The Presbyterian Church of Okemos has supported Simbolei Girls’ Secondary Academy since the school was in its planning stages. Founded by former PCO member Andrea Kaitany and her husband Richard, the school opened to students in May of 2022. Andrea was able to visit PCO on Sunday, August 7, 2022. She shared with the congregation how things are progressing and why scholarships are so needed at the only secondary school dedicated to educating the young women of the Rift Valley Province in Kenya.
(You can view Andrea’s Minute for Mission during the worship service here.)
Through the generosity of individual donors, students who excel academically and who would normally not attend school or attend an overcrowded public school, are given the opportunity to receive an outstanding private education with good facilities, outstanding teachers and a rigorous academic program. Students also receive guidance and counseling concerning future academic and career pursuits.
The scholarship is entirely funded by private donations. Currently, Simbolei has eight students receiving full scholarships from private donors, ten students receiving scholarships through Golazo Kenya corporation, and two students who pay a reduced tuition with the difference provided by the Kaitany family.
The scholarship provides tuition at a current student/teacher ratio of 4 students for every teacher and access to a computer lab, library and science lab. The scholarship also includes textbooks for use at school.
The scholarship provides full room and board. Students stay in dormitories supervised 24 hours per day by a matron. Three meals plus tea break are provided. Students are provided with safe running water for showers, laundry and treated drinking water.
Students are provided with a uniform set that includes two skirts, two blouses, one sweater, two pairs of uniform socks and a sports set of shorts and a jersey. Parents are asked to provide shoes, sleepwear, notebooks, bedding and other durable educational supplies as directed by teachers (currently English and Kiswahili dictionaries and a set of mathematics tables).
The current cost of a one school year scholarship is $1200. As noted below in scholarship requirements, donors may elect to provide a half scholarship for $600 per year.
- Donors are requested to pay the entire amount at the beginning of each school year. The next school year begins on January 10.
- Donors are requested to make a four year commitment to an individual student. We are not able to easily reassign scholarships so a four year commitment ensures no disruptions of the student’s education.
Scholarships are distributed on a competitive basis. The number of new scholarships offered each year is determined by the number of new donor commitments.
Below are the criteria for evaluating scholarship application.
- Academic achievement. Students will be considered for the full scholarship if their KCPE score is 340 or above. Applicants will be ranked competitively. Students applying for the half scholarship must have a score of 320 or above.
- Students must provide evidence of financial need. The scholarships are provided for the benefit of students whose families are unable to afford tuition at either a private of public institution. The scholarship committee reserves the right to investigate the student’s economic background by contacting community members such as teachers and local administrators.
- Students should demonstrate leadership and motivation. Students who receive the full scholarship are normally identified as leaders in their primary school, students who demonstrate a good attitude toward education and a desire to learn.
- Students will only be considered for scholarships if they have documented evidence of meeting the criteria.
- If all other criteria are equal, priority will be given to students whose families are permanent residents of Elgeiyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Nandi or Baringo counties.