News Updates & Blog

Trustee Visit - 2024

Posted on


Trustee visit   to Timboni Nursery, Primary & Junior Secondary School 

February 2024


6 February 2024 – Report




Lorraine Dunne - UTMT

Peachy Dunne - UTMT


Agnes Tewa – head teacher


Charles Makonde – UTMT / Independent voice


Board of Management members (8)




  1. 1.     Meeting with board of management


The board comprised members whom we had met on the last visit in 2020; the chair remained in post. 

  1. Board of management was pleased to point out the following:


(i)              Community involvement.


-        The compound was clean

-        Firewood for the kitchen continues to be brought in


Follow-up – paint work inside and outside the buildings to be washed. Repaint in August 2024. 

Meals were being eaten anywhere/everywhere, so food was spilt on walkways and classroom floors. Covered dining hall to be costed.


(ii)             Toilets – we did not inspect and we did not see them being opened, but we were told that they were used daily and valued. We understand that several other schools had visited to look at improving their own facilities.


Follow-up – girls of all ages to be allowed to use the toilets with younger children supervised.


(iii)            Education system


The education system changed in 2017 and the effects are still filtering through school. It means that Timboni now has children for 11 years and if the child starts late, at say 8 years old, the child will still be trying to pass their KCPE (Kenyan certificate of primary education) at age 19 at Timboni. We did see a few much older children but there were significantly less than on previous visits.

The education system changed in 2017 and the changes are still filtering through the school.


                                                                        1985                                         2017


                                                            8-4-4 system                   Competancy based curriculum CBC



Pre-primary                                            0                                  2 years PP1 and PP2


Primary                                                  8 years                          6 years Grades 1-6


Junior Secondary                                     0                                  3 years Grades 7-9


Total years at Timboni School                    8                                  11



                                                COMPLETE KENYAN CERTIFICATE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION


                                                            TRANSFER TO SENIOR SCHOOL


Secondary                                              4 years                          0


Senior Secondary                                    0                                  3 years Grades 10-12


                                                COMPLETE KENYAN CERTIFICATE OF SECONDARY EDUCATION




University                                               4 years                          3 years





(iv)            Admission fees – community contribution


PA                    Children             Total



ECDE to Grade 1                   500 kes             62                       31,000

Grade 2 – Grade 9                 1500 kes            252                   378,000


                                                                                          409,000 kes





Fees are used to pay night and day Watchman, cooks, electricity and water bill.



Follow-up – a hardship fund has been agreed to enable children to attend school if families cannot afford school fees or uniform costs.



(v)             Development and achievement in school


– only English language is used in school


– a debating society has been launched to give kids exposure / confidence in discussion.

Topics for debate have included, “Is town life better than reserve life?”


(vi)            Extended learning time


– the school day has been extended to around 6 pm over the last 12 months


– Saturday learning has also been introduced. A small lunch is served on Saturday.


– Average attendance has been around 67%




(vii)           Exploring self-reliance




– during 2023 school rented a 2 acre piece of land


– the cost was met from community funds 


– further costs were incurred for someone to work the land, buy seed, plant up, maintain and weed plus harvesting.


- A crop of maize was harvested that met the school budget needs for around four months


- In 2020 for school wishes to rent double the size of land, i.e. 4 acres. School is in negotiation with the landowner 





– school has installed six hives at the top of the quarry ridge. Two are occupied and the first harvest of 750ml of honey was collected in January 2024


– the bees are ‘harsh’ (fierce) and cannot be visited until the evening time when they quieten down


– one of the teachers has the protection equipment and is the bees’ manager 



(viii)          Library


– this room looks in good condition


– books look like they’re being used


– the library is used daily for language lessons and revision sessions


– children do not have unsupervised access


– it is also a convenient place for Board meetings with space, tables and chairs


– a TV has been installed on the wall to play curriculum linked programmes


– children do not borrow books to take home as generally children do not have access to quality light to read in the evenings in their homes 



(ix)            Choir


– school enjoyed success with the choir in 2023


– however, when competing at grassroots local level, significant costs are incurred e.g. travel


– once progressed to area level, the area will fund the choir’s expenses


Follow-up – co-curricular fund is established at an average amount per child.





(x)             Athletics


– school has also enjoyed success with individual pupil’s progress into Area level in athletics competitions


Follow-up – co-curricular fund is established at an average amount per child.




  1. 2.     School priorities for UTMT



During conversation with the Board and with CM later, we understand the top priorities for school.


       I.         Feeding program 


– School feared the possible winding up of UTMT in 2023 would imperil the feeding program


– the Kambe area in which Timboni is positioned, remains an area of extreme property with the majority of families relying on subsistence farming


– we now understand the breakdown of the feeding program


– an estimated budget is attached equating to 23,080 kes per week (around £120 per week)


- It costs less than 50p per head to feed a child 2 meals per day EACH WEEK during the school year




Annual Budget 2024 and 2025


Non-UTMT funding                                              220,000 kes x 3 payments             660,000


UTMT funding     (@ £1600)                                                                                  300,000


                        (Total Approx. £5,000)                                                                  960,000 kes





      II.         UTMT sponsored teachers


The second highest priority is to maintain the two teachers sponsored by UTMT.


                                                2024                 2025


ECDE teacher     Lois                  216,000             228,000

Primary teacher   Grace                204,000             204,000


                                                420,000             432,000


(Approx. £2,200 per year)


On the 2025 budget, we note that there is an assumed increase of 2 government-paid teachers. This is to facilitate the extra grades as the school provides for the Junior Secondary grades.


The current budget year states that there are 8 government teachers in the Primary school. One teacher has been transferred and school are awaiting the arrival of a replacement.







    III.         UTMT sponsored - School clerical officer – Moses


Headteacher explained that Moses has been very helpful in budget setting and taking care of the school finances. He has enabled the head teacher to complete other work and school has benefitted from his appointment.




  1. 3.     New requests


We asked if school had any concerns.


i)                Poverty


As at the date of meeting, children had not shown up for the new term due to the financial straits of the families.


School fees and uniform costs were unaffordable.


                                                ECDE                Primary


Uniform                                     600                   1,700

Books                                        150                      850

Admission fee                             500                   1,500


Total                                         1,250 kes           4,050 kes


Missing children                          10                     20


Total cosy to families                    12,500               81,000               = 93,500 kes (@£500)



The families had all been visited by Board members and the children called back to school. By the end of our week in Kenya, 4 Junior Secondary children had reappeared albeit in the old red uniform.


School has introduced a new blue and white uniform to differentiate Junior Secondary grades. It is felt this will also help the children to prepare for the transition to secondary school.


Follow-up – a hardship fund has been agreed to enable children to attend school if families cannot afford school fees or uniform costs.



ii)               ICT


The school does not have fit for purpose computers to meet the challenges within the curriculum.


A formal written request has been made to create a computer suite, which will be situated in the library.


4 desktop computers                    x 22,000                                    88,000

(Lenovo intel core i5, 4gb RAM, 250gb HDD full set with 19” monitor)     


Canon Printer                                                                             32,000

(G2411 copy, print, scan


                                                                        Total                 120,000 kes (@ £650)


Follow-up – fund raising project agreed










iii)              Dining area


A request was made for a covered dining area. Currently the children eat anywhere and there is a mess. Things are even more difficult during the rains.


Costings were provided some years ago, but a new building cost and outline will be submitted in due course. The first quote has been received.



Follow-up – fund raising project agreed





iv)             Sewing machines


Although not mentioned in the board meeting, Charles mentioned the desire for two sewing machines.


We have asked him to ask Timboni to submit a budget and explanation as how they will be used and where they will be situated.


Follow-up – fund raising project agreed. The sewing machines will be used within the curriculum. An existing empty classroom will be converted into a sewing room.




v)              Fencing


One board member with a child in early years, was afraid for the safety of younger children because the road alongside school is busy with trucks from the quarry.


No costs were given. There are concrete post posts in situ (some are leaning) that the quarry provided years ago, but the fencing was not started.


It was also mentioned that local farmers brought their animals on the school grounds to graze when they thought they could get away with it and school is not happy about this.


We do not feel that fencing is an issue for UTMT.




 4          Other matters


i)                Extending the school land


The Board mentioned that the school is in discussion to increase the amount of land that it has available.


Agnes explained that the reason was to provide more space for the children. No request for money was made. 



ii)               Secondary school.


The nearest schools remain Ribe Boys and Ribe Girls.


However, it is a requirement that all the children board at these schools. New children need to take a number of extra items when they attend, including a mattress, washing bowl, laundry items et cetera.


The cost is prohibitive most families, despite the requirement for all children to transition to secondary school.


We cancelled a visit to 3 secondary schools due to extreme heat.


 Follow-up - There are a number of day schools available. We will visit these in 2025.





iii)              Esther – sponsored child


Esther completed her secondary certificate in 2023.


In June or July 2024, she will hear if she has been offered a place at university. We met Ester briefly and she took a selfie for us. We also met her dad who is on the Timboni Board of Management.



  1. Budget changes over time


Following the trip to Kenya, we have looked at how the support from UTMT has changed over the last 4 years.


UTMT payments per agreed budget                        2021                                         2024


Primary teachers                                      (x4)       480,000                         (x1)       204,000

120,000 each (2021)


ECDE teachers                                       (x2)       360,000                         (x1)       216,000

180,000 each (2021)


Loyalty payment                                                  80,000                                       80,000   


Feeding programme                                             180,000                                     300,000


Clerical officer                                                     192,000                                     192,000





Primary Ed Trip                                                   45,000                                       100,000

(85k requested 2021)


Primary exams                                                    41,280                                       50,000


Orphans at Xmas                                                 40,000                                       60,000


Additional funding                                                40,000                                       120,000





PP2 trip                                                             35,000                                       40,000


Teacher, exam materials                                       20,000                                       20,000


Day care requirements                                          60,000                                       100,000


Additional funding                                                40,000                                       40,000



                                                                        1,613,280 kes                             1,552,000 kes


                                                                        @£12,000                                  @£8,100

                                                                        (exchange rate)




Follow-up – a new budget has been agreed for 2024 and 2025. We have averaged certain funding on a per head basis. This will mean more money needed for school if there is a substantial increase in numbers.






  • School is surviving and achieving but not excelling due to financial constraints
  • School is grateful and relieved for the ongoing support of UTMT
  • School is guided by our suggestions regarding a regular maintenance schedule, including the repair of the tap on the water station and the wheel on the kitchen trolley, both provided by UTMT
  • Toilet facilities for girls and funded by UTMT will be opened up to all girls
  • A dedicated school email has been established and better data will be requested from school monthly
  • 2024 and 2025 budget has been agreed. No mid-year request for funds will be accepted
  • A Hardship fund has been allocated within the budget.
  • Three new funding projects have been accepted: ICT, sewing machines and a covered dining hall
  • An unused classroom will be converted to a working room for sewing machines
  • An increase in enrolment is expected as the school provides for Junior Secondary years
  • Fund raising will prioritise the pre-funding of the 2026 budget year unless funding is received that is specifically for one of the new projects
  • 2024 is the 20th year since Timboni was founded. The celebration will be held in May 2025. A visit from the UK is planned.



Add a comment:

Leave a comment:
  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Add a comment