In a world where things are changing rapidly, education has emerged as the only stronghold that can help our children and youth weather the storms and tides. It plays a key role in a community’s social, economic and political development. Unfortunately, our rural schools in Kajiado County still lag behind in access to a quality education that will ensure students go into the world well equipped to make a valuable impact.

Rural schools in Kajiado are faced with a multitude of challenges.

            ◦           Poverty

Majority of rural Maasai households are still dependent on rearing of livestock. This poses not only a challenge but threat to accessibility of quality education for the learners. The change in environmental conditions has made pasture harder to find, leading to children dropping out of school to assist in herding during seasonal mobility. This takes away from a regular school schedule hence poor performance. In a study by the Centre for the study of Adolescence, (CSAKenya, 2016) The County poverty rate was at 36.9%. Only 36% of students transitioning from primary to secondary school.

            ◦           Lack of Teachers, facilities and materials

A huge gap is witnessed when it comes to the teacher student ratio within rural schools. This is not only made worse by the national teacher shortage but also by teacher absenteeism in rural schools due to different mitigating factors. In Kenyewa area of Kajiado county, many teachers reported that the distance from their schools played a big role in absenteeism or transferral requests. This leaves learners in the mercy of overwhelmed teachers with few resources.

Lack of facilities is a major hindrance in access to education. The dilapidated condition of classrooms exposes children to weather conditions which makes it hard for them to concentrate on learning. Boarding facilities that would assist learners in shortening their commute are not available, this does not only make them fatigued by the time of their arrival but also puts them directly in the line of animal human conflict that has plagued rural Kajiado.

In addition to this, access to materials for their learning is scarce.

            ◦           Parent’s illiteracy

A major hindrance to education has been the parents’ literacy. As a bigger percentage are illiterate, they view education as a privilege and not a basic right. This leads to children not being provided with the tools they require for their studies as well as being kept at home to provide labour when they should be in school.

            ◦           Cultural practices and early pregnancy

The prevalence of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) in Kajiado county stands at a staggering 78% according to a study by UNFPA. This makes it among the highest in Kenya. This practice is largely fueled by cultural beliefs that it gives one a better standing in the social hierarchy. Girls who go through FGM are more often than not married off early as they are seen to have come of age, and therefore drop out of school.

Once married, these girls begin child bearing at a young age which not only exposes them to birth complications but also continues the hereditary lineage of poverty and dependence on their husbands.

Early pregnancy is also witnessed in school going girls, 1 in 5 (20%) of girls aged 15-19 have began child bearing. This is caused by poverty, cultural practices and lack of knowledge on contraceptives.


The basic education act of 2013 recognizes that every child has a right to free and compulsory basic education (Republic of Kenya, 2013)

To ensure that our children get access to this, Patinaai Osim has began various programs to assist schools and the community create a better learning environment.

            ◦           By providing them with resources such as books, solar lamps to aid night study, students do not loose so much of the after school studies.

            ◦           Educating women on the dangers of FGM and importance of education creates an environment that is safe for a girl to study in and out of the school environment.

            ◦           Championing for creation of laws that will see an end to Female Genital Mutilation.

            ◦           Mentorship of young girls

            ◦           Provision of after school tutorials to assist those lagging behind

Patinaai Osim recognizes that all their efforts have been greatly assisted by their partners. The Australian High Commission, GRIC Africa, Kajiado County.

Patinaai Osim is a term of endearment, used by Maasai mothers preserved for their children, loosely translates to, “my little one who brings me joy”


PO Box: 70 Emali, Kenya 90121

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