The year 2017 was a busy one for us at Jaslika, making the year go that much faster. During this time we were able to undertake a variety of activities that encompassed knowledge building, sharing, learning and reflecting while at the same time enhancing our visibility through the launch of our website Jaslika.com and integrated social media platforms Jaslika Consulting and The Write Policy.
Knowledge building and sharing
The Jaslika world is a connected world. We discern connections where many others see silos that jealously guard their own space, each distinct and secluded from the other. The issue of values, silos and disconnects featured strongly in the National Study on Value-based Education (2015) which was led by Dr Sheila Wamahiu. The study report was launched by the the Cabinet Secretary of Education, Dr Fred Matiang’i in 2016. Eight members of Jaslika (Dr. Ahmed Ferej, Elizabeth Njuguna, Concilliah Indoshi, Naom Ondochi, Ernest Onguko, Samuel Mukundi, Conrad Watola and Ali Wamahiu) had participated in the original study as researchers, data analyst and graphic designer.
The findings of the study generated a lot of interest nationally and internationally, and Dr Wamahiu was invited to submit an abstract on the same topic for presentation at the ADEA 2017 Triennale in March last year. The abstract was accepted for presentation at a parallel session on Building Peace and Global Citizenship through Education and Training held in Dakar, Senegal. To read more, you can go to the following link on our website: https://jaslika.com/news/dr-sheila-wamahiu-speaking-at-adea-2017
Dr Wamahiu was also invited to provide resource to an Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) supported writing workshop to develop materials for a pilot on value-based education. The workshop was organised in conjunction with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and the Kenyan Ministry of Education.
The values thread was interwoven in the three pieces of commissioned research work that Jaslika undertook during the year. Though the purpose of the studies and approaches used to generate the data were different, they were connected through their concern with values. In the first two this concern was explicit while in the third it was implicit.
Building foundations of equity
Entitled “Building a Foundation for Equity in the Early Years”, the first study was commissioned by the Africa Early Childhood Network (AfECN) to develop a package of support and info note for early gender socialisation. The assignment involved a desk review of 22 child-focused policies and action plans from 10 countries of sub-Saharan Africa and content analysis of the ECD curriculum and selected teaching learning materials from Kenya. It aimed at ascertaining the extent to which the materials were responsive to the needs of children (girls and boys) in the early years, and whether they are sufficiently gender and equity sensitive.
Baseline of values-based education in the Kenyan coast
The values of equity and equality were among the high priority values that were the focus of a baseline study on Values-based Education in Kwale and Mombasa Counties of the Kenyan Coast. Commissioned by the Aga Khan Foundation, the study led by Dr Wamahiu, combined a perception survey, qualitative case studies and key informant interviews. The survey administered in 40 public primary and secondary schools, and selected youth groups from the catchment areas in the two counties. The case studies focused on an in-depth exploration of 6 primary and secondary schools. The total sample comprised 764 individuals (learners, teachers, school heads, community youth group members, religious and other opinion leaders).
The baseline study was in support of a pilot project entitled ‘Supporting the Government of Kenya’s Values-based Education Policy and Practice’ project. Its highlights were disseminated at a workshop in Mombasa on 14 September 2017.
The presentation may be viewed at the following link: https://www.slideshare.net/SheilaWamahiu/valuebased-education-findings-of-the-baseline-study-in-kwale-and-mombasa-2017
Dr Ahmed Ferej, Elizabeth Njuguna, Ernest Onguku, Samuel Mukundi and Concilliah Indoshi were Jaslika members who participated in the study as researchers. Ali Wamahiu digitised the tools and monitored data collection remotely together with Conrad Watola. He also designed the graphics. Conrad Watola, supported by Karuru Wamahiu, analysed the quantitative data.
The positive deviant study
The third study was a qualitative inquiry of positive deviant (PD) public primary schools in Kenya commissioned by Twaweza East Africa. The study was multiphased, comprising two field components: rapid scoping exercise in 14 schools located in 5 counties and 6 case studies based on an in-depth PD inquiry located in 3. The findings of the scoping exercise informed the choice of schools for the deeper exploration. The news post below gives a brief on the PD concept.
One of the researchers and Jaslika Co-Associate, Dr Purity Nthiga shared her experience in doing the PD study in a school located at the heart of an arid area in the following blog post: https://jaslika.com/news/2017/10/23/the-search-for-positive-deviance-schools-continues-jaslika-in-the-arid-and-semi-arid-lands-asal
The preliminary findings of the study was presented at the second bi-annual conference on Education Evidence for Action (EE4A) which was held in Nyeri on 5th and 6th of December. The focus and goal of the second EE4A Conference was to consolidate evidence gathered in the past three years for policy engagement with government in the education sector. Jaslika Co-Associate, Samuel Mukundi, who was also part of the study team, was one of the rapporteurs at the Conference. His insights on the conference are captured in this link:
Dr Wamahiu’s presentation at the conference may be accessed at the following slideshare link:
Jaslika members who participated in the PD study as researchers, data analysts, data digitisation and management experts, and graphic artists were: Dr Purity Nthiga, Samuel Mukundi, Elizabeth Njuguna, Naom Ondicho, Concillian Ondoshi, Ernest Onguku, Declan Magero, Dr. Noraisha Oyama, Kaururu and Ali Wamahiu.
Think Equal - A value-based model for the early years
On Thursday 31st August, Ms Wangui Nganga and Ms Naom Ondicho represented Jaslika Consulting at a workshop organised by THINK EQUAL-Kenya at a Nairobi Hotel. The one day workshop, funded by UNICEF was graced by participants from the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), the Africa Early Childhood Network (AfECN), Plan International, Women Education Researchers of Kenya (WERK), Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Nairobi County and early childhood teachers. Naom Ondicho presents an overview of the conference at the following link: https://jaslika.com/news/2017/9/8/jaslika-at-the-think-equal-conference-at-the-lord-errol-hotel-rund
The presentation by Jaslika Director, Dr Sheila Wamahiu who is a technical advisor on Think Equal Global and a member of the Executive Committee in Kenya, may be found at this link: https://www.slideshare.net/SheilaWamahiu/think-equal-a-model-for-valuebased-education-in-the-early-years
The year 2017 was a year of learning for Jaslika members, not only through the research that they conducted but also from seminars and workshops that they attended. Declan Magero provides insights on two of such events where he represented Jaslika.
Curriculum Reforms & Global Education Monitoring, Declan Magero.
Regional Education Learning Initiatives - RELI together with Africa Population and Health Research (APHRC), ziziAfrique and Strathmore University organized a two-hour talk on the on-going curriculum reforms in Kenya.
The African Social Development index: Measuring Human Exclusion for Structural Transformation, Declan Magero
Declan Magero, co-associate of Jaslika Consulting, attended the Partners’ Briefing on the African Social Development Index (ASDI) on January 23rd 2017. The meeting was co-organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Rockefeller Foundation, Africa Office.
In October each year, the world commemorates International Teachers’ Day and the Day of the Girl Child. A talk given by the Jaslika Director in 2006 at a forum convened by the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) reaffirming the role of teachers in safeguarding the rights of the girl child was reproduced in the Jaslika Blog because of its relevance to the present day.
Finally, Jaslika Consulting provided a forum for members to not only learn but reflect and grow. Samuel Mukundi describes his experience with Jaslika, how involvement in its activities has helped him to develop as a researcher.