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Tim Haresign, President

Council Treasurer Brings Computer Technology to Kenyan Elementary School

When Council Treasurer Muroki Mwaura learned that our office planned to recycle outdated computers, he asked the Council office to save them so he could ship them to a school in his home country of Kenya at his own expense.

Muroki is a full professor of accounting at William Paterson University and each summer he travels to Kenya to visit family, study and conduct academic research in Nairobi. He is interested in the economic and academic developments of Kenyan society and chose an elementary school outside of Nairobi to donate the used computers.

In his own words, Muroki describes his most recent visit to the school.

St. Mary’s Sportsview Academy is a private elementary school. It is located about 15 kilometers northeast of downtown Nairobi. It opened its doors about ten years ago with a handful of students from neighboring villages. But over the last ten years, it has grown to be a major player in elementary school education in that part of the city. The city of Nairobi has a population of anywhere between three and five million inhabitants (depending on the purpose of the census). It was founded a little over a hundred years ago in a swampy flat tropical plain.

The School Facilities

The school consists of one large rectangular three story building located on a very flat piece of land which is ideal for an elementary school. In the middle of the structure is a large court where students meet in the morning before classes commence for a daily parade conducted by the principal. The parade opens with prayers followed by announcements relating to the day’s activities. The school accommodates first to the eighth grades. There are about thirty students in each class which by Kenyan standards is admirable.

The school has beautiful facilities and playing fields in the back. A brick wall secures the facility. The classrooms have sturdy desks and appeared clean and very well taken care of.

During my visit to deliver the computers, I met the school administrator, the principal, and a few teachers. On approaching the school, I was stopped by a very respectable security guard. I identified myself as a guest of the principal though I had never met her. I was shown where to park and directed to the front office by the security guard. The front office was visible from the parking lot.

The main door to the office was open and I walked right up to the front desk. I identified myself, exchanged pleasantries with the receptionist and was introduced to the office manager who receives all guests visiting the school. No sooner than I had eased myself to a very comfortable sofaset, I was offered a hot cup of tea in keeping with Kenyan tradition and hospitality. As I savored the aroma a top of the line Kenyan tea, I had a short chat with the office manager. The office manager was very happy to hear that I was instrumental in supplying the school not only with computers but also with library books.

After about twenty minutes of small talk about a whole host of subjects including America and the Council, I was taken over to the Superintendent’s office which was just around the corner. She was a lovely lady with a smile that could melt any heart. But mine came out intact. I had a longer visit with the Superintendent. I told her about the Council and its mission. The school’s teachers and staff are not unionized although Kenya has one of the most powerful public schools teachers’ union in that part of the world. I introduced myself as the Treasurer of the Council and a professor at William Paterson University. Union activity is strong in Kenya and probably it is just a matter of time before teachers in private schools are unionized.

Classroom Visit

I had an escorted visit to three classrooms. The first classroom was a third grade called “Love” (see the pics !!). The students are extremely well disciplined. On entering the classroom, they all stood at attention pretty much mimicking a military guard of honor. I greeted them, “Good afternoon”, they responded in unison “Good afternoon sir”. I kindly asked them to sit down. Again in unison, they all sat down. The Kenyan system refers to school grades as “Standard or Class”. Thus, the classroom I was in was “Standard Three Love or Class Three Love” rather than Third Grade. I asked them if they used the computers in the computer lab and in one thunderous voice they said “yes”. I had caused enough excitement and it was time to leave.

The next classroom I visited was Standard Three Joy. The kids were excited to have a stranger in their midst. On entering the classroom, the same scenario was played out. They all stood at attention, I greeted them and their thunderous response rent the air. I asked them if they used the computers in the lab and the answer again was a resounding “yes”.

The third classroom was the kindergarten. When we got to the classroom, the kids were having a nap!! They were sprawled all over the floor with their tiny blankets. They never saw us. The scene was serene and except for an occasional muffled snore, you could hear a pin drop.


St Mary’s is located in a lower middle income suburb of city of Nairobi. There are many high rise apartment buildings within eyesight of the school. The access road to the school is a rough all weather Murram road which can be difficult to navigate especially during the rainy season. One of the major stadiums is located in the immediate neighborhood of the school. The stadium boasts facilities for international athletic, soccer and swimming competitions. Also located a couple of kilometres away across a newly opened super highway is the four or five star Safari Park Hotel and Resort.

Au Revoir

It was time to say goodbye to all the wonderful people that I met that day. The chief administrator walked me to my car and I left quietly. Classes were over and there were all kinds of kids in the parking lot. Some were being picked up by their parents and others were boarding one of the two school buses that drops them off at home.

If you have any desktop computers, laptops, or tablets you may wish to donate to this school and other schools in that neighborhood, I would be more than happy to come to wherever you are to pick them up.

Muroki Mwaura