What we provide:
Free public education is provided by the Kenyan Government for primary school education. Secondary schooling is not free and costs approximately £370 per year for each of the four years of secondary education. This is prohibitively expensive for many families with low or no real income, so there is very low take up of secondary schooling in some areas.
The Akili Trust currently offers 16 bursaries to the Dabaso and Kakuyuni Schools and with grants from the Cassel Trust and Hutton Dabaso Twinning Association, further grants are available. We currently have 26 bursary students.
The process for awarding bursaries:
The responsibility for awarding bursaries is carried out by the management committees of the two Akili libraries. Each year the committees distribute application forms for the bursaries to students in the schools where the libraries are based. The following criteria are used to decide how to allocate the bursaries:
- A report from the school on the applicant’s academic potential
- Academic test results
- Family circumstances, both financial or personal, which may limit the family’s ability to pay for secondary education
One boy and one girl are selected each year from each library. Selection panel members are required to withdraw from the process if a family member is involved. The committees’ decisions are final and are reported to the Board of Trustees in the UK.
What we expect of bursary students:
All the bursary students are expected to maintain good grades at school. Their progress is closely monitored by the library staff. Library staff will attend parents’ evenings at school if necessary and receive school reports. Where a student fails to maintain good grades, this is reported to the respective management committee who decide on appropriate action, either to give the student another chance or to curtail the bursary. This structure has proved its worth and we are seeing the evidence in the number of accomplished and impressive young people who have graduated from the programme.
Bursary students are also expected to work in the libraries. A rota is maintained for the students to come in to the library and help the librarians. The older bursary students also give support to younger students. They also support each other with their learning.
What we offer bursary students:
Students are allocated a place at a secondary school in January by the Education department. The bursary will cover the cost of school fees. These vary between schools. The bursary also covers boarding fees for the students as they normally have to live away from home to attend school. Other costs are met by the student.
We now have an impressive group of bursary students who have graduated from school and are university or college studying a range of subjects from nursing to medicine to environmental health to economics or freight management to tourism. They have set up a ‘Graduates of Dabaso’ group and meet regularly to find ways that they can give back to the community through mentoring and support to other students.