Reaching out to Kibera Parents about Schools

by: June 30th, 2016 comments: 0

Parents ask questions regarding the map and website

Parents ask questions about the map and website

After collecting data and putting around 350 Kibra schools on the map, and developing a website, there was a need to have the Kibera parents to access the data. Map Kibera’s team organized the first parents outreach at a strategic position in Olympic where people would pass and get attracted to the booth they had staged.

This activity emerged from the Open Schools Kenya project supported by the Gates Foundation aiming to make education information easily available, accessible and useful to everyone as well as promoting data interoperability. This was a pilot project in Kibera that saw every school have a profile page with all their details ranging from the population to gender to programs offered to school fees to contact information etc.

By checking the school profile pages Map Kibera hoped that Kibera parents would be able to make informed choices of which schools to take their children to, depending on their capabilities and also preferences.

Parents started flocking around the booth, mostly interested to see in the map schools that their children attend. However, after seeing more details from the website they would spend more time checking the number of students per school and how much school fees different schools charge.

Joshua Ogure of Map Kibera demonstrate to parents how the Open Schools Kenya website works

Joshua Ogure of Map Kibera demonstrates to parents how the Open Schools Kenya website works

I can use this map when I need to transfer my child to a desired school because I now have all the information I need here,” says Stephene Otiende, a Kibera parent whose child goes to one of the public schools around. 

Mr. Otiende was specifically happy that he would be able to check how much a school charges as well as it population before sending his child to any given school in Kibra. However a parent named Irene was quick to identify that her child’s school was missing in the map. “Why it is that Star of Hope and Charles Lwanga are missing here?” she asked. On trying to navigate the map, it was true the schools in question were missing, perhaps the school was too hidden, had relocated, changed name or just did not accept to be mapped. Those were some of the possible reasons that could lead to a school missing in the map. This information has helped Map Kibera identify any missing schools, which the mappers have already begun adding into the site.

Around 25 parents visited the booth and walked away with a paper copy of the schools map, and got a chance to view and navigate some other details of their children’s schools from the Open Schools Kenya website.

Lucy, Steve and Zack of Map Kibera getting ready at the booth

Lucy, Steve and Zack of Map Kibera at the booth

Now Map Kibera team is mapping the few missing schools and updating some of the key information and data. The next step is to start adding schools in other regions of Nairobi, and Kenya.

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