Kenyatta University Marsabit open learning center for women is housed in Moi Girls Marsabit, which is about 500 kilometers from Nairobi. This was a pilot project funded by Ford Foundation and it aimed at increasing the number of female teachers in secondary schools in Marsabit County by sponsoring forty girls to undertake a degree program in the center (Bachelor of Education). On graduating, they then will teach in the secondary schools within the district. The funding is based on research findings as documented in the funding Proposal which indicated that in all secondary schools in Marsabit district, there are a few female teachers. The increase in the number of female teachers in secondary schools is expected to be a motivating factor for the girl child and as result will see improved transition from secondary school to the university level.
Ford Foundation provided a grant to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to facilitate the implementation of the project. The project envisaged that the program would be delivered through distance education and training using Information & Communication Technology (ICT) as the most preferred medium. KENET as a sub-grantee was mandated to provide necessary ICT related infrastructure and platform and to integrate technology to the program so as to improve distance learning education delivery and create interactive e-learning multimedia enhanced content.
The main components, which make up the project deliverables and which was funded under this sub-grant are;
1. Instructional design capacity development
2. Development of learning resources- focusing on faculty members
3. Providing technical and administrative support for the project
4. Providing international satellite bandwidth with local internet access and connectivity
5. Installing e-resources and computers at Marsabit
The expected outcome of this project was to improve girl’s transition to secondary schools and universities for enhanced human capital accumulation in ASALs. Specifically;
(a) To increase the proportion of female teachers in both primary and secondary schools to at least 50% of the districts’ total teaching force, as a strategy of enhancing girls’ enrolment, survival, performance and wellbeing in schools.
(b) To improve the quality of distance education provision in Kenyatta University
(c) Building the capacity of KENET to act as a resource for Kenyan Universities on integrating information communication and technology in distance education
(d) Present an equity framework for funding higher education
(e) Develop the center into a replicable strategy that can be adopted and adapted to improve the education of girls and training of women in other ASALs in the country.