How we do it
Education has proven to be the most important factor in social mobility and the primary determinant of better development and health outcomes for children. The ultimate measure of success in education is ensuring children especially in remote rural areas with high poverty index have access to education and once in school that they are learning 21st century competencies and skills. Creating such a strong school system in which learning is valued requires well designed program that targets children, their teachers, community and overall school.
iGLOW is guided by the understanding (“theory of change”) that motivated children who are eager to learn complimented with strong results-oriented school leadership, a child-centered teaching approach and a supportive community environment for children, lead to children’ higher education outcomes (school enrolment, retention and graduation rates) and aspirations.
Motivating Children: At the individual level, to motivate children, iGLOW removes barriers that commonly prevent vulnerable rural children from going to school. Many children come from single or no parent households and have been affected by HIV/AIDS. iGLOW process begins with counselling for both the children and their families, and school placement including boarding provision. Leadership training which includes political advocacy training, mentorships, and tutoring build the children’ self-esteem and accelerate their learning. Meanwhile, healthcare services, school feeding program, access to clean water and reproductive health education improve the children’ overall well-being and teach them how to protect their bodies and their rights.
iGLOW has rescued children from abuse, returned them to formal schooling, ensured their transition to the next grade level, reduced pregnancy and dropout rates, improved children’ literacy, increased their interest in science and built children leadership and computer skills including connecting them with outstanding young female and males from top universities in Kenya.
Strong results-oriented school leadership:
Strong schools ensure that children are learning and have access to high quality education. Strong leadership is key in transforming children’ schools and ensuring that learning is taking place. iGLOW provides head teachers with training on transformational leadership, effective school management; engagement with school board of directors, teachers, parents; creating safe learning and school environment for children as well as holding head teachers forums which enables them to learn from their peers and engage with local government education officials.
Child-centered teaching approach: In poor remote schools’ key challenges affecting education outcomes includes; lack of and under trained teachers which subjects children to low quality education, non-adherence to children’s right which renders most children subject to physical, emotional and verbal abuse. Teachers also have limited teaching aids and use outdated teaching methods. The old-fashioned teacher-in-front-of-classroom model, where everyone follows the same curriculum and where the teacher is the authority in class rather than a facilitator of creative learning serves to hinder a child’s learning and as well as subject them to abuse, the consequence of which are worse for children.
iGLOWs therefore provides rural children’ teachers with child-centered instruction that places children social-emotional wellbeing, potential and aspiration at the center. Through this teaching method, there’s better retention and motivation for further learning which further helps children to discover their own potential, strive for ambitious goals, create new and expand their knowledge base beyond the four walls of the classroom, articulate their needs and see themselves as agents of change both at the individual and community level. Other teachers training includes; providing with refresher professional development training that keeps teachers up-to-date on new research on how children/children learn, emerging technology tools for the classroom, new curriculum resources etc, mentoring and coaching from veteran distinguished teachers drawn from across the country to encourage diversity in best practice teaching methods, provision of teaching aids and teacher engagement with community and parents.
Where we see a pattern of issues affecting more than one of the school, we engage in research and in strengthening linkages between schools and education officials at both local and national levels.
Supportive community environment for children: As we empower children at the individual level and ensure they are in school environments where learning is taking place, we also simultaneously work with their parents/guardians, community and boys for them to support ongoing social change that enable children to pursue their potential in school and in the community. Under our Ms President program, for example we provide children with grants to initiate their own community advocacy projects based on their own interests. iGLOW also builds the capacity of child education officers, local administrative police, local government education officers and local implementing partners on children’s’ and children rights at home, in school and the community.
Overall our community trainings focus on sensitizing the community for them to appreciate and recognize children’ self-worth and abilities and to do away with gender-based violence, social norms, beliefs and attitudes that have served to belittle and hinder children’ ambition and self-worth.