WISERBridge is a partnership between WISER NGO and the Area Education Office in Muhuru Bay, Kenya, a village in rural Kenya characterized by poverty, high HIV rates, poor performance by girls in school, forced marriages, early pregnancy, and physical and psychological abuse. These conditions affect performance in the national primary examinations (KCPE). To address this, the program implements remedial classes to all students in their final year of primary (standard 8) aimed at preparing them for the KCPE exams. Although initially designed to improve the retention and academic success of girls, the program works with both genders. Working with 16 public and private primary schools in Muhuru Bay, WISERBridge sessions are held at each primary school before and after the regular school day and are facilitated by their teachers. The classes are focused on revision and WISERBridge partners with the teachers to develop curricula and schedules to enrich and challenge student learning (by identifying learning gaps), improve KCPE pass rates, and build gender parity.
Teachers from each school facilitate the classes and WISERBridge utilizes pay-for-performance incentives to ensure their implementation and success. The program pays teachers for 7 hours of classes per week and 14 hours for schools with double streams. The program also builds capacity in the teachers via professional development workshops, seminars, and training on gender sensitivity in the classroom. The teachers also take part in teacher exchange programs to learn best practice and lessons learnt from their peers. Three exams are administered each year (termly) by the WISERBridge Community Panel to monitor student progress and provide formative assessment to teachers on the sufficiency of their teaching. This also helps the program ensure that the girls pass successfully and can proceed to WISER Secondary School and boys can receive sponsorship to other secondary schools.
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CEI approaches in action
WISERBridge was piloted in 2010 with 6 schools and is now working with 16 schools in the area
In the future, the program aim to expand so they are able to support students earlier in standard 5 and 6 to further improve performance. Another goal is to offer experiential learning particularly to girls as they enter puberty and are at risk of dropping out to include empowerment, leadership and health awareness programs
Monitoring & Evaluation
To monitor results, staff do random spot checks on implementation and quality of teaching, utilize the exams developed by the program to monitor student progress and comparison of progression to 10 other local schools who are not part of WISERBridge program.
The WISERBridge program, since launching, has increased the percentage of students passing the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in participating schools by 250%.
The WISERBridge program, since launching, has increased the number of girls completing primary school by 120%.