Situated 15 km north of Mombasa Island, the Ananda Marga Academy of Kiembeni strives to provide a holistic education to children from nursery through the eighth year of primary. The school was founded in 1990 and had, as its initial aim, to offer a good pre-school foundation for the children of the orphanage, which is located on the same compound.
The vision and scope of the school grew in manifold ways; it began with about fifteen children, and currently educates 460 children of the estate and surrounding villages. From pre-school, it expanded to eight years of primary school, which was registered by the Ministry of Education in 2003. From having two small classrooms, the physical structures expanded to the current twelve classrooms, one learning resource center and library, one hall/canteen and administrative offices. It also grew to incorporate special features which are not commonly found in the Kenyan public or private schools; namely:
The school is completely nonprofit, assists parents of lower income; fees are affordable, and some children are sponsored by the school.
The school distinguishes itself in its policy of accepting all children, regardless of whether they are ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ learners. In these competitive times, private schools often have an entrance threshold in order to show high grades on exams, especially the exam at the end of primary years. Ananda Marga Academy recognizes and appreciates that each child has special gifts and talents, which need to be developed. The school rises to the challenge of ‘education for all,’ through fostering learning experiences and inspiring many forms of self expression such as drama, art, music, debates, and games—thus developing different forms of intelligence and creative thinking.
The nursery and kindergarten programs encourage children to explore their environment and learn through play. Self directed activities in a calm environment stimulate creativity and concentration.
In the primary section, extracurricular activities and clubs are incorporated into each term’s activities so that children gain an idea of the wider world. Volunteers also contribute creative ideas and help children appreciate the world family.
Nature activities, visits to nature parks, art utilizing natural things, as well as gardening, compost making, solar cooking & tree plantation are integrated into the Kenyan curriculum in order to foster love for the natural world. A recent addition of a multimedia system also attracts interest in the world’s oceans and wildlife, and stimulates discussions and dramatization.
The feeling of the school is like being in a family, where children and adults speak together freely and help one another.
Finally, it may be said that the school is a work in progress; i.e. the staff and administration recognize that there is very much yet to do—to bring children to their fullest potential and to actualize the school motto: “Truth is Light.”