Uplifting a Community of Learners
To uplift and inspire a community of learners through inclusive, adaptive, modern education.
To establish the leading primary school in Kenya by pioneering innovative, evidence-based educational practices and by building an inclusive, diverse community of parents, educators, and learners.
The name Oyana is derived from the Kikuyu word Oya, which means to uplift, and the Kiswahili word Na, meaning “with” or “together.” Through our core values, Oyana aims to RAISE up every student through modern, adaptable and inclusive education. Our values inspire each child to become a respectful, sustainable, and exemplary global citizen instilled with a lifetime love of learning.
RESPECTFUL    |    ADAPTABLE    |    INCLUSIVE    |    SUSTAINABLE    |    EXEMPLARY
The challenge for students
Traditional schools force students into a rigid, content-based system, rather than adapting their systems to individuals. Students are unable to explore their own interests or work at their own pace. Traditional classrooms are crowded, enclosed, unhealthy, and not conducive for individualized instruction.
The challenge FOR Parents
Quality primary school options in Kenya are limited. In choosing between existing public and private schools, parents are forced to compromise either quality or affordability.
The challenge for kenya
Primary schooling in Kenya is not growing fast enough to accommodate the millions of students that need them. This results in overcrowded classrooms and reduced quality of education – with Kenya’s national average sitting at 38 students per classroom and 39 students per teacher (Basic Education Statistical Handbook, 2019).
Following a nationwide closure of schools between March 2020 and January 2021 to contain the spread of Covid-19, 16% of girls and 8% of boys did not return to school, highlighting the need for greater school resilience and student retention in the face of the global pandemic.
Our Board of directors
Our Founding Story
In May 2020, Kenya and the world were rapidly changing. It was the beginning of the COVID-19 global pandemic and lockdown had commenced in Nairobi. Parents were stressed, children were confused, families were cooped up, and everyone felt a sense of impending doom. By June, schools had begun shutting their doors, cutting teachers’ pay and laying off staff.
Emily Ireri and Emily Post felt the strain on families firsthand, and saw many children facing a regression of their foundational skills as traditional schooling models struggled in the face of the pandemic. Many parents called the Emilys begging them to create something to support their children in these desperate times. So the Emilys resolved to develop their own program that would be more modern, inclusive, and adapted to our new reality.
In June 2020, they started the “Loresho Camp” for children ages 3-10, a mobile program that traveled between backyards to teach small groups of neighborhood children. Emily Post earned the nickname “Mary Poppins” as she drove around with suitcases in the back of her car filled with books, paint, building blocks, and whatever else she needed to teach. At the same time, the Emilys began searching for a property in Loresho, where there are many young and growing families, but few quality schooling options.
By July 2020 they earned enough from the Loresho Camp to secure a dedicated space where they established the “Community Learning Program,” a full-time, in-person learning pod set up in a completely outdoor environment. As the Nairobi lockdown continued, the Loresho Camp branched out into a “Home Teaching Program’’ that remotely supported 8 teachers to establish their own learning pods across Nairobi. They used income from these two programs to purchase furniture, play areas and learning resources for what would soon become Oyana School.
Oyana School employs a team of 16 dynamic, enthusiastic and dedicated educators and support staff. Our lead classroom teachers hold bachelor’s degrees in education and are highly experienced in their respective subject areas. All Oyana staff have received training and certification in first aid, fire safety, and safeguarding. We are proud to support 14 women staff members in achieving greater financial independence and accessing quality healthcare
for their families.