The beginning of the internship has been quite exciting. As an intern in the Monitoring and evaluation team, I am witnessing one of the busiest times of the year because the end line assessments and impact assessments for all the projects are here! The pressure at its peak, people running around the office, hundreds of meetings, people chasing invisible deadlines, is a daily routine in the office. But, this is important for me as I get to see more, observe more, and learn more.

My second and third week have been constant visits to the public and the APBET schools (Alternative Provision for Basic Education and Training). The APBET are low-income private schools and they are found in different parts of Nairobi. The land is not owned by these schools, and they are subjected to relocation at any point in time, in case of political unrest or elections. As a result, these schools lack some basic infrastructural requirements such as a closed drain system, electricity, natural light and clean sanitation facilities. On the hand, I learned that the teachers in these schools are hardworking and passionate, and the results in terms of Literacy and Mathematics in these schools are better than the public schools. Why do we come across these anomalies in education?

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APBET schools in Nairobi

My organization has also been organizing training sessions for the M&E field officers all over the country. The first phase of the training was organized a week ago, and it was about test-retest and piloting of tools in the field. As we learned in M&E in our IEDP program, finding the right tool is a hard task. The field officers were being trained on the usage of the tool, testing it on the field and bringing back valid suggestions for discussion. Based on the pilot phase, and the recommendations of the field officers, the final tool for outcome assessment will be designed. The main learning for me through this process was how important it was to bridge the gap between designing a tool through research and versus designing a tool by implementing it.  Being a part of the implementation team going to the field, I realized how important it is for a field expert to understand the difference between teaching and assessing.

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Training sessions 

On a lighter note, I have been traveling around Nairobi visiting animals in orphanages, well-manned animal centers, small sanctuaries and animal farms. I am amazed by the understanding of wildlife conservation in these parts of the country. Unlike most countries, most animals are not caged, there is plenty of space for movement and specialists are employed to care for these animals. I went to the Snake Park, also consisting of crocodiles and fishes, the David Sheldrick center for orphaned elephants, the Magadi lake with flamingoes, the Giraffe Center, and the Masai Ostrich farm in Kitengala.

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Next week, I get to travel more, visit places outside Nairobi where the tools are being piloted. But, as my manager puts it, for me, it is a ‘BLEASURE’ trip (business+pleasure). Do check out the amazing experiences of my cohort by clicking here!