Problems facing formal and non-formal schools in Mathare

Thatched school in Mathare North

During my time with Map Mathare I was surprised to find that in my area, Mathare North, there are only three government schools: Mathare North primary school, Drive inn primary school and Ruaraka high school. The fourth school collapsed. In the year 2006 the government released twenty million for the construction of girls high school. The money was misused and the project collapsed after six month. Most of the formal schools in Mathare were constructed by Nairobi city council in early eighties but due to corruption with top officials, the status of these schools are diminishing. The schools problems are poor performance in national exams, lack of teachers, a lot of children per class thus making it hard for teachers to teach. This is why many parents prefer to take their children to informal school.

In Mathare North there are more than seventy six informal schools both secondary and primary. A lot of children attend what are known as non-formal or informal schools. These are supported by communities, religious groups and other organizations by offering feeding programs (feed the children Kenya), text book distributions (DFID), and sponsorship programs by (well wishers) amongst other things. Most of these non formal schools in Mathare face many problems:

  • Lack of Playing grounds i.e. recreational facilities
  • Poor infrastructures in class rooms
  • Huge numbers of orphans, displaced children and lack of space
  • Lack of qualified teachers due to poor salaries
  • Unfair distributions of Text book in schools
  • Lack of food – many students are sleepy and unable to pay attention in class because there is not enough food for them at home or in school.

They say the presence of informal schools means that Kenya has two levels of education: One for the children from the slums, another for the children from better conditions.

There is a very big need of the government to assist this informal schools in Mathare because the problems are big and are spreading throughout Kenya.

— Javin


4 Comments to “Problems facing formal and non-formal schools in Mathare”

  1. A good number of young youths staying in mathare slum are now knowing that they have potentials that they may use to exploit their skills,talents,and to be creative in every opportunities that can generate any income as one way of there earning, so that is why they decided to come together in various parts of mathare to form youth groups instead of involving in criminal actions,especially map mathare team is doing a great job by identifying there potentiality,community transformers organization are trying to transforms youths in mathare,by offering empowerment’s to them by sports,trainings,entrepreneurship skills,taking care of people living with HIV and AIDS both kids and adults.

    The cases of father having sex with his daughter is increasing day by day mostly in an informal settlements ares,the big cause of action is that the kind of dressing and the type of dress,the closeness that they have than the mother of the girl,so that brings the two to have sex.
    so we asking for the sensitization to be done

  2. Community Transformers Organization is reaching out to all non informal schools within Nairobi by giving out all the information which can helps them in their lives,these are the services which they offers to those schools,life skills,children rights,ways of getting HIV&AIDS and ways of Prevention of HIV&AIDS,Choose to wait programmed which the message is all about the abstinence to those people who have not married until marriage,they have also giving them information concerning behavior change mostly in peers or age group,they are also encouraging the peers to choose the right friends,community transformers are also giving out information rape cases and how you can handle it without getting infections of either STI ,HIV,and unplanned pregnancy.
    Community Transformers is running this programmed after realized are getting wrong information’s from their fellow friends,some also afraid to share their problems which they are facing and some are afraid to share with either teachers nor parents,they want these kids to have or to be well equipped with information but the problem is luck of enough facilities to reach schools.

  3. after the exercise carried by the map Mathare team,they realized that most people living within the informal settlements area are facing a big problems such as water and sanitation,broken sewerage,few number of the toilets,open deification,flying toilets,scarcity of job to youths,high rate of drug use,the rate of alcohol consumption,unplanned pregnancy,commercial sex workers,gangster groups,the basic facilities are not available,this hospitals,government schools,and other social amenities
    that is the biggest challenge which i noticed during my mapping exercise in Mathare slum

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