Global and Community Engagements

Ruthimitu Girls Secondary School, Nairobi County - Wednesday 15 th May 2013

Happy Girls carrying hot plates Team:

  • Dickson Wambaa- Engineering
  • Gladys Kingori – Physics, Mathematics & Biology
  • Sam Njuki - ICT
  • Grace Gatere - Other courses (not sciences per se) offered in TUK
  • Juma O. Gakesho – Photo &Video coverage
  • Prof. Dorcas Yole – Word from VC, academic counsel as per perceived need of the students
  • Njuguna - Driver

Ruthimitu Girls Secondary Schools is Dagoreti, in Nairobi County. It serves the “rural” community in a poor part of the City of Nairobi. It was given land by Ruthimitu Primary School. Students in this school face problems with school fee payment, food and breakdown in families. It has about 300 students. Only Form I and II board, the rest of the Girls come from home. It does not have much in terms of facilities; however, they were able to build a decent academic block with CDF money. It was even difficult to locate the small dirt road reading to the school. The visit to this school was an additional activity to the one scheduled for Volunteering and Community Responsibilities Department for the School and also for DC Kibra office. The Team members involved in these two activities went to talk to the Girls in the afternoon.

The School does not have a hall, so the meeting was held outside. It did not also have a PA system. It was not possible to give a power point presentation, so all the presenters just talked to the students. Presentation was done from the veranda of the 1 st floor of the new building, facing girls seated on chairs on the ground. Mr. Wambaa talked to the girls on the various courses offered in Engineering; Gladys challenged the girls to excel in Physics and Mathematics – she was an example that it was possible. Grace discussed the various careers they could take in liberal arts. They were particularly interested in Design. Students asked questions on the various careers. From the question, it was obvious that they did not think they were capable of attaining high grades.

Since the school is not a high performer, the girls were so encouraged to know that they could start from either certificate or Diploma level and finally end up with a degree. The previous year’s top student, who got a B, had been supported by the Teaching staff, as the parents were too poor to pay school fees. The teachers were wondering if TUK offers bursary. They were informed that once the student was able to pay the first University fee instalment, they could apply for a bursary.

Prof. Yole challenged the girls to refuse to be put down by their poor background. One of the major hindrances for the girls to study was the thought that even if they succeeded in their exams, they would not progress further. She challenged them to work hard and succeed first; a door would open for them. She told them to focus on their studies and refuse to be distracted by relationships with boys, as this will have its place in the future. Strong moral values would help them to concentrate wholeheartedly on studies.

Girls applauding after a speechThe girls shouted for joy when they were presented with the hot-plates. They were using charcoal burners for their home science cookery lessons (majority of the girls take Home science). The Principal was presented a letter from DVC-NPL and a prospectus both in soft and hard copy.

The Principal, Mrs Muraa, was very grateful that TUK had chosen to visit her small school, and not the “giant secondary schools” around her; the latter wondered how her school had been selected, and they requested for a visit, too. It was such an honour for a University to visit them and have time to talk to the girls.