Within our second cohort, Metis is supporting 17 Fellows to lead innovation across Kenya's education sector. Get to know their work below!
Clara Muthoni Njeru
ED-tech for literacy
bringing classrooms to the streets
business & education research & advising
equitable access to stem
school improvements in informal settlements
John Eyagi Shivisi
Lillian Wamuyu Mwangi
schools & safe spaces for the marginalized
Nuru Juma Luhindi
tech & innovation education for early primary
Dr. Nyaboke Nduati
secondary center of excellence
panafrican invention education
skills for employment
ECD center of excellence
Accelerated learning for rural communities
connecting learning + life
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING CURRICULUM
Sheilah Lutta MUKHOLI
CLARA MUTHONI NJERU
Head of Growth, Kukua Education
Bold Idea: Create and scale fun, engaging, research-backed technology to ensure kids across Africa have the literacy skills and the confidence they need to be fully alive.
Path to Metis: Clara started her career in Information Technology developing mobile applications and selling software systems. During this time she was also involved in various community projects and helped set up the foundation for the tech company where she was working. This work exposed her to children and teenagers who had very low or no literacy skills. A naturally industrious and curious person, she set out looking for ways to provide children with quality, basic education. Equipped with a literacy manual developed by Kusoma Tu Foundation, she started teaching teenagers in juvenile centers and at Homeless of Nairobi to read. In 2016, she joined Kukua, a startup that is leveraging on technology to empower the next generation of children in Africa through education. Her empathetic nature, coupled with her quest to solve problems, has helped her excel at testing Sema literacy games among users by applying the Human Centred Design methodology. She has consistently believed in and worked to see the organization exceed its objectives in Kenya, and now heads growth - understanding, managing data and using it to influence the development of content targeted at pre-school children.
Clara has a BSc. in Computer Science and is pursuing a Masters in Development Studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology, where her project focuses on the efficacy of technology in learning outcomes for high and low SES learners.
Headteacher, Premier Academy and Founder, Homeless of Nairobi
Bold Idea: Galvanize local and global communities so that the onus falls on each and every person who meets and interacts with street children to support them to thrive. Create a vibrant and engaging platform that will make it easier for the immediate community and the street children to coexist through shared programs that benefit both.
Path to Metis: The journey to the streets has seen Cliff teach and mentor students and teachers from prestigious schools such as Strathmore School, The Aga Khan Academy, Oshwal Academy, and most recently, Premier Academy where he heads the Prep School. A dynamic, fun-filled, and creative teacher, with a mentoring and writing career path spanning almost 30 years in local and international curriculum is what defines the “Odijo”, as fondly referred to by his street children. Education is at the heart of everything he dreams of. Cliff believes that students dropping out of school because of school fees and ending up in petty crime and taken to jail should not be something a teacher is proud of in this 21st century.
In January 2018, he started the Shule Mtaani Learning Programme that takes the classroom to people experiencing homelessness. Shule Mtaani provides basic literacy and numeracy lessons to street boys, and this is the genesis of the problem they seek to address: how do those experiencing homelessness get access to basic education? Through a dedicated team of volunteers, Shule Mtaani has organized daily lessons to the current crop of street boys who find main schooling a challenge. At Shule Mtaani, each volunteer is in charge of a group of students and makes sure that progress is tracked. They wish to see Private candidates KCPE / KCSE in 2020 and beyond and vocational training for all.
KENYa country director, tHINK EQUAL
Bold Idea: Create an enabling environment for innovation in values-based education through co-creating a policy framework with a coalition of non-state, state, academic, and civil society actors.
Path to Metis: Magero is a seasoned business and investment leader and education researcher with over a decade high level experiences in the Sub-Saharan Africa region with governments, civil societies and private sector. Magero has played strategic leading roles including establishing research practice with commission for UNESCO Kenya, establishing Kip McGrath Education Centres, business to government practice in select countries in Sub-Saharan Africa bringing learning acceleration tools to the classrooms in public schools and leading Think Equal, an International Education NGO focused on Social and Emotional Learning, as Kenya Country Director. He is also an Associate in a Kenyan based Education and Research Consulting firm Jaslika, where he has been part of ground-breaking research and consulting work. He advises several Education Technology start-up companies in East Africa, assisting them in building capacity and accessing resources through several start-up programs.
Magero is a member of professional bodies and institutions such as Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) UN- Global Compact, Association of MBAs (AMBA), Women Educational Researchers of Kenya, Keynote Speaker at Finnovation Africa Series and VC4Africa among others. He holds an MBA with specialty in Strategic Management and a BA in Philosophy from Urban Pontifical University Rome.
Co-convener, National STEM Learning Ecosystem, and Head of Secretariat, Out of School Youth Science, Technology and Innovation (OSYSTEI) Programme
Bold Idea: Provide a systemic, coherent and safe space that brings together different players in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from the public, private, academia and non state actors so as to make STEM education accessible to all children in Kenya, both in and out of school.
Path to Metis: Eric is an experienced people, programmes and public/private partnerships specialist with 17 years of professional work experience in resourcing, designing and implementing impactful programs in education, health and economic empowerment for in and out of school children and youth. During his time at the University of Nairobi, he was among the students that steered the movement to address issues of HIV/AIDS through peer education and life skills in Kenya, marking the beginning of his passion as a mobiliser and champion for social change among young people. As an experienced partnerships specialist, Eric has established collaborations and linkages that have resulted in a resource base of over KES 1 billion for different projects. He has excelled in the application of the triple helix approach of working with the government, academia, the private sector and non-state actors in the implementation of programmes that have reached over 1 million youths in the country. Eric’s passion as a social innovator and change maker has seen him lead successful programs at I Choose Life-Africa, Aga Khan University Hospital, Voluntary Services Overseas and Young Scientists Kenya. Among the notable experiences that have shaped his life include participation in various policy dialogue discussions at both the Ministry of Education and Health; rolling out programs in new countries when working with VSO; leading in hosting the first ever Triple Helix Summit in Kenya and hosting the President of Kenya as the Chief Guest during the Inaugural National Science and Technology Exhibition. To further his passion, he successfully applied to the STEM Learning Ecosystem, making Kenya the first country in Africa to be part of this global initiative. As a recognition of his efforts, Eric was later appointed by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education, Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohammed to serve in a Working Group to conceptualize the Out of School Youth in Science Technology and Innovation programme for productive enterprise development.
Eric holds a Master of Science degree in Education for Sustainability from London South Bank University. He also has a Higher National Diploma in Human Resources from the Institute of Human Resource Management, Kenya and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social work from The University of Nairobi.
Senior ECD Advisor & Director of Pedagogy, Kidogo
Bold Idea: Strengthen a community of practice model for training preschool teachers in the informal settlements to integrate child protection into their ECD programs, in addition to providing high quality care and development. Share lessons learned from the local program as a model with the local administration, as well as Government Policy developers for replication.
Path to Metis: Janet is a passionate and visionary Child Care and Development Specialist with over 20 years of experience in ECD lobby and advocacy. Prior to joining Kidogo, she worked at Moi Air Base as the Head of Kindergarten, then joined International Child Resource Institute as a National ECD coordinator. As the National ECD coordinator, she worked in the slums of Kiambio during the post-election violence in 2008 in counselling children in child care centres. Through these experiences, it was evident that the teachers lacked knowledge on how to respond to these traumatized children and therefore, she initiated a child protection training that supported both the teachers and grassroots organizations with the relevant skills on how to identify and respond to common forms of abuse.
As a child advocate specialist, she successfully developed child protection policies for both International Child Resource Institute and Kidogo Innovations which are currently being used both internationally and locally. As a founding team member and the Director of Pedagogy at Kidogo, she has developed a unique play-based approach that is being used in improving the quality of learning for under threes in their child care centres. As a Training Facilitator for Kidogo Innovations caregivers, she spearheaded development and implementation of the T.O.T and C.O.P model used by the Kidogo teachers to discuss their field challenges and solutions within their context.
Due to her hard work in ECD, Janet was selected as a Global Leader for Young Children by the World Forum Foundation in 2009 and served up to 2013 where she is an alumnae. She is also a founding member of the Kenya ECD Network that advocates for young children in Kenya. Janet has both a BA and a Masters in Early Childhood Development from Kenyatta University.
Project Director, Carolina for Kibera
Bold Idea: Establish, through research, practices that best promote student school attendance and academic success in informal schools.
Path to Metis: Jeffrey is a Project Manager and a development expert who has worked with individuals in social enterprise and NGO's on project management, market research and strategy consulting in providing creative solutions to complex and sensitive issues. His knowledge and skills gained through interactions with a diverse range of projects over the past eight years include administration, finance, project coordination and management. Having worked in education programs for the past six years, Jeffrey has worked in supporting over 3000 highly vulnerable students with access to education for both primary and secondary. He worked on a UNICEF funded project dubbed Out-of-School Children Program where he worked towards the re-enrollment of 2200 pupils. Over the past two years Jeffrey has been committed to establishing factors and practices that work in supporting informal schools in improving the quality of learning outcomes for children in informal areas. Jeffrey is currently the Project Director of Best Schools Initiative which is firmly committed to not duplicating or competing with existing efforts; instead, learn through reliable data what practices have the greatest impact on student attendance and success, and encourage and enable schools to adopt these practices, making them the Best Schools. Jeffrey has equally worked on development of a digital school management platform that helps track student school attendance, academic progress and cloud storage for school records. He firmly believes in teamwork and collaboration and seeks to bring on board NGOs and government agencies with expertise in these practices and match them with schools serious about using these practices. Lastly, continuously monitor and evaluate the practices and schools to ensure that NGO assistance and schools are maximizing student attendance and success.
More About Jeffery:
JOHN EYAGI SHIVISI
Entrepreneurial Leadership Program Lead, MPesa Foundation Academy
Bold Idea: Build entrepreneurial leadership in out-of-school youth while co-creating sustainable value-based solutions to community challenges.
Path to Metis: John has over a decades experience in Kenyan schools as a teacher. He is highly experienced in teaching for understanding, communication for impact, creative collaboration, human centred design, and social innovation among others with bias towards youth. As an educator and an entrepreneurial leadership development expert for over 8 years, he has worked with youth facing teams including Junior Achievement, Diamond Challenge, Innovate Kenya, Technovation Challenge, and StartUp Africa to equip young people with skill-sets and mindsets to build their creative confidence while experimenting and innovating from the ground up. He is driven to leverage his unique combination of education experience and social impact innovation expertise to unearth win-win strategies that deliver meaningful learning and sustained value for young people.
Recently, as the Program Lead, John once again tapped into his visionary focus on equipping young people with 21st century skills to curate and help establish the award winning Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at The Mpesa Foundation Academy, a groundbreaking startup education initiative that seeks to produce transformative leaders who are change agents in their fields of interest in Africa. As the founder, he leads IdeaHutAfrica, an entrepreneurship enabling social enterprise where he supports youths to de-risk their ideas, sharpen their entrepreneurial skills, and access resources to launch and grow their ventures.
John is a certified Social Impact Strategist from Schools of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, Social Innovation Fellow at StartingBloc, a Certified Design Thinking Educator from d.school at Stanford University, and holds a Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers and Bachelors of Education from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.
LILLIAN WAMUYU MWANGI
Area Manager/Academy Relations Manager, Bridge International Academies
Bold Idea: Build a national movement of girls' clubs that leverage storytelling to ensure girls have the community and safe spaces they need to thrive.
Path to Metis: Lillian is a development specialist with over 15 years’ experience in managing franchises, social enterprises and start-up companies with private and donor-funded projects across Kenya. Her experience spans across education, conflict resolution/peace building and the health sector. Over the years, Lillian has supported organizations in building meaningful relationships with the government, investors, clients and global communities. In 2018 she gave talks in Seattle, Washington to middle school and high school pupils. This was part of an outreach initiative to build cross-cultural linkages between Kenyan and American communities. Lillian has worked to distribute over 600 reusable menstrual kits to girls in her community, helping them to remain in school.
Lillian is passionate about community development with over 15 years’ experience in community based programmes. A significant part of this experience has been in strategic education development at Bridge International Academies. Lillian’s vision is to build a transformative and integrative social enterprise, especially for the benefit of the marginalized families.
More About Lillian:
NURU JUMA LUHINDI
FOUNDER, little innovators school
Bold Idea: Reduce national unemployment rates by fostering innovation mindsets in learners from preschool through design challenges and STEM education.
Path to Metis: Nuru is a passionate mentor, business developer and quality systems enthusiast helping people and organisations attain their maximum potential. She has over 18 years experience managing institutions and began her career at Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT) in 1999 where she helped turn around three profit centres (2005 to 2016). As an ISO Certified Lead Auditor she set up, managed and maintained IAT's quality management system from 2007 to 2017. Upon recognizing the career choice dilemma and unemployment rate among youth, she implemented psychometric tests for career alignment which has guided over 3,000 youth (2009 and 2017).
Inspired by the unemployment rate in Kenya and wanting to do something to address it, in 2014 Nuru founded Little Innovators School in Athi River. Her team focuses on nurturing problem solving, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurial talent in children for sustainable economic development. Her school exposes children to emerging technologies to prepare them for future careers.
More About Nuru:
Equipping the Next Generation with Skills for the Future
DR. NYABOKE NDUATI
Principal, Nova Pioneer Girls High School
Bold Idea: Launch a travelling academy to engage local and international schools and communities to foster the development of 21st Century leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs across socio-economic backgrounds.
Path to Metis: Dr. Nyaboke Nduati has worked in schools and universities in Kenya and the USA for over ten years. As an undergraduate student at Kenyatta University, she spent her holidays working for Radio Kwizera in Tanzania as a Teacher of English Literature for a radio program targeting high school students. Soon after completing her undergraduate program in Education, she earned a full scholarship from Syracuse University in New York to pursue a master of Fine Art degree in Creative Writing. Committed to her career in Education, she decided to combine her love for writing with her desire to make a difference in the field of education by pursuing a PhD in Literacy Education at the same institution. During her time at Syracuse University, Nyaboke worked as a trainer and supervisor of pre service teachers. She taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in education, prepared teachers for their state certification exams, supervised their school placements, and learned a lot in the process. She moved back home to Kenya in 2016, with a dream and a determination to be the change that she wanted to see in Kenyan education. Dr. Nyaboke Nduati has been working for Nova Pioneer for the past three years, first as a Dean of Instruction and Learning, and currently as the School Leader/Principal of Nova Pioneer Girls’ High School in Tatu City. As an instructional leader at Nova Pioneer, Nyaboke has developed and coached teachers and deans through classroom observations, 1:1 coaching, and a teachers’ professional development program that runs throughout the year. Nyaboke is working on extending the reach of her work at Nova Pioneer so that more children in the country have access to the same level of quality education.
More About Nyaboke:
Program Manager, Global Minimum Inc.(GMin)
Bold Idea: Transform public and community spaces to support youth in their learning journey to become leaders, innovators & change makers. Create safe spaces where youth can be genuinely curious, learn even in their failure, question oppression of any kind, and are part of the process of building and impacting their communities.
Path to Metis: Richy’s initial work experience was an internship at TASSC International, a human rights organization in Washington, D.C. He moved back to Kenya in 2012 where he joined DIPAD, a peace building and development organization that works at the intersection of restorative justice, trauma healing and leadership development. His initial work experiences gave him a deeper understanding on the liberating and transformative power of both formal & informal education. In 2013, he joined Global Minimum Inc. (GMin) as a volunteer and was captivated by the organization’s vision of engaging and inspiring young Africans to be at the forefront of creating a more just and equitable world through unique learning experiences. Since then he has been instrumental to the growth of the organization and played a key role in development and facilitation of workshops on Design Thinking, Project Based Learning, as well as leadership and social entrepreneurship. He has also played a key role in the development of GMin programs to be more accessible and inclusive for all young leaders. Mentoring young leaders at GMin is one of his most treasured moments as he gets to see first hand the impact and transformational journey the youth are making towards creating social change in their communities.
Richy’s education journey led him to attain a B.A. degree in Justice, Peace & Conflict Studies from Eastern Mennonite University. His education strengthened his resolve to champion social justice and exposed him to a multidisciplinary and multicultural educational environment.
Head of Growth, Kipawa
Bold Idea: Work with universities and technical training to equip graduates with the skills necessary to transition and excel in the workplace. Some examples of these skills include communication skills, critical thinking, problem solving, analytical skills, leadership skills, entrepreneurship skills and time management.
Path to Metis: Rose is a business developer and life coach passionate about development for both people and technology. As a business developer, she has helped companies develop sales strategies, structures and teams. Through her passion for technology, she has successfully implemented software projects in the public and financial sectors. Her passion for people development led her to Kipawa, a human resources consultancy firm. While at Kipawa, she has coached several young people who are looking for jobs and career growth. The need for skills development for graduates has become critical in helping young people transition from university/training into the workplace. Her ultimate goal is being part of reducing youth unemployment while working hand in hand with universities and technical training institutions in Kenya. She is a certified Clarity 4D coach and has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
More About Rose:
CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE SUNFLOWER TRUST
Bold Idea: Support existing schools to invest in girls education and leadership through after-school programming, and fight for institutional and policy change to create a more equitable and peaceful world.
Path to Metis: Rukia was born and raised in Kibera, Nairobi. She is a change maker who believes in improving lives of the economically disadvantaged by providing literacy among children. She has worked with youth from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya to promote youth employment within the ICT sector. Being the team player that she is, Rukia has risen to different positions in various organizations working in education. As a leader she instigated the founding of Zanzibits, a Zanzibar based technology program, as well as Kampabits, in Kampala. She is passionate about using technology as a force for social change, empowerment, literacy and the education of young women and girls. Rukia is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sunflower Trust, an organization that works with vulnerable girls to improve their literacy levels.
Rukia has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Human Resources. She was a beneficiary of Nairobits Trust, a technology training program for underprivileged youth which gave her the skills she needed to successfully assist in running Nairobits for 10 years.
More About Rukia:
Founder & CEO, the Illumination Space and Head of Curriculum, MLC Prep
Bold Idea: Create learning experiences for children aged 6-13 that are relevant and engaging, which connect children to their interests, their life, and the real world.
Path to Metis: Shayur’s life-calling in education began as a curious and enthusiastic youngster schooling in Nairobi. Drawn to the process of learning through exploration and discovery, the seeds of fascination with the world and a love for learning were planted within him. He went on to study Management in the UK and his career began as a divisional manager at a Kenyan company. Then, about 15 years ago, his calling to education emerged. Recognising that the future wellbeing of the world lies in the hands of children, and following his passion to teach, he began his journey through volunteer work; he designed and ran value-based courses for children in his community. He then moved to India and worked as a primary school teacher at two high-quality schools, Rajghat Besant School and Shibumi. He also worked as a manager at a not-for-profit organisation in India, which together with his previous managerial experience in Kenya, gave him a rich set of management skills. In recent years, he has traveled extensively and learned about various pedagogical approaches in different parts of the world such as Finland, India, the UK and the USA.
He returned to Kenya in 2017, and founded The Illumination Space with the vision to nurture aware, responsible, intelligent and empathetic global citizens who are equipped to live fulfilling and happy lives while contributing to the wellbeing of humanity and the planet. He aims to do this by creating engaging and relevant learning experiences that connect children to their interests, their life, and the real world. In addition to this, Shayur is also the Head of Curriculum at MLC Prep, a new innovative school in Nairobi where he is putting his knowledge and experience into use by developing a bespoke curriculum that incorporates best practices from around the world.
SHEILAH LUTTA MUKHOLI
CHIEF EDUCATION OFFICER-SPECIAL NEEDS, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Bold Idea: All learners and teachers in integrated schools —whether hearing impaired or not— are conversant in Kenya Sign Language.
Path to Metis: Sheilah envisions a Kenyan education system in which everyone belongs and no one is left out. She is a trained teacher in regular and special needs education. Her vast knowledge and expertise has clothed her with a great drive and passion to create awareness on the need for early intervention and placement in education of children with disabilities. Her belief is that no learner should be left behind despite any prevailing barriers in their physical, cognitive, emotional and social make up. It was Sheila’s deployment to Kibera Primary School and later Joseph Kang’ethe Unit for the Hearing Impaired, that changed her career and focus as an educator. Sheila realized that many learners, both with and without disabilities, went through the school system without much change and benefit from the learning experiences offered, thereby culminating into poor learning outcomes. The scenario was worse in the class for learners with hearing impairment with minimal resources and poor teacher to learner ratios. Sheila’s current position as a Special Needs Education Officer with the Ministry of Education; Directorate of Special Needs, Nairobi- Kenya offers vast and high profile participation in various forms. As a strategic thinker, she uses every opportunity that presents itself to create awareness and educate on disability awareness and inclusion in all education and social programmes. She is currently in charge of Teaching and Learning Resources including assistive devices and technologies. Sheilah also advises the ICT department and other relevant stakeholders on inclusive integration in education.
Sheila joined a Teacher Education Programme at Kericho Teacher’s College, then proceeded to Maseno University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Needs Education- Hearing Impairment, English Literature.
Program Manager- Accelerated Learning Program, ziziAfrique Foundation
Bold Idea: Develop and celebrate teachers as the centerpiece of change.
Path to Metis: Virginia is an early years educator passionate about access to quality education, especially for those on the verge of being “left behind” owing to circumstances beyond their control. Motivated by the desire for continuous growth, Virginia is apt to embrace new challenges and stands out as a solution-driven individual, strongly persuaded by the need for local solutions for local problems. Committed to leadership and continuous learning, she is currently managing the Accelerated Learning Program at ziziAfrique. Prior to this, Virginia was the monitoring and evaluation in-charge at Women Educational Researchers of Kenya (WERK).
In pursuit of quality learning experiences, she worked for Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) in Nepal, mentoring and coaching teachers in literacy and numeracy instruction, the basis for academic excellence. Among other interests, Virginia is an accomplished teacher trainer. Besides work, Virginia is passionate about writing and reading. Virginia is currently enrolled for a MBA (Project management) at Kenyatta University. She holds a first degree in early Childhood Education from the same institution.
Executive Chair, Wangari Maathai Foundation
Bold Idea: Develop teaching and assessment tools for character building and personal leadership training in schools.
Path to Metis: Wanjira Mathai is the Executive Chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF). An inspiring leader, with over 20 years of experience on both local and international platforms, she is currently leading the development of the WMF’s programs to advance the legacy of Prof. Wangari Maathai by nurturing a culture of purpose and integrity that inspires courageous leadership. The Wangari Maathai Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring courageous and responsible leadership in Kenya. Wanjira also played a key and strategic leadership role as the Chair of the Green Belt Movement, successfully steering the organization through a turbulent transition following the passing of the Founder, 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate, Wangari Maathai in 2011. Over the years, Wanjira has served important strategic and advocacy roles raising the prominence and visibility of global issues such as climate change, leadership, sustainable energy, and environmental issues.
Wanjira’s commitment and passion to youth leadership and character development springs from the recognition that because young people will play a profound role in shaping the nation’s future, nurturing of their core values is necessary to remedy youth apathy, powerlessness and disillusionment that often lead them down the path of corruption. A motivating global public speaker and moderator, Wanjira has spoken on environment, youth leadership and climate change around the world, inspiring children and adults alike.
Wanjira currently serves as Senior Advisor at the World Resources Institute and sits on the Board of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). She is an advisory council member of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and co-chair of the Global Restoration Council. Wanjira is one of a few Six Seconds EQ Practitioners in Kenya and was one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in 2018. Wanjira has a Masters in Public Health and Business from Emory University in the USA.