Kenyan Student Says Education Systems Different

Sheby Ross

This was it. After being in the US for a few short weeks, the first day of the new semester was here. Nervousness and excitement built up—this was a nightmare in his eyes.

“Life in the US is a little bit fast paced whereas in Kenya life is laid back,” freshman Brian Kiarie who moved here from Kenya said. “The cost of living in Kenya is cheaper than it is in the US and in terms of technology, the USA is more developed and education is easier here.”

However, this was not Brian’s first time to the US.

“I had come to the US in 2008 of December to a college graduation for my sister. After completing my elementary school, I moved here to join my family,” Kiarie, whose mother is a nurse at United Regional said.

Students complain about seven classes but to Kiarie, it is nothing. His school day in Kenya started at 8:15 a.m. and ended at 3:50 p.m. with at least 12 classes a day. While WFISD students take one science per year, Kiarie took Biology, Chemistry and Physics all at the same time.

“In Kenya, we only had three breaks. We went to school from May to August, September to December, then January to April,” Kiarie said.

In Kenya, students must have four years of a university.

“Kenya’s education system is similar to British education system (Eight years of elementary, four years of high school, and four years of a university),” Kiarie said.

Back home in Kenya, Kiarie lived with his grandparents and worked on their farm after school. Life was fairly easy and also simple.

“The slogan of the people of Kenya is ‘hakuna matata’ which means don’t worry, enjoy life,” Kiarie said.

The people of Kenya must speak ‘Swahili’ which is the national language. They also speak English and an additional a dialect unique to each community.

“Brian speaks excellent English, he is just very shy,” Brian’s ESL teacher Joyce Gill said.

“I enjoy it here,”Kairie said. “It is easy, but fast paced.”