Ipswich school forms links with counterparts in Kenya with the aim of benefiting students, staff and the community

Martin Hine, of St Joseph's College in Ipswich, with a representative of the Osiligi Obaya school in

Martin Hine, of St Joseph's College in Ipswich, with a representative of the Osiligi Obaya school in Kisamis - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich-based independent school has launched a partnership with a learning centre in Kenya which officials hope will help to achieve benefits for students and staff in both countries.

St Joseph’s College announced that a “formal association” had been signed with the Osiligi Obaya school in Kisamis, in the Maasai region, earlier this week.

The school’s vice principal and head of prep, Dr Martin Hine, has been instrumental in forming the partnership, which will see students from St Joseph’s heading to the east African nation to help pupils there.

Dr Hine said: “The main purpose of the association is to create a mutually beneficial, wholesome partnership with this wonderful Maasai co-educational school, for their and our pupils, staff and community.

“We will be sending students and staff out to the village of Kisamis in Kenya next summer to assist with teaching English, sport, cooking, music, art, ICT and technology.

“A new venture will be established to run a holiday club for the four to 10 year old girls and boys to learn more about recreation.”

Education generally in Kenya has been described as narrow, with many schools following the state syllabus which sees limited science, art and craft being taught.

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At Osiligi the teaching and education has been described as being more proactive, with class sizes at about 25, more than half the average.

Dr Hine added: “Schools in Kenya are formal and serious but we know that children want to play and deepen their all-round education and this is something that we think we can help with.

“There are five classes now at Osiligi Obaya school and the aim is to add on one class every year and to work together over a period of time to create a senior school so that it becomes a similar co-ed 3 to 18 structure to the one we have here at St Joseph’s.

“As we do here in Suffolk, we want to help their pupils and the whole community by going out and visiting the locality and respecting the culture of the Maasai.

“But our project is certainly not forcing western attitudes upon them, it is all about enriching pupils’ broad learning experiences alongside fun, active and creative opportunities.”

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