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Core Values in the Time of Coronavirus: Bright spots from the Metis Community

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

By: Rebecca Crook

The Metis Manifesto guides our community’s work—an includes our core values!

1. The Vale School Builds Agency and Curiosity at Home

Soiya Gecaga, school founder and Metis Cohort 1 Fellow, guides The Vale School Muthaiga through this time with the same love for learning and leadership she hopes to see in her staff and students. “It’s such an exciting time for all of us!” she says. The Vale School went online the day after school closure was announced. They’re using Toddle, an IB app, to send content and assignments to students. Students then upload pictures and videos back to their teachers and classmates.

​Namachaka tills for his family’s kitchen garden.

Penzi, a class 2 student, not only completes her school assignments with vigor, but also is finding her voice as a young leader. To help people relax and exercise from home, Penzi started using her mother’s Instagram account to livestream yoga classes. We love how Penzi and the Vale community are innovating and serving others during the pandemic.

2. Children in Freedom Scholars Blend Learning and Life

At Children in Freedom (CIF) School in Nakuru, Dr. Kanayo-Kiragu and her students blend learning and life! CIF Scholars are busy learning to read, write, create, and farm, at home. As is characteristic of Children in Freedom, students are bold and proud teachers as well as learners. Watch Jahdiel, Grade 2, teach about synonyms, antonyms, and homophones. Watch Nkatha teach us how to wash our hands.

3. Shule Mtaani Provides Food and Shelter

As Head Teacher, Clifford Oluoch has not only supported the successful transition to distance learning for 800+ students at Premier Academy, but he also cares for the health and safety of surrounding community members. Through his organization Shule Mtaani, he’s provided 100 families in Gashei and Deep Sea with 1 month’s worth of food. Moreover, in the spirit of “Further Together”, Cliff is also fundraising for other grassroots organizations. Check out his facebook page to learn of credible, community-led initiatives in need of support.

5. Nova Pioneer Pivots to Distance Learning

Dr. Nyaboke Nduati and the team at Nova Pioneer supported the safe and rapid transition of all their boarding students back home. They now learn via Zoom and Google Classroom. She shared some of her best tips on motivation and mental health with parents at our Webinar with WomenWork last week, which you can watch here. “We need to make sure our students still have the means to socialize, connect, and be kids during this time!”

6. Metis’ Collective Response To COVID-19

The Metis community has worked relentlessly to adapt and respond to the needs of learners, leaders, and parents. As COVID-19 has catapulted us to the future of learning, our community has collaborated (and sometimes commiserated!) to shift to distance learning. We’ve provided coaching and guidance on technical tools (Google Classroom, Classroom Dojo, Zoom) and pedagogy.

Most excitingly, our community has collaborated to create resources for learning. We created an online resource hub for parents and educators. We partnered with Mum’s Village and WomenWork to host a webinar for 100 parents. (Access the recording here.) We co-created a Home Learning Guide and will distribute to 15,000 vulnerable families in Riuru and Nairobi counties. Contribute to our flash fundraiser campaign here.

As we continue to navigate uncharted territory, we gain strength and hope from the collective leadership of educators, parents, and students. We hope that you also choose to do hard things, go further together, listen and learn, redefine excellence, and do small things with great love.

Our schools and systems have failed so many for so long. Could this be an opportunity for us to reimagine teaching in learning--not only during the pandemic, but beyond it as well?

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