Remedial Education Program
WUSC has been implementing remedial education programming in Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps and surrounding host communities in northern Kenya since 2011, in partnership with Windle International Kenya.
This education program is based on the theory that “if girls receive additional targeted education with specialized and focused support from teachers, they will improve their learning outcomes”.
WUSC’s Kenya Equity in Education Project (KEEP), the Equity in Education for Refugee Communities in Kenya (EERCK) and Strengthening Inclusive Learning Environments (SHULE) remedial programs are implemented within the context of marginalized girls within Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps and the surrounding host communities. These regions are characterized by: inadequate sanitation facilities and sanitation wear, pervasive patriarchal social and cultural norms that often undervalue the education of girls; responsibilities for domestic or income-generating work; gender-based violence, female genital cutting, early marriage, and unplanned pregnancies; and education systems with too few trained teachers. The remedial programs are based on the assumption that if these barriers are removed or reduced, girls’ performance, attendance and retention in school will improve. The program specifically targets two challenge areas: poor academic performance of girls in refugee camps and neighbouring host communities, and low levels of community support for girls’ education.
Solution and innovation
Elements of the Remedial Education Program include the creation of remedial centers, proper identification of at-risk girls, identification, recruitment and training of remedial teachers and community mobilizers. A combination of remedial centers, appropriately trained teachers, and community mobilizers (who build strong, trusting relationship with families of the girls) ensure the end outcome is not just an increase in overall academic performance, but also psychological empowerment for vulnerable girls.
Results and impact
Remedial Education Program is an excellent model that shows promise to create significant impact and alleviate the systemic issue of lack of support and resources for at-risk girls in refugee camps. In terms of curriculum, they use the same formal curriculum that is used in regular classes, except the program offers additional time and support for those who require additional help to understand the course materials. The identification of the content covered in the remedial classes is a co-creation process, where the remedial teachers consult the regular teacher and the remedial beneficiaries on areas of weakness.
A significant part of the remedial education program is building community support for girls’ education, both to ensure that girls enroll in and attend remedial sessions and to improve awareness about girls’ education more generally. A team of 46 Community Mobilizers (20 in Kakuma and 26 in Dadaab), from both the refugee and host community, support the monitoring of the remedial program and act as a critical link between the schools and the community by raising awareness of the importance of girls’ education and the remedial program and following up with any girls who miss lessons. The remedial team holds quarterly parents and other stakeholders meeting to regularly review the remedial model and how best they can support remedial learning.
Evidence shows that between 2014 and 2018, 10,580 girls benefited from the remedial program. Further, of the 1,207 remedial beneficiaries in 2018, 76.1% showed improved academic scores within the remedial period.
 Evidence from KEEP Year 2 Annual Report
“In normal classes we are afraid to ask for help but the remedial classes are just for us and we can ask questions.” Remedial Class Beneficiary