Thursday, 21 August 2014

Mr Githuri's laptop out on the Somali border

One man's mission to bring education to all...

I met Mr Githuri (aka John, but they are more formal in Kenya) when he was teaching Science at Muthurwa Primary school in the slums of Nairobi.  He is one of the most inspiring teachers I have ever met.  Even when an over-enthusiastic British teacher corrected his teaching in front of his class he thanked her rather than take offence..

When I showed him BBC Bitesize on the laptops we had taken over he was amazed "How can British children fail if they have access to so much information?" he asked.  He loved Google Images so much he stayed up half the night meticulously creating his first PowerPoint to show his class.
He diverted rainwater from the school roofs to grow an award winning vegetable garden to supplement the meagre lunches for the pupils. 

Now the government has sent him to another school a 2 day bus ride from Nairobi, right up by the Somali border.  The teachers often have to relocate to follow the nomadic children, there is usually no electricity and he lives in the school compound, always on call.  He sees his young family only every 3 months. Most teachers would complain, but he is full of enthusiasm for the children's thirst for learning.  They are the first generation to go to school, and their parents are largely sceptical, particularly on educating girls, but gradually he is bringing them round to share his love of learning..

We managed to meet up briefly at Nairobi airport, where I gave him a donated laptop. With his thirst for knowledge I know he will make excellent use of the offline Wikipedia in English and Swahili and hours of Science videos downloaded from YouTube that I copied onto it.... at least as long as the battery keeps going...

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