Mathare Slums School Shortlisted Among World's Top 10

An aerial view of Mathare slums, Nairobi County.
An aerial view of Mathare slums, Nairobi County.

A Kenyan school based in Nairobi's Mathare slums has been shortlisted among the top 10 in the World's Best School - a prize that recognizes schools that have developed expertise in five key areas.

In a ranking by T4 Education, the Still I Ride International School was listed among the top in the Community Collaboration category which awards institutions that integratively work with their communities to secure solid grounds necessary for the children’s progress.

Despite being a private school, nearly half of its student population are refugees from East Africa while the rest are children from vulnerable homes. 

An image of the tuition block at Still IRide International School..jpg
An image of the tuition block at Still I Ride International School.
Still I Ride International School

"The school worked to celebrate the differences among its student body, encouraging them to see each other as equals. It works to bring students together regardless of culture," the prize organisers wrote.

Despite its diversity, the school helps students overcome their inequalities. It provides the learners with two meals in a day, uniform, stationery and a medical cover.

Still I Ride was also feted for being the first school in the world to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) system of education to refugee children, free of charge.

The winning institution stands a chance to win a Ksh5.8 million if it emerges as the best in its category - money it would use to equip its libraries with computers and establish a Jenga Pamoja Initiative Exhibition to display the cultures of the students.

Also shortlisted to win the World's Best School Prize is Amani School for Refugees which was among the ten shortlisted in the overcoming diversity category.

Hosting a primary school and a charity-based teacher training college in Kakuma, Amani is run by volunteers who were once refugees. The institution was established in an effort to give children in the camp a proper education.

"Aiming to be something of a haven for refugee children who have endured considerable emotional and mental trauma, the school provides lessons in numeracy and equips illiterate students with the tools to read and write fluently," the publication wrote.

Should they win the price, they would use the funds to improve its facilities to expand its capacity, purchase learning devices and build a secondary school for the older children.

The award is to promote schools and is centred on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to help them become global citizens.

Students study under trees in Kakuma
Students study under trees in Kakuma.