to determine each boy’s ranking within his year and class; with the top places a highly sought-after and motivating goal.

2.00 - 4.00 p.m.

Lessons continue for two more hours in the afternoon.

4.00 - 4.40 p.m.

At 4.00 o’clock, the boys come together again for a whole-school assembly, and the school and Kenyan flags are lowered. This time, the boys congregate in their house groups, and the House Captains use this opportunity to address any issues, such as the cleanliness of the dorm and general appearance of the boys.

Such matters are of high importance as there are a number of inter-house competitions, with the ‘best overall’ winners granted the privilege of having the school’s only TV situated in their house common room for an entire term.

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4.40 - 6.00 p.m.

All students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sporting activities, including athletics, volleyball swimming, boxing and martial arts – as well as Tchoukball; a fast-moving throwing and catching game.

6.00 - 6.55 p.m.

After a roll call, the boys return to the dining hall for supper.

Feeding the students is quite an undertaking. The boys eat their way through 1,200 eggs a week, all sourced from the school farm, plus 8,400 bread buns baked on site, 1,400 kilos of potatoes, and 3,100 kilos of cabbage.

6.55 - 7.20 p.m.

After supper the Junior boys participate in a wide range of clubs and societies while the Seniors take their turn to tidy the school.

7.20 - 10.00 p.m.

From 7.20, ‘prep time’ takes over the school library, study areas and music rooms, as the boys settle down to homework and music practice.

10.00 - 10.25 p.m.

At 10.00 p.m. the Junior boys resume their club activity or help to tidy up, whilst the seniors continue their studies. Different forms have different curfew times, but the juniors must all be in bed by 10.30.

10.30 p.m. - 11.30 p.m.

The Seniors have additional time for personal study before lights out at 11.30 p.m.

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A worthwhile investment

This schedule may sound demanding, but the students know that time and energy invested now will pay back many times over.

As former student David explains:

“I could have been living in the slums with AIDs like a few of my childhood friends, or doing underpaid manual labour.”

Today, David is a Lawyer, and he praises Starehe for ‘giving me a life’.

Registered Charity No: 1158079