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Free secondary school in Kenya?

Posted on 09/17/2018 at 11:47AM

The past two general elections in Kenya, 2012 and 2017, have seen presidential aspirants promise the possibility to initiate subsidized school fees and eventually free secondary school education in the country. The most recent statement by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his 2017 election manifesto was to possibly kick start this off by 2019. This has since been met with widespread local and international mixed criticism of how realistic and feasible this project would be. How “free of charge” would it be? And what would it take to be free of charge? Jeremiah Kambi, co-founder and CEO Aiducation Kenya shares his thoughts on this discussion here:

“Kenya’s debt has passed 5 trillion shillings. The government’s attempts to raise more funds from fuel are being resisted by all and could eventually be barred. It would take the current government a critical strategic decision to stop all development projects and borrow more funds to implement free secondary school education. This would be seemingly dangerous for the already overburdened economy – we are already below 5% growth. In such a developing country as Kenya with widespread poverty, hunger and major terror threats from the Al Shabab, this policy change might take time. My feeling is we may realize this in the next four to five years, as the Kenyan government reassesses its strategy and comes up with funds to implement it.

In my opinion, this promise was pure political strategy. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government already has a Big Four agenda which is a grand action plan with focus on food security, affordable housing, manufacturing, and affordable healthcare for all. If the current government achieves any of the big four, chances for reelection will still remain high. I don’t therefore think there is any political pressure to offer free secondary school education. Forty percent of Kenyans would rather pay for quality education than just a free of charge public secondary school. However, the government can pull the carpet under us by abolishing boarding school. If this is done, then the era of free secondary school education will have downed on Kenya. Personally, I will support the abolishing of boarding schools for free secondary schools. But, even if it were done – where are the class rooms? Where are the teachers? Where is the equipment and supplies? I think it’s going to be after 2022 that this debate will come again and will take the easiest way as always for the elected government.”

If you are interested in more information please read more here.

Tags: education system; Kenya

Aiducation International: Unternehmerisches Engagement mit sozialem Impact

Posted on 09/11/2018 at 08:33PM

Was haben ein Maschinenbauunternehmen, eine Werbeagentur und ein Consultingunternehmen gemeinsam? Sie fördern talentierte kenianische Ingenieure oder Anwälte und philippinische Journalisten. Unternehmen wie Ase Technik, Werbekontor und Synpulse fanden in Aiducation International, die talentierte SchülerInnen in Kenia und den Philippinen mit Leistungsstipendien unterstützt, die perfekte Partnerorganisation für ihr soziales Engagement.

Bei diesen Unternehmen wird soziales Engagement grossgeschrieben. Gesucht wurde nach einer Partnerorganisation, mit deren Zielen man sich identifiziert und der man Vertrauen entgegenbringt, die auf Gegenseitigkeit beruht. Fündig wurden sie bei Aiducation International, die einen wirkungsvollen und nachhaltigen Unterschied leistet, indem sie talentierte SchülerInnen in Kenia und den Philippinen unterstützt. «Ich schätze den Leistungsfokus und die Transparenz von Aiducation, die Möglichkeit, einen angehenden Ingenieur zu unterstützen und den Austausch mit anderen Partnerfirmen», erklärt Michel Kleisli, CEO AseTechnik. Dank dem Stipendium von AseTechnik besucht der angehende Ingenieur Benson das Gymnasium und hat nun das ambitiöse Ziel, das kenianische Transportwesen zu revolutionieren.

Ein sinnvolles Weihnachtsgeschenk

AiduAlumni George on Mentoring

Posted on 08/15/2018 at 07:43AM

AiduTalent George Omiro studies Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Nairobi after graduating high school in 2016 thanks to an Aiducation scholarship. He has already attended several Aiducation mentorship academies as both a participant and coordinator. By attending those Academies George took his chances and benefitted from the mentoring program. Read his story here…

Written by George Omiro.

“We all strive to achieve excellence in our different areas of specialization and apart from the career, we also have our social life which is very important aspect of life. I must say, our environment, the people we get to interact with in our day to day activities have a great influence in molding of our character. We tend to perceive things, listen to what people say about who we are and try to sieve through the tons of information and people’s views and then make an informed decision. When we constantly get positive feedback from people, our minds become oriented to being optimistic and we perceive ourselves as successful. In as much as we grow and mature, there seems to be a vacuum that needs to be filled in our lives. This is where guiding and counselling, being mentored comes in hand. At one point in life we had someone who we looked up to; a person you adored and wished to follow in their footsteps, and that person is non-other than our mentors.

A big thanks goes to Aiducation International, Swiss Re and all the stake holders for coming up with the mentorship programme that forms part of every academy. This programme enables the participants and the mentors, who are employees of companies to have a one on one open session where you can share ideas, your social life; it is an interactive platform where both parties are free to explore myriads of topics including family, challenges they face amongst other things that the participants feel free and comfortable to share. From my previous encounter and the academies, I have attended, I can enthusiastically say it has been a golden opportunity to meet and interact with mentors from diverse origins, getting to know the inside scope of corporate world from people with vast experience.

I remember attending Financial literacy academy in the summer of 2015 and it was during the mentoring session that I got insightful advice pertaining to career choice, a topic that I had really yearned to get expounded on. It is an intrinsic human nature for most people to shy off from being inquisitive but once you decide to come out of your cocoons, your comfort zone and share your thoughts, those unanswered questions with a mentor, then the world will be a better place for all of us as we get to learn new things. Getting to be mentored by a mentor from another company comes with lots of benefits and important teachings to carry with you home. I am an introvert, tending to keep to myself and feeling okay in my comfort zone. Honestly, I had a difficult time coping up with some social aspect of life for instance making new friends, networking, speaking my mind out aloud but through the mentoring sessions, I have progressively improved and finally come out of my cocoon! Being an introvert isn’t a problem at all but keeping everything to myself and being in my own world was the thorn in the flesh. Am so very glad and more than rejuvenated for the invaluable input the mentors impacted in me and for always keeping me motivated.

Tags: AiduAlumni, Mentoring

Looking back: The Swiss Study Foundation Academy in 2017

Posted on 06/30/2018 at 08:57PM

AiduTalent George Jilani studies medicine at the University of Nairobi after graduating high school in 2013 thanks to an Aiducation scholarship. He has already attended several Aiducation academies as both a student participant and coordinator. The Swiss Study Foundation Academy as a two-week summer school program, however, was a new highlight in his journey with Aiducation. Read his story here…

Written by George Jilani.

“Excitement boiled in my stomach as I sat by the window on the train travelling from Mombasa to Nairobi in the summer of 2017. Trees rushed quickly by me. I was nostalgic. After weeks and months of careful planning, the long awaited Summer School co-hosted by Aiducation International and The Swiss Study Foundation was to finally start in a few days. My job as a participant as well as the Kenyan host was to plan important logistics for students and speakers as relates to their transport, accommodation and welfare. I had worked for months with a dedicated team of student organizers from both Kenya and Switzerland to plan this first ever summer school of its kind. My heart almost skipped a beat with cheer. I felt like a proud father watching his son take his first terrified steps.

This Summer School brought together 30 students from Aiducation International in Kenya and 15 from The Swiss Study Foundation in Switzerland to discuss challenges facing urban mobility and renewable energy in our world. Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we attempted to solve the most challenging questions on mobility and energy from a diverse and multidisciplinary point of view with a focus on the situation in Kenya. Students from diverse and inspired disciplines were highly motivated to be participants and experience the fusion of culture and ideology as they work towards a common goal; to solve real and actual problems that affect our world. This, for me, was more inspiring as it was truly exciting!

Annual Report 2017 soon to be released

Posted on 06/30/2018 at 08:51PM

The Aiducation Communications team has been hard at work to bring you our Annual Report 2017. AiduFriends, AiduPartneres and AiduMakers will receive a digital copy shortly. Have a look into the report and enjoy reading an advance publication of our highlights 2017.

171 scholarships were donated in 2017. Since Aiducation’s foundation in 2007,
a total of 1422 scholarships had been donated through the end of 2017.

The Liechtenstein-based Tarom foundation, which has continuously supported us since 2010, donated another 20’000 CHF in 2017. The funds will be invested into Economy Weeks in the Philippines and a position in the Pathways office.

More than 200 guests enjoyed the two Impact Dinners in Basel and Zürich. During these two events, funding for around 25 scholarship was secured.

Pathways Philippines organized multiple important events with several hundred participants. Those events included the start of a four-week long summer training program (called “ANI”) for new AiduFellows, preparatory meetings for the 2018 training programs (tutor trainings), a World Café in which 192 participants exchanged on the current political climate of the Philippines, and general assemblies for two Pathways parent groups.

12 Mentorship academies were successfully held in 2017 – that is a new record for Aiducation International – among them were several significant “first’s” and one amazing “second”:

  • The first Swiss Study Foundation Academy was held in Nairobi: 14 high-potential university students from the Swiss Study Foundation and 29 AiduAlumni met for a ten-day academy on Urban Energy & Mobility.
  • The EY Leadership Academy took place in Nairobi – for the first time, “leadership” was the major topic of an academy.
  • In December, for the very first time, we conducted a “*Swiss Re Entrepreneurship Academy*” for all of our 18 start-ups in our Start-up Fund. The academy provides a platform to exchange experiences and best-practices, to deepen knowledge on key concepts in entrepreneurship, and to focus on strategies for one’s start-up.
  • Three academies in a row: For the first time, Aiducation International Kenya successfully organized three academies in a row: the Swiss Re Start-Up Academy, the Swiss Re Corporate Career Academy, and the Swiss Re Entrepreneurship Academy from 20 Nov – 9 December.
  • At the second Swiss Re Corporate Career Academy, 13 industry partners in Kenya met 50 of our talents and conducted real internship interviews.

A new Alumni Network leadership team consisting of Adam Sikhundani (CEO), Mary Mwashigadi (Vice-CEO) and about 20 “governors” who help link batches of AiduAlumni to the network was sworn in at an amazing ceremony in Kenya. It was humbling to see how our AiduTalents have turned from poor high school students into achieving youth leaders.

Searching for a new Talent Raising site: From originally 120 potential partner organizations and a long list of 25, we selected six potential partners as short-listed organization for expansion into our third Talent Market.