Here’s everything you need to know about Tarnos.
Tarnos School is a 1 hour drive from Kericho, which is a torturous seven-hour journey west of Nairobi. It was founded in 2009, as a low-cost community school for the children of the surrounding areas inhabited by the Kalenjin, Kikuyu and neighbouring Luo communities who had previously been without a facility providing quality education.
Ecologia Trustee Anne Skene is a dedicated supporter of Tarnos School. It was founded and funded by her late husband, Danus Skene, a Scottish teacher and educationalist and his colleague Samuel Rugut, a Kenyan secondary Head Teacher. Samuel is the current leader of the school and is working with Anne and Ecologia to continue to develop Tarnos into an exemplary school.
A Little Bit Of Background
When the school started, the first 50 pupils came to a simple, single building. Each year the school expanded and by 2015 there were facilities for a full eight-year primary school and two nursery years accommodating children aged 4-14. The school currently has a student population of 250 spread across the ten classes. Class sizes are usually large in Kenyan schools but the founders aim to keep class sizes to less than 35 to give pupils a better chance of success.
Over the years funds have been raised to develop and improve the school facilities. The school has 10 classrooms, 2 girls’ and 2 boys’ dormitories for the older children, a basic kitchen, a multipurpose hall, a library and a computer suite furnished with second hand desktops from Scotland. In 2018 following a major fundraising campaign supported by Shetland and Forres Rotary Clubs, a borehole was dug to a depth of 180 metres. Fresh water is now pumped around the school providing a much-needed improvement to health and hygiene. There are plans to improve the surrounding ground, which can now be irrigated, to grow food and improve the quality of school meals.
Tarnos is an exciting school. Despite a dire lack of resources, there are art, music and drama activities that are painfully absent in most schools. There is computer provision that is effectively unique for a Kenyan rural primary school and the teachers enjoy developing their teaching skills with support from Scottish based mentors, like Anne Skene.