Scaling our program to adapt to a new country and context
In 2016, Kenya was embarking on a transformation of its education system to incorporate a competency-based model. It was during that period that GSL was introduced to Dignitas and through research and multiple conversations, it was validated that there was indeed a gap in school leadership training within the region. Together with Dignitas, we worked closely with funders, local governments and other key stakeholders to enter the region of Kenya and contribute to this education transformation.
Working in partnership with local organizations
Through a thorough landscape analysis, we identified Dignitas as the only organization focused on school leadership in the country. Given the natural fit between the work of GSL and Dignitas, our work in the region evolved from this partnership.In 2019 we launched Ustadi, our pilot program in Kenya with 54 schools. We did this in partnership with Dignitas and the Africa Educational Trust, another implementation partner that we brought on board to work with rural government schools in the county of Laikipia, Kenya. Our pilot program was implemented in 27 low fee private schools through Dignitas and 27 rural, government-run schools through the Africa Educational Trust.The pilot proved successful and is currently being designed to scale across 100 more schools in Machakos County.
Working with the Government to drive systemic change
At GSL we believe that working in deep partnership with system builders is essential for large scale change. By 2019, the Government of Kenya was ready with its revamped education system and was preparing to roll out a competency-based curriculum. With our research and understanding of the need for school leadership training, we reached out to the chairperson of the committee, charged with creating the new curriculum and had our finding validated. This set the stage for our conversation with local and national government officials.We saw this as an opportunity to expand our program within Kenya and reached out to funders to help scale our program to as many schools and school leaders as possible. We were keen to support the new government guidelines in order to shift practices in classrooms across the country.
The Dignitas Instructional Leadership Curriculum received approval from the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development (KICD), which was an accelerating factor in helping us scale the program. KICD approval enabled easier accessibility to a larger number of schools and school leaders. In addition to this program, we also established a partnership with government-appointed Curriculum Support Officers (CSO) to better support and coach School Leaders. Thus helping set a high standard for the role of School Leaders in driving holistic student development.Our unique global network allows us to work within a country's education system at various levels; from on-ground implementation to policy design. Mobilizing key influencers and stakeholders across levels allows us to offer local, customized solutions to pressing problems that are research-backed and globally informed.