Dr. Leah Marangu, Vice Chancellor, Africa Nazarene University
We operate in Kenya, a country of people who have illustrated a conviction that education is the key to breaking their cycle of poverty. When free primary education was introduced in 2003, 1.2 million additional children flooded the Kenyan primary schools. Unfortunately, in Kenya, as in most developing countries, secondary school is not free.
In 2008, the Kenyan government began providing $170 per year for each secondary school student, but the annual cost for a student at a national secondary school is approximately $860, leaving a gap of $750. This has left approximately sixty percent of primary school graduates unable to continue their education. It is not lack of ability that limits these talented students, rather the lack of opportunity. To address this, we offer scholarships to boys and girls from every province in Kenya who are academically qualified and economically disadvantaged.
A key component of our scholarship program is our partnership with a local university, the African Nazarene University (ANU) in Nairobi under the leadership of Dr. Leah Marangu. ANU provides us with an on-the-ground presence and rigorously vets both scholarship applications and secondary schools. They also provide year-round support for EFAC students and an annual mentor workshop for all EFAC scholars.
We also partner with some of the top-performing secondary schools in Kenya. Secondary schools are chosen based on strict criteria including an experienced Head of School with a passion for education; a majority of graduating students with public university admissions; a student/teacher ratio of 20:1 or lower; and a willingness to meet the requirements of our mentoring program. Children applying for an EFAC scholarship must gain admittance to EFAC partner secondary schools by scoring among the top 20% on the national eighth-grade examination, the KCPE, and must provide recommendations from local leaders and teachers. ANU will also verify that all EFAC recipients would be unable to attend secondary school without outside financial assistance.