|Women of Kibwezi - A Case Study of the Kibwesi Women's Integrated Rural Development Programme (HABITAT, 1990, 76 p.)|
There are 45 mixed primary schools in the division, 15 started since 1982. There are two secondary boys' schools. Kibwezi, however, boasts of the only secondary boarding school for girls in the Division and this was started by the women who wanted their daughters to be better educated than they were themselves. They obtained a 6-acre plot from a local farmer, the blessings of both the Ministries of Education and of Works, and type-design plans and financial contributions from individuals, non-governmental organizations and the United States Agency for International Department.
St. Joseph's School was completed in 1986 and has reached Form III with an intake of 40 girls per year, i.e., a pupil population in 1988 of 120 girls. There are 10 resident teachers and some 12 administrative staff members. The Beekeeper's Groups' Chairlady regularly visits the schools and instructs pupils in the planting of various vegetables and maize in the school gardens. Thee school has solar-powered electricity throughout. It has profited from technical assistance and donations from the Governments of Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Having settled the question of their daughters' education, the women decided it was time to look after their own. Adult education had been established in 1979 by Presidential Decree as a formal form of education, with well-organized classes terminating in examinations and awards of certificates of literacy.
There are 5000 adult learners in the division today, 12 full-time teachers, 40 part-time and 50 volunteer teachers. There are more women students than men, because more boys go to school than girls and there are, therefore, more illiterate adult women. In March 1988 the Women's Bureau together with the Kenya Institute of Education produced a national training curriculum specifically for women's groups. The idea was conceived in 1985 as a systematic and coordinated training approach for intelligent but uneducated, active business women and social workers in rural areas. The curriculum covers the following very important subjects: community development; human relations; project development and management; marketing: bookkeeping and accounting; and vocational education. Classes are currently held in the evenings in the office of the Beekeepers' Group at the Honey and Wax Refinery built on the women's plot in Kibwezi Town.