International Educator - July/August 2014 - 21

VISITING KAKENYA'S SCHOOL

COURTESY OF MARLENE JOHNSON

Continued from page 19

The road from Kilgoris to Enoosaen is unpaved,
untreated dirt-or mud after a rain-full of rocks of
all sizes. The 25 kilometers trip took an hour, and the
driving was not for the faint of heart.
We arrived at the KCE campus in the midmorning. The campus includes a dormitory, five classroom
buildings, a cooking house, and plenty of space
for outdoor physical activities. The girls were all in
class, so Kakenya introduced me to the eighth grade
and the seventh grade classes, where I was invited to
visit with the girls on my own. What a pleasure! They
had lots of questions for me, but the first was always:
how old are you? Then, where are you from? How old
is your husband? How old is your mother? Do you go
to church? What is your job?
My first question for them was this: what do you
like about attending Kakenya's school? In every case,
the response was "we get to study in the evenings
with the other girls" or "we are learning so much" or
"because we're all girls, we can talk about personal
things." To the question "What do you want to do
when you complete your education?"-the answers
included "doctor," "surgeon," "lawyer," "police officer,"
"accountant," "teacher," and "airline pilot."
When I learned that one of their evening study
strategies is a student-led study discussion, I asked
them to show me how that works. Within a couple of
minutes a leader was chosen by consensus, and the

discussion proceeded using the model they employ
in their evening study periods. The discussion leader
asked a question, called on a classmate to respond
and another to comment on that, and so it went. The
girls' engagement, enthusiasm, and focus was heartwarming and exciting!
Later, to my question, "do you like that this is a
boarding school and if so, why?" The girls answered
"because we can study from early in the morning to
late at night, rather than spend so much time walking
to and from school!" Their day starts at 4:30 a.m., with
studying beginning at 6 a.m. and concludes between
9-9:30 p.m. In 2013 this discipline resulted in the eighth
grade class scoring second in Transmara in the national
exams, and eighth in the county (out of 520 schools).
Kakenya's is but one story-of a young woman
with a dream and a commitment to her village, and
the tenacity to take advantage of the opportunities at
Randolph-Macon College and the University of Pittsburgh. Our opportunity as international educators is
to encourage and support in whatever way we can to
allow these young leaders, from wherever they come
and whatever their dreams, to make a difference
in their part of the world. It's hard to imagine more
inspiring or important work.
IE
MARLENE JOHNSON is Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA:
Association of International Educators.
J U LY + AU G . 1 4 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

21



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - July/August 2014

Revitalizing Education in Afghanistan: Overcoming Decades of Devastation
All Smiles
In Brief
Voices: Kakenya Ntaiya: Founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence
Education Abroad
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 3
International Educator - July/August 2014 - In Brief
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 5
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 6
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 7
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 8
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 9
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 10
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 11
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 12
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 13
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 14
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 15
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 16
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 17
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Voices: Kakenya Ntaiya: Founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 19
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 20
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 21
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Revitalizing Education in Afghanistan: Overcoming Decades of Devastation
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 23
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 24
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 25
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 26
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 27
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 28
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 29
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 30
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 31
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 32
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 33
International Educator - July/August 2014 - All Smiles
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 35
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 36
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 37
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 38
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 39
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 40
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 41
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 42
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 43
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 44
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 45
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Education Abroad
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 47
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 48
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 49
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 50
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 51
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Forum
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 53
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 54
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 55
International Educator - July/August 2014 - In Focus
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover3
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover4
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - SCover2
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - S2
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - S7
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S8
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S9
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S10
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S11
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S12
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