Retired professor wants continued business support to aid pre-school partnership in Kenya (From Dorset Echo)
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Retired professor wants continued business support to aid pre-school partnership in Kenya
A RETIRED professor is appealing to local firms to help a pre-school partnership with Kenya keep delivering results.
Professor John Siraj-Blatchford is asking for sponsorship to help cover the shipping costs of sending crucial equipment to Kenyan schoolchildren.
The project teams pre-schools in Kenya with their equivalents in Dorset and the south of England.
Each UK school sends items that will provide the African schools with curriculum support.
Professor Siraj-Blatchford, of Poole, who volunteers for the project with his partner Njeri Kimani, visited the first 12 pre-school partners in Kenya last year.
He said: “The most important thing is to support the children and their pre-school teachers working in very tough circumstances in Kenya.
“The Kenyan pre-schools have very few resources but the teachers are heroic in improvising a great deal.
“They create toys, posters and apparatus from recycled materials.
“All of the pre-schools that we have partnered in Kenya are particularly needy, many are rural, and some are in the infamous slums of Nairobi so they also receive some very limited support from a project funded by the Salvation Army in Kenya.”
Each school keeps a blog featuring photos and reports on the items once they have been received by their Kenyan partner.
Professor Siraj-Blatchford, who is an honorary professor at the University of Swansea, said it is hard for Kenyan teachers to provide resources for their pupils.
He said: “A typical pre-school teacher in Kenya has a salary of £16 to £30 a month and to put that in context – a chicken currently costs about £5 in the shops there.
“Also, the salary is always paid in part by the parents and if they can’t afford to pay, which is often the case, the teacher doesn’t get all the money.”
Anyone who can offer help with the costs of sending learning resources, toys and apparatus should email john@327matters. org or see www.prepartners.