Little Lambs School: How a school managed to survive and thrive during a crisis
Little Lambs School in Eldoret, Kenya, is 23 years old with a population of 1,900 pupils. In recent years, the school had successfully been growing with the future looking bright, until COVID-19 happened.
With restrictions in place and schools being forced to close, the teachers at Little Lambs were worried and anxious about not knowing what the future would hold for both the pupils and the school. Director, Katherine Wami, says, “We had a fear of the unknown, a fear of the future, and how we were going to meet our obligations and survive.”
The pupils of the school were saddened with the sudden closure, which meant they were unable to prepare for the all-important final exam of the year. Thomas Kakai, teacher at Little Lambs, says ‘When these learners go away for a long time, when they come back, it’s as if they have been factory reset. In this crisis, we saw a situation where our learners might slip away.” Speaking of how the teachers looked for alternative options to the classroom, Katherine says, “We soon realised that we needed more control over our offering, so we signed up for GSuite for Education.” Thomas adds, “When we were exposed to Google Classroom, it felt like this was what we needed."
The teachers switched to virtual teaching in a digital classroom. Katherine says, “This enabled us to keep going. Through this, we have been able to sustain our staff members, which is vital to our survival.”
The digital classroom didn’t just benefit pupils of the school, Katherine explains, “We have also been able to get pupils outside of the region who are not originally from our school to join our classrooms. This helped the community around us to continue learning, despite the restrictions and schools shutting down.”
Reflecting on the way in which he now teaches online, Teacher Thomas says, “The things we’ve done with Google classroom is no different to what we were doing during our normal classes.” Looking back at the beginning of the crisis and to where the school is now, Katherine remarks, “We cannot ignore the strides we have made during this period. We have been able to grasp the opportunity and grow digitally in a way that we never could before. Google for Education has been the silver lining and allowed us to be resilient in very challenging times.”