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ESOL Department’s Unwavering Support for Kenyan School

Bradford College’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) department has been making a big difference in the lives of students in a rural village in Mombasa, Kenya.


They have been working with Educate the Kids, a charity that was founded more than 20 years ago. The charity now runs Jolaurabi School, which strives to deliver sound education to approximately 800 students ranging from age 6 to 11 years old. The school’s current expansion project to open a nursery, will help provide education to even more children in the community.

The ESOL department’s support for Jolaurabi School serves as a good example of their dedication to improving lives on an international scale. They have helped with fundraising events, teacher training, yearly teacher observations and training sessions.  

During the February half term, Esther Wilkey, ESOL and GCSE English teacher, went to Kenya to continue the lesson observations programme and provide training. She expressed her excitement about being back at Jolaurabi School and working closely with Edward Bwire, the headteacher, to ensure the quality of education being delivered to the children. 

Esther Wilkey in conversation with the Headteacher and a Staff  member

Esther said, “I cannot put into words how exciting it is to be back and to work closely with Edward to ensure the quality of education that is being delivered to the children. We were thrilled to see the way that teachers have embraced their praised practice, points for development and learning from Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions, to make their lessons more dynamic and inclusive for all learners. It is gratifying to see that this has facilitated great progress and has moved the school to achieve first place in the regional results league table. 

Esther Wilkey stood at the front of a classroom writing on a chalkboard
Esther Wilkey facilitating a CPD session 

The support from Bradford College has been felt by both students and teachers at Jolaurabi School.  

Irene, a kindergarten teacher, thanked the College for the training, which has helped her teach a class of up to 50 students and move from rote learning to task based, experiential learning. “I feel like my lessons are more fun now and I am confident to organise group activities and check that each child is learning,” she said. 

The partnership has also created a sense of togetherness and inclusion between the two schools. In the past, ESOL students have raised money through the Business Enterprise event to install Wi-Fi at the school and have engaged with their students to exchange ideas and build friendships. They have also provided essential equipment like laminators, which the school greatly appreciates. This year’s Business Enterprise Event, held at the David Hockney Building on Wednesday 17th April 2024, saw our ESOL students raise additional funds for the school. 

Furthermore, the two schools have taken part in a cultural exchange programme, allowing students to learn about issues faced by people around the world.  

For example, The Pen Pal Project has been especially effective, with Bradford College ESOL and Jolaurabi students exchanging letters and sharing positive messages about their dreams, the importance of a good education, and the future opportunities it brings. 

Stella, the head of the lower school at Jolaurabi, expressed her thanks for Bradford College’s support, saying, “We are grateful to Bradford College for showing us the things we can do to improve. We appreciate the chance to have a greater impact on our families in need through education.” 

Looking ahead, the ESOL department at Bradford College is looking for ways to work with other departments to offer this inspiring opportunity to more learners. By expanding their support and knowledge, Bradford College aims to make an even bigger difference in the lives of students in Kenya and beyond. 

To learn more about Bradford College’s ESOL programmes and how our team can support you, please visit our ESOL page today. 

Published: 1st May 2024
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Adult, School Leavers

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# Adult # English # ESOL # School Leaver

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