As a benchmarking tool, Daraja started a project where students and staff leave campus for a few days to experience a nearby school. This tool will not only be used to observe how Daraja measures up in terms of a Kenyan educational institution, but will also expose staff and students to various teaching styles, schedules, and expectations that the administration may consider adapting, making the program even better and more effective in our mission to provide girls the highest quality education possible.

To kick off this initiative, the new Daraja prefects left campus last week to learn about and experience life at other boarding secondary schools in the area. Prefects were ready to positively represent Daraja Academy and bring back new perspectives and ideas.

Lilian N, Fatuma, and Yvonne all went to Muramati Secondary School, while Rachel, Mary, Joyce, and Alice all attended Loise Nanyuki Girls School. Lastly, Dianah, Lilian T. Irene, and Charity attended Laikipia Air Base Secondary School.

The girls left Monday morning and remained on campus at these three secondary schools for two full school days and one night. Prefects became students at these schools- they did everything that the girls in their assigned schools did in order to really understand how the school was run.

Upon return, prefects reported that they learned a great deal, and appreciate Daraja Academy more than ever. With Daraja being one of the only free secondary education boarding schools for girls in the country, it offers the girls the opportunity to complete their education and take the KCSE exam without worrying about the burden of school fees.  They are able to leave much of the stress and uncertainty behind.

Alice reported, “I had a lot of fun at the other school. I liked observing how it is both different and similar to Daraja. I felt inspired.”  The prefects shared their appreciation for Daraja’s readily available and enthusiastic teachers and the great food they enjoy each day on campus!

In addition to prefects visiting other schools, Daraja hosted four students from Loise Secondary on campus. This way, Daraja students that did not attend other schools or leave campus were still able to learn from our visiting students! The girls had a great time showing the new visitors around, teaching them the way that the school is run, and learning with and from them in the classroom. Above, Purity, a form 1 (first year) Daraja student, poses with a visiting first year student from Loise.

We hope to send more students and teachers to visit other local schools in order to network in the area and continue to look for ways that Daraja can improve teaching styles, schedules, and quality of life for students!