At least 800 bright children from disadvantaged backgrounds will benefit from full scholarships at the just completed M-PESA Foundation Academy.
The state of the art institution, located on a 100 acre piece of land in Mangu, opened its doors to the first group of students in 2016 and currently has a population of 487 students. The academy acquires students from all across the country, two girls and boys from every county alongside six others from the UNHCR countries that are S.Sudan Sudan, Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
The academy, launched by H.E president Uhuru Kenyatta, aims to move learning from being an extrinsic process to being an intrinsic one. Speaking during the launch, chairman for the M-PESA Foundation, Michael Joseph, said that it marks a start of the foundation’s biggest program and the one closest to the hearts of the end users
“When the idea to build this one-of-a-kind learning institution was mooted, the board and the trustees of the M-PESA Foundation were clear about the institution we wanted to establish. The thinking was that if Kenya hoped to nurture transformation leaders, then we must adopt an innovative approach to education. I thank M-PESA Foundation for giving a hope and future to thousands of young Kenyans making us believe that our past should not determine our future.” H.E Uhuru Kenyatta.
The admission process begins in March every year when the application forms are sent out across the country and ends in December when the final list of selected students is generated.
Every year the academy admits four students per county who go through rigorous selection process which includes a multiple stage evaluation process that entails telephone and in person interviews for selected applicants as well as home visits to verify information.
“We believe in inclusion and our diversity is beyond cultural. We have within our student body children with special needs such as the mobility challenged and children with albinism. We are also planning to facilitate those who are challenged both audibly and visually,” said Joseph.
The mixed boarding high school boasts of first class academic facilities in addition to sports, arts and cultural facilities which include an indoor sports hall, a sports field, running track, swimming pools, squash courts, a music center and a 500 seat auditorium.
The M-PESA Foundation Academy has redesigned subjects taught so that they are delivered in diverse and excitable ways. It equips students with skills and knowledge to seamlessly enter tertiary education or embark on their own business ventures. It has transformed learning from an extrinsic process to an intrinsic one where teachers empower students with the correct energy and mindset to learn.
Alongside KSCE skills, learners also get entrepreneurship and leadership skills, with roughly 50 hours of formal tuition across form one to four. End of form one and if they wish, students are encouraged to get into groups and form a business plan, draft a budget and ask for funding from the committee. The committee will then look at the ethical concerns and viability of the proposal after which it is funded or not. To date, the academy runs a total of 24 enterprises.