Mivukoni Secondary School is a mixed, boarding secondary school with 280 students in a very poor, dry area close to the entrance of Kora National Park, around 70km from Mwingi and a 5 hour drive from Nairobi.
Families keep livestock and do some dryland farming (sorghum, millet etc) when there is rain. Last year- 2010/11 - there was no rain. People were surviving on famine relief food and had to walk miles to collect muddy water from shallow wells dug in dry river beds.
The school was founded in 1987. There are nine TSE (government) teachers at the school. In addition to this the Board of Governors has employed three more teachers.
Over the last 18 months a number of infrastructure improvements have been seen, funded by CDF, TAS and local fundraising:
* a new borehole serving the whole school
* rainwater harvesting tanks
* a new library / IT centre built with ISSBs (interlocking stabilised soil blocks)
* 8 new open bandas for small group work and private study
* new dormitories and washrooms for the girls
* completion of dining hall and kitchen
The school is becoming more popular and now has the status of a county school. Student numbers are growing and expected to reach 360 within two years.
It is also a designated IT centre and has received new computers from the Ministry of Education. The IT capacity is about to be further enhanced by the creation of a community IT hub funded by TAS in conjunction with Camara an Irish NGO.
The school is linked with Hampton Academy in London via the British Council's Global Schools Partnership. There has been an exchange of staff which has been of great benefit to both establishments. Changes to teaching styles have resulted along with genuine friendships between teachers.
Other priorities for improving standards are more books extra teachers, inservice training, a programme of educational visits and exam support.