GEMS School Nairobi

In Kenya for the last two years is the GEMS Cambridge School on Magadi Road, just past Galleria Mall. They are part of the 55-year-old GEMS network, the largest K-12 school system in the world with 160,000 students and 13,000 teachers at with schools in Dubai, France, US, India, Europe and now in select African countries, offering different systems of education like IB and IGCSE.  Kenya will be their African headquarters and the school will soon be joined by others in Uganda and Nigeria then later by more in South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania.

Interestingly, they price the English curriculum education they offer in Kenya as  ‘upper middle’ with fees ranging between Kshs 50,000 -120,000 ($1,333) per month, while in Uganda they will price themselves as a premium school that will command even higher fees. They also don’t consider themselves ‘expensive’ as other Nairobi schools charge much more in a curriculum system that has not had new schools in about 30 years.

The GEMS Nairobi school has facilities include ICT and science labs, cricket field, pool, full track, and library, for the almost 1,000 students who also include boarders. They work to transition kids from the Kenyan (8-4-4) system by doing assessments of new students and monitoring their changes in terms of critical thinking and habit changes.

Philanthropy is a big part of GEMS, and through Varkey Foundation, they have several initiatives including an annual $1 million teacher prize in which a Kenyan is a finalist this year. They have also rehabilitated a school in Kibera, donated 30 libraries to schools in 8 counties, and are collaborating with the iHub on kids tech camps.