Volunteer Teaching in Kenya
- Placement locations: Nanyuki
- Types of schools: Elementary
- Age of students: 6 - 18
- Class sizes: 30+
- Role: Teaching assistant (English)
- Requirements: None
- Extra-curricular roles: Art, Drama, Sports
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 4 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
With Projects Abroad you can gain work experience teaching English abroad at elementary schools in Kenya and no TEFL or other formal teaching qualification is required. Whether you are a student on break or qualified teacher, whatever your age or experience you will have a role to fill and your efforts will be greatly appreciated.
Kenya’s two official languages are English and Swahili, but there are over 60 other different tribal dialects spoken throughout Kenya. This variety is a reflection of the country’s diverse population and timeless culture. Kenya strives hard to ensure that everyone speaks fluent English and this is reflected through the education system. All elementary and high schools are English-speaking and all the lessons are carried out in English ensuring a bilingual policy for future generations.
Education is paramount in Kenya as they are aware that this is the key to development and progression. In 2003, elementary school education was made free and was an obligatory requirement for all children. This meant that there was a huge influx of students but unfortunately there were not enough teachers. This is still the case today and the teacher to student ratio is a huge problem. Volunteers are therefore welcomed in order to take the pressure off the teachers and provide the children with the individual attention they so desperately need.
Volunteering as a Teacher in Kenya
Our teaching placements are based in and around the town of Nanyuki. All the lessons are taught in English and many volunteers teach and assist with a variety of different subjects and extra curriculum activities, such as sports, arts, and drama, so let us know if you have any specific skills or interests.
Teaching volunteers often start as classroom assistants helping the local teacher with the classes and working with small groups of children on conversation-based tasks. Depending on your ability and preferences you may be asked to help with classes for a range of ages. Your encouragement and some well planned, interesting lessons are often all that are needed to spark an increased interest in the language and a desire to improve.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Kenya Teaching Management Plan.
Did you know? Kenyans living in small towns often pool together funds for schooling through a system known as Harambee (meaning, “Let us pull together”) to send local youths to university.
Volunteering at a Teaching Placement in Kenya with Projects Abroad
The Projects Abroad team in Kenya often organize workshops for volunteer teachers. These workshops generally focus on cultural differences in placements, learning key vocabulary in Swahili, reflection and feedback sessions between volunteers, or practical ideas for lesson planning. The workshops provide valuable insight into the education system in Kenya and the background of the school where you are working.
The impact you have on the lives of your students will be apparent, but you will also be part of a much wider volunteer network, which is making a positive and lasting contribution to the communities in which we work.
I enjoyed this challenge and very quickly grew attached to the many characters in my care. We had some favorite songs like “wind the bobbin up” and games like “duck duck goose”. Despite many differences I noticed that fundamentally children are the same across the world and I was very sad to say goodbye to everyone at the end of my time. Read more...
While you’re in Kenya, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. For more information, please visit our African Savannah Conservation & Environment Project in Kenya page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.
If you are a fully qualified Teacher, we can tailor you a placement where your skills will be put to good use. Please Contact Us for more information.