Site Gives Kenyan Parents A Report Card on Their Kids' Schools

Apr 122013

Schoolchildren in Kibera, Kenya. Photo credit: Brad Ruggles

For parents in Kenya, getting a full and detailed picture of how well their child's school performs is something new.

Students there take standardized exams at the end of primary and secondary school. The results are big news in the country, but the press coverage usually focuses on just a part of the story, such as which schools are top performers and how much they improved, said Muchiri Nyaggah, a developer and a fellow for Code4Kenya.

Now starting its second year, the Code4Kenya project embedded four developers in media and civil society organizations to work toward making open data available to the public. Nyaggah was embedded with Twaweza, a civil society organization that aims to bring lasting change to East Africa. Twaweza, whose name means “we can make it happen” in Swahili, wanted to make public information such as school performance data easily available to citizens.

How? By creating an app called Find My School. Still in beta, this application allows users to search for schools by location, name and exam scores. “If the performance [of a school] has been declining, it gives you a report card that you can actually walk into the next PTA meeting with and ask questions,” Nyaggah said. “The tool empowers parents to be actively involved in the running of the school.”

The Code4Kenya program is managed by the Open Institute and funded by the World Bank and the Africa Media Initiative (AMI). ICFJ’s Justin Arenstein consults with AMI and Code4Kenya as part of his Knight International Journalism Fellowship.

Nyaggah will also help bring it to other African countries by serving as lead fellow for Code4Africa.

Read the full post on IJNet here.