Kenya develops Student Standard Cards

By Metro Reporter
Kenya has finalised all the necessary arrangements for its students willing to study in any of the four East African countries.


Ex-KAF Major graduates in US


By Correspondent
Boston - Holding tight onto his unwavering vision for top education spanning many years with a goal to serve God more effectively, Retired Kenya Air Force Major and pastor, Rev. Major Francis Gikonyo has finally graduated with a Doctorate of Theology degree, assuming a new title of Rev. Dr. Major Francis Gikonyo.


Man’s daring moves to save lions

By Metro Reporter
Have you ever wondered what names like Mase¬rie, Mapukori and others which sound similar mean in the Maasai dialect?
An advert in a radio station in Kenya recently troubled me so much. In the advert, I saw three Maasai morans, who were armed with machetes, bows and arrows confront about 10 lions feasting on a wild animal which they had killed snatch it from them.
The following day I met pho¬tographer Joseph Jamenya in Nai¬robi and we engaged in a debate on whether three Maasai morans can scare a battery of hungry lions that have just made a kill, and take away the meat.
After debating for close to an hour, we agreed to visit Amboseli National Park to discuss the mat¬ter further with game wardens. But before we reached there we decided to take a walk at a nearby Kimana township at the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro on the border of Kenya and Tanzania.
At the town, we met Samuel Kaanki, a 38-year-old former Maasai moran, who works with Maasailand Preservation Trust in the Imbirikani area of the Kyulu region that neighbours Amboseli National Park.
After formal introductions, Kaanki suggested we sit some¬where and have a drink as he took us through what it entails to be a Maasai moran. We were later joined by his close associate and former colleague, Morinke Mase¬rie.
Mase¬rie and told us they worked together at Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary, which used to be a hive of tourism activities in the late 1990s and early 2000. Kaanki worked at the sanctuary as a waiter before being promoted to a barman, while Maserie was a game scout.
We took the opportu¬nity to ask them questions. Kaanki and Maserie were at ease taking us through what it entails to be a Maasai moran. As much as you may think, a moran is not just a graduate from “kehe”(uncircumcised) to circumcised man, but a re¬fined militant young Maasai who has undergone training of a military kind.
At between 18 and 20 years, Maasai boys undergo circumcision in a ceremo¬ny that has been sustained through many generations. The ceremony marks a pas¬sage to adulhood.
After circumcision, the initiates are taken to a seclud¬ed place in the forest where they undergo training on how to attack a perceived enemy.
It is a process to behold. After the initiates have healed they graduate to “spolio” (a stage in time when they have healed) before plaiting their hair and painting their bodies with special red soil mixed with cow or sheep fat from the tail.
At that stage, morans are taken into “barracks” (man¬yatas where elect their leaders who will design the make of flags they will retain to sym¬bolise their existence. In the barracks, they are taught how to fight intruders such as cat¬tle rustlers and lions.
It is during this period that the morans invade National Parks to hunt lions, their per¬ceived enemies and kill them to earn them names such as Masarie and Mapukori. Those are names that draw instant respect in the community.
Those associated with such names are not only re¬spected but also feared for their skills to kill lions with their bare hands. The trend of killing lions is what made Kaanki and Masarieto put their heads together and re-think how to change the at¬titude of the morans towards the big cats.
In 2004 Kaanki was in¬corporated in the Wildlife Consolation Committee at the Imbirikani Group Ranch on the slopes of Kyulu Hills and later made the chairman of the local advisory committee. The committee is entrusted assessing damages caused by wildlife in the southern game corridor.
The wildlife conservancy corridor that extends from the Tsavo National Park through the larger Amboseli eco¬system and to the northern route that extends to Nairobi National Park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Friends of Wild¬life Conservancy in Kenya and abroad.
The KWS and their part¬ners in conservancy spend colossal amounts of money in paying damages occasioned by human/wildlife conflicts along the corridor.
Kaanki is the Liaison Of¬ficer at the Maasailand Pres¬ervation Trust (MPT). The MPT is charged with training morans to change their atti¬tude towards the big cats.
He remembers an inci¬dent where a battery of mo¬rans chased a lion that had at¬tacked a village in Imbirikani area of the larger Kajiado County killing two cows. The more than 20 men were armed to the tooth, but he rode his motorbike towards them and stood between the beast and the lips-biting morans in a bid to sweet-talk not to kill it.
The morans were not ready to listen to him while on the other side of the bush the lion was fully charged and ready to pounce on whoever went close to it.
He did his calculation and chose to chase the lion away.
The big cat fled leaving its saviour to the morans. He had to use all his wits to cool off the morans, who at some stage threatened to skin him alive.
Kaanki was swift; he bought three goats from a nearby manyata to cool their tempers. At the end of it all, he managed to save the big cat.
When he took over as Liaison Officer at MPT, the number of lions at Amboseli/Kyulu zone was 200, but to¬day the number has surpassed 1000.
Now the guardian of the lions has had talks with the country’s top 800 world re¬cord breaker, David Rudisha in a bid to organising athletics competitions for the morans as a way of engaging them in profitable activities other than killing the big cats.
He is also engaging the morans in activities such as managing cultural bomas for purposes of tourism. Kaanki has already trained 40 morans to take charge of preserving lions in Amboseli and he is proceeding to Kimana, Kuku, Rombo, Oloolorashi and Es¬elenkei group ranches to train youths on conservancy

Remit school arrears, Knut asks State

By Metro Reporter

The Kenya National Union of Teacher (KNUT) has asked the government to commit itself to paying the money accrued from school fees before School Principals release certificates to defaulting students.

The union’s assistant secretary general, Hesbon Otieno said defaulting students owed at least 14 billion shillings in unpaid school fees and that issuing the certificates before the debts were cleared would disadvantage the schools.


Otieno however said the union is not opposed to the release of  certificates to the students, but said the move will open a Pandora’s Box in which parents would deliberately fail to pay school fees knowing their children would still get their certificates.


Speaking in Tana River County during the union’s branch AGM meeting, Otieno called on the government to convene a meeting with education stakeholders to get clear modalities on how to recover the money owed to schools.


Deputy President William Ruto recently issued the order to school principals to immediately release certificates withheld due to fees balances, a directive that was later reinforced by President Uhuru Kenyatta.



UNHCR promotes refugee education in northern Kenya


The UN refugee agency has sealed a struck on Wednesday inked partnership deal with two global technology firms to help promote education through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Somali refugees in northern Kenya.


Business programme fosters 'techie' entrepreneurs among students

By Phoebe Ho    
For as long as he could remember, Aaron Grant, a University of Waterloo alumni, has always dreamed of starting his own business. Now, at the age of 23, his dream has come true.


UN turns to the mobile phone in training teachers in Nigeria

The United Nations educational agency has introduced a pilot project combining mobile technology and teachers' development to support primary school English teachers in Nigeria, which has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world.


School ‘breaks’ taboo and teachers sex education

By Tian Ying, Xinhua
At a Beijing primary school, the teacher shows her fourth-grade students a cartoon video. When it portrays a male adult grabbing the bottom of a little girl, all the boys in the class utter sounds of disgust and then burst into playful laughter.


How poverty inspired her to be a sanitary pad provider

By James Wakahiu, Metro Reporter
Lack of access to sanitary pads in her childhood moved her to start an NGO to equip less privileged children with the pads
     Having been brought up in a poor family in a village in Nyandarua County, Ms Beatrice Muta Githinji had to endure a lot of challenges.


Pioneer High School: where students defy gravity - safely

It was jubilation as 12 students from the Pioneer High School in Murang’a County got their pilots’ licences - the Private Pilot Licences (PPLs) - even before their Kenya Certificate of Secondary School (KCSE) examination results were out. Seven of them obtained Grade A in the 2011 KCSE exams. The young pilots interviewed by the Metro at the time said their ultimate goal was to get the highest commercial licence.


Why Kiambu vet is promoting chess in primary schools


Moses Kwereba started playing chess by default when he was only five years old. He was at King’eero Primary School in Kabete, Kiambu County, and his father Harun Gathua would go with him to the Ngong Race Course in Nairobi to engage in his betting passion. The boy, bored by being left on the terraces, would get indoors and watch people playing chess. He got interested in the game and learned it through observation.


Muguku Tumaini School

Muguku Tumaini School is a boys’ boarding high school set in the lush and serene Redhill area in Limuru, 21km from Nairobi, off Limuru Road. The school, which has ultramodern facilities lies on an expansive compound -- 53 acres. The institution was founded in 1969 as Green Acres School offering the British curriculum. In 2007, the late Dr Nelson Muguku took over the school’s ownership and renamed it Muguku Tumaini School.