The first stages to analyzing impact of the Remedial Program for girls in Kakuma and Dadaab

A remedial girl in Kadugli follow through the lessons

How do we know remedial programs are working for refugee girls in Kakuma and Dadaab? This is the question WUSC and Windle Trust Kenya are trying to tackle through the Humanitarian Education Accelerator. 

About the Programme

The Equity in Education in Refugee Camps in Kenya (EERCK) funded by the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) through WUSC is being implemented by Windle Trust Kenya (WTK) in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps. The remedial model has been designed to address the unique situations girls face in Kakuma and Dadaab refugee. The aim is to improve learning outcomes of 1,280 refugee girls in classes 7 and 8. The remedial program runs for 5 hours during the weekends over school term and over two weeks when the schools close. This programme is benefiting from the  Humanitarian Education Accelerator (HEA)

Students are improving, but why?

Nyadol Michael Liem a class 8 pupil from Unity Primary school in Kakuma says, “Before I joined remedial classes, I used to get marks that were below average. With the help of remedial classes, I scored 315 marks in my previous exam, mathematics being one of my best performed and improved subject.” Nyadol believes she can perform better in her final examination of primary school, with the help of remedial classes at Bhar-El-Naam remedial center.

She aims at scoring her targeted marks of 350 in KCPE. “If I finish my education, I will change the world and make it a better place than I found it.” Umelkheir Ahmed Mohamed is a 16-year old pupil from Horseed Primary attends remedial classes every Saturday and she was overjoyed when she was named as one of the beneficiaries for the 2017 cohort of beneficiaries. “Since I started attending remedial classes, I am able to challenge boys by having good grades in regular class.”

Students across the board speak to the great results of this program, but now the research begins to document and validate these findings.

The Research Journey

The last quarter of 2016 was eventful. Notably, from October to December 2016, WUSC/AIR achieved four key milestones:
1) completing our theory of change,
2) creating our research design,
3) refining the student selection criteria and
4) developing a 2-year work plan.

Together with the remedial teachers, community mobilizers and project officers we brainstormed on refining the research and project design. "the training and information that we have received on remedial teaching, classroom management and selection of beneficiaries is a great opportunity for us to learn the best practices in our times. Girls will now have an equal chance to benefit from the classes." says Victor James, a community mobilizer from Bhar-El-Naam remedial center in Kakuma.

2017: Baseline Data Collection and Field Visit

In February, a team from UNHCR and AIR joined WUSC and Windle to review the HEA program objectives and design together with the community on how best to make the research plan work.  The team was tasked with planning, training and coordinating the baseline survey data collection process. During this meeting, remedial teachers and community mobilizers had the opportunity to describe their work at the remedial centers and discuss some of the challenges they encountered. They also put forward potential solutions.  

 “The research will be very interesting to us to know areas we need to improve on and what makes the girls want to learn in the remedial center.” stated Osman Abdullahi, a remedial teacher from Ifo 2, who appreciated the information session on the HEA remedial research.  Lamina Warsame, a remedial teacher from Dagahaley, echoed that, “the opportunity to select and invite the girls into the remedial program based on the criteria shared was rigorous and interesting. Our classrooms will now be very manageable with up to 40 pupils!”

To gather the baseline data,  a student survey was undertaken, which was organized by AIR and aimed at gathering information from both girls participating in the remedial centers and nonparticipant girls. The survey tool was designed to collect background information about the girls and their families, a description of their living condition and basic household social economic conditions.  The tools tried to capture girls’ aspirations and their learning experiences. It is important to note that the survey included a battery of questions adapted from the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM)[1].

The community mobilisers held sessions with AIR team on research ethics, in addition to taking part in training and pre-testing of the baseline research tool. More specifically, the community mobilizers discussed their roles as data collectors and thereafter a pilot test to validate all the baseline tool questions for the Kakuma and Dadaab contexts and for the targeted age groups (Grades 7 and 8). Based on the results of the validation process, an improvement on the language/phrasing of certain questions was adapted.

Next steps

The Evaluation and Research team at WUSC are now working on data entry through the census and Survey Processing System (CSPro), and once completed data processing kicks off. The school survey and qualitative data has been planned for May/June.
[1] A screening tool designed to measure the resources (individual, relational, communal and cultural) available to individuals that may bolster their resilience.