Located in Mang’u area on a 100 acre piece of land is a magnificent institution set out to give hope and a future to thousands of brilliant kids from less privileged backgrounds. This institution is the M-PESA Foundation Academy.
The realization of this school saw the M-PESA Foundation spending 3 billion shillings to provide numerous and state of the art academic, technological, entrepreneurial and sporting facilities to its students. With 500 students so far going up to the Third Form, none of the parents or guardians of these kids need to stay up all night contemplating where to get school fees as everything is covered by the school.
Here are some of the things I found out that make the school stand out
1. They teach differently
They’ve moved from learning being an extrensic process to an intrinsic process – learning is more of a natural than cumbersome process, thus students are always eager to learn whether in class or in the field or out while on excursion. They are taught to always be curious and to want to learn more.
2. They have invested in state of the art facilities for the students
From their libraries to their classrooms to their dorms, students are equipped with the necessary tools and infrastructure they need to see them succeed. The sports facilities include a swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court and track field.
In class, each student is provided with a tablet and the classroom is equipped with Apple TV that is used during all their lessons.
3. They don’t study to pass exams
We all know how we dreaded exams in school, they were always full of pressure and one would want to pass just so as to not meet the repurcussions of failing. At the M-PESA Foundation Academy, they aim to not create learners with the ability to pass exams but strive to create future leaders in business, academics, the arts and so forth. Here, students can be anything they aspire to be!
They are also empowered to financial independence by being taught about money; how to make it, spend it and save it wisely, while still in school. Each student has a bank account and an ATM card and they bank the money they get from whichever startup or business they set up while in school. If they decide to open a snack bar or a milkshake shop, they can sell to the students or teachers and bank it in their accounts. They are also taught how to raise funds through shareholding
4. Arts, culture and talent is appreciated
Playing of instruments and nurturing of talent and skills is encouraged at the M-PESA Foundation Academy. Unlike other institutions that push aside creativity, the Academy encourages and funds the students’ willingness to pursue their interests outside the classroom
5. Diversity is applauded.
Did you know that the ratio of girls to boys in the Academy is 1:1. According to Les Bailles, the selection process of students is not only gender but also culturally diverse. They pick 2 boys and 2 girls from each of the 47 counties including UNHCR. Last year they took 6 students across the UNHCR programs, meaning they have students from Sudan, South Sudan, Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
The students will also receive a full scholarship to any University of their choice be it local or international as long as they get accepted