Kisima graduates go on to do a range of things, with many of them qualifying to study at one of Kenya’s public universities, with a loan from the Higher Education Loans Board. Courses embarked on by our graduates include electrical engineering, analytical chemistry, computer science and human resource management to name but a few.
The results of the national exam (K.C.S.E.) determine whether students can go to university. There are a fixed number of places for students to attend the public universities so students must obtain a grade of at least B of 61 points for boys and B- of 59 points for girls (2013). Students have the option to pay for themselves to go as a private student if they achieve a C+ or above but do not make the government cut-off. This is very difficult to fund but some pupils from Kisima have managed it, by finding a local sponsor, applying for a scholarship or holding a fund-raising event in their home village.
A number of former students have travelled outside Kenya for their university education. In particular, we have a link with Earth University in Costa Rica, where four Kisima graduates are now studying with a full scholarship.
There are other options available apart from university. Some Kisima graduates have successfully applied for middle level colleges, studying courses such as nursing, teaching and accountancy. Others have found training and work opportunities with the Kenya Defence Forces, National Youth Service and Kenya Prison Service.
Transition from school to further study can take some time in Kenya. Students take their national exams in the October/November of form four, receive their results in March and join university from September, if they have a government place. Those on other paths may take time to apply and fundraise for themselves. While they wait, many gain jobs such as teaching at secondary and primary schools, working as office assistants or shop assistants.
IMPACT ON THEIR COMMUNITIES
Kisima graduates are already of benefit to their families and communities, because of their education and experience. For example,
1. Involvement in local development projects
2. Agents for peace between communities
3. Encouraging others to see the importance of education
4. Sharing knowledge about agriculture, health and other issues
Those who are in employment are also assisting their families financially. For example,
1. Contributing to their families’ living costs – food, medical expenses, school fees for younger siblings
2. Assisting their families by building improved housing