A non-formal education classroom model for rural Kenya

Dala Abdulla Al-Fuwaires, Purdue University


In the last couple of decades, individuals, communities, and private organizations throughout the Republic of Kenya have taken it upon themselves to establish educational facilities and curriculums, some formal and some informal, to support the provisions of an education for all by the year 2015. Among these burgeoning curriculums are Non-Formal-Education (NFE) initiatives, which provide an alternative form of basic education to children and adults who cannot benefit from the formal education system. The curriculum structure within the NFE initiative is informal, diverse, and differs from region to region based on the needs, age group, and level of knowledge prevalent within the area. The diverse and transformative nature of NFE curriculums, the poor design and condition of the physical facilities, and the fact that being outside the established formal systems of education has detached it from the Government's responsibility, can account for both the scarcity of research and services provided to this specific type of education. To gain a deeper understanding of NFE curriculum types and its designed environments, the author visited three NFE Schools throughout Mombasa, Kenya. The author's experience concludes that to overcome the negative characteristics associated with NFE classrooms, such as poor quality of education and poor physical condition, a ubiquitous system change must occur within the learning environment itself. This study demonstrates the relevance and capacity of interior design features in achieving an appropriate and enhanced NFE learning environment, as an alternate approach to educational development throughout Kenya.




Kilmer, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Design|Instructional Design|Architecture

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