This weblog was initially revealed on edufinance.org
‘Time to interrupt the bias’ is the theme of Worldwide Ladies’s Day 2022. This yr we’re placing a highlight on one of many many inspiring feminine leaders now we have the privilege to work with. On this profile interview we focus on the numerous challenges confronted in empowering ladies to be taught and push again in opposition to stereotypes by involving the entire group within the schooling of women.
Helen Musyoka is the proud proprietor and college chief of Mountain View Academy in Machakos County, situated 30km exterior Nairobi alongside the Mombasa Highway. She began the college seven years in the past, and has since grown enrolment to 148 main learners.
Mountain View Academy is situated in what Training Specialist, Anne Njine, describes as a marginalized space in Kenya the place ladies’ schooling is just not usually a precedence. It’s a dry and arid space the place water is a matter and college pupils should journey lengthy distances to entry the college and different facilities.
Helen Musyoka has labored exhausting to not solely construct the college’s amenities but in addition the college’s optimistic tradition, together with a variety of initiatives to empower ladies and ladies.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO OPEN A SCHOOL?
The coaching I had from my very own education pushed me to start out the college. After faculty, I used to be occupied with ensuring that kids are getting the proper coaching. Being with kids offers me power.
Initially I regarded for some rooms to hire with a view to begin the college, after which later I constructed the present college in 2018. I coordinate the whole lot – mother and father, advertising and marketing, how the curriculum is delivered and supervising the academics.
HOW HAVE YOU AND THE SCHOOL CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED IN 2014?
I’ve gained a number of expertise and information. The varsity has modified in how we run it and work together with academics, mother and father and kids. Typically now we have improved and have identify in the neighborhood.
Since we joined Alternative EduFinance, I’ve learnt lots when it comes to management and I’ve acquired a number of info and information on tips on how to run my college. I’m higher [now] than when EduFinance got here in.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED?
There have been so many challenges. I’ve gone again to high school myself. Once I began the college, I had simply accomplished a diploma course in early childhood schooling, after which I did the identical topic as a level. It has been a problem discovering time for each the college and finding out however I discover it worthwhile since gaining information and working the college is attention-grabbing.
The opposite problem that I face is the best way to deal with academics to get them to remain. In the future they are saying they’ve to depart due to getting married, altering to a different college, and so forth. so I want to seek out one other instructor.
One other problem is getting the kids to journey. They’ve come from a various space and it’s tough for them to entry the college. Some use bikes and since 2015 now we have had a van however there are mechanical points because of the highway which suggests the van will get caught.
There are kids who enrolled however aren’t capable of elevate the charges. Even once I sponsor a few of them, I’m not capable of meet the wants of all the scholars and there are various who can’t pay college charges.
I’ve sponsored 4 ladies’ charges and in addition assist them in different methods. These ladies are aged 9 and 10 (in grades 3 and 4). I am sponsoring them as a result of their mother and father approached me saying they wished to switch their kids to public college as a result of they could not maintain them in our college. I made a decision I used to be going to pay for college charges and they’d cowl minor points reminiscent of uniforms and treats.
The Covid-19 associated challenges have been many too. Paying academics was a difficulty and I misplaced academics on this interval to cowl those that had left for different jobs. However now the consumption is rising [again], and the lecture rooms are too small – I must increase the amenities and ensure the scholars are in setting.
WHY DOES IT MATTER TO YOU TO EDUCATE GIRLS?
Women are the cornerstone of a household. When a lady is educated, she is ready to handle the entire household along with the kids within the house. She is ready to present for her household by employment or self-employment.
When a girl is educated, she offers again to the entire group.
ARE THERE STEREOTYPES THAT MIGHT HOLD GIRLS BACK FROM ACHIEVING?
As they become older the women battle to excel as a lot because the boys. We tackle this by means of counseling to assist the women perceive that they’re in a position and that they’ll do something similar to their counterparts.
Generally they don’t excel in sciences and oldsters educate the boys and count on the women to get married in order that they drop out of faculty. We encourage them by means of speaking to them and their mother and father with a view to cease them from dropping out.
HOW CAN SCHOOLS PROTECT THE EDUCATION OF GIRLS AND KEEP THEM IN SCHOOL?
You possibly can strive as a lot as I’m attempting to maintain these ladies in class however at house there are issues that maintain them again on account of lack of help. I want that they might keep, and we might assist them.
We will use ladies’ educational progress all through their schooling as proof of what they’ve already discovered and the way a lot progress they’ll make sooner or later.
FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT THE ROLE THAT WOMEN PLAY IN EDUCATION?
Ladies academics all over the world: it is vitally necessary for us as academics to unite and help each other and attempt to be sure that the lady baby is educated in our communities. At the moment, I’m doing social welfare for Machakos County and I’m the chairperson. My goal was to empower these academics within the challenges that they face.
Supporting ladies is a large space. There are such a lot of challenges for girls. Generally now we have widows who’re left at house to handle their households. I’ve began a program in my college to help widowed mother and father in my college with their nationwide insurance coverage and medical insurance funds. By empowering ladies and widows, in addition they see the necessity to hold the women in class. There may be a lot we will do to help ladies in our group and once you educate a lady you educate the entire group.