The student council
Each year a school representative is elected from the students in the primary and secondary school sections.
They represent the opinions of the students in faculty meetings. They appoint the pupil representative. They call the student parliament and moderate the meetings of class representatives, school management, school administration, parent representatives and the liasion teachers.
They work in small groups with the class representatives on various topics, which they believe need improvement. The liaison teachers work very closely with the student representatives and support them in their plans
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Welcome to the society: A school society with over 50 years and enthusiastic parents on the board
Dear parents and students,
after over 50 years, we can look back with pride on what our GSN has accomplished; in among the pulsating African life, the DSN offers our students a qualified, internationally-orientated education on the highest level. First-class education, a unique, informal school community,a and a wonderful, extensive campus with a heated swimming pool, tennis courts, a basketball court, new cafeteria, and many more sports and leisure opportunities make our school one of the most loved in Nairobi today.
Of course this is primarily due to the principal(s), administrators, teachers, and employees, who serve the school day in, and day out. But without the varied and voluntary engagement of the parents, it would not be possible to run the school, as our carrier at the GSN is the school society and this is run by the parents. The school board, which is elected by the society members, has legal responsibility for the society. It is normally made up of eight members, who are each elected for two years. The school board currently consists of the following members: Tim Bernhardt (Chair, Digitalization), Ilja Marcus Burchard (Deputy Chair, Chair Buildings & Security), Luca Uehlinger (Chair Finance Committee), Irina Mosel (Secretary, SER/Parents Council, Digitalization, Marketing), Caroline Lackmaier (Chair HR Committee), Benjamin Grädler (Deputy Chair Finance Committee), Almut van Casteren (Deputy Chair HR Committee, Sport) and Suranahi Kabuga (Deputy Chair Buildings & Security, Sport).
In the last few years we have been able to modernize classrooms and the school grounds, rejuvenate the fleet of vehicles, improve the IT infrastructure, extend the sports and games opportunities, and update and expand the cafeteria. We have also been able to reinforce our role as a responsible institution in Kenya with various projects in the area of social and ecological sustainability. These include the independent water supply, switching to LED lighting, expanding the solar power system, acquiring water treatment systems, extending internship opportunities, and introducing training for local colleagues, as well as starting the dual education program in collaboration with the German-Kenyan Foreign Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, parent representatives and various committees started by and run
by parents have contributed to the successful development of the GSN. Without this tireless engagement, many events like the Summer Festival, the Federal Youth Games, the Christmas concert in Tigoni, the Christmas Lunch, and the numerous sports events and charity campaigns would not be possible.
All the principal(s), administrators, teachers, employees, members of the board, parent representatives, and engaged parents from the last 50 years are owed huge thanks and recognition. This engagement and good community spirit in the school community have characterized the success of the last several decades. As a board, which deals with the above-listed, time-intensive projects on a voluntary basis and thus bears the responsibility not just for school fees, but, ultimately, also for the future of the GSN and thus the children being educated there and the employees working there, we thank everyone involved for their trust and the support that they have given us.
We look forward to writing the next 50 years of our history together in this way.
The Board Team
van Castern, Almut
Important Information about our School Association
The German School is sponsored by the school association, which was founded in 1964. All parents are automatically members of the association, but alumni (students, parents or teaching staff) and other friends are very welcome to support the German School with membership in the association.
Responsibilities of the School Association:
The school association’s primary task is to provide German-language teaching in Nairobi, which leads to recognised school leaving certificates. These school leaving certificates entitle students to attend continuing education and university institutions in Germany, Switzerland or Austria. The school association of the DSN guarantees that its earnings are only used to pursue the named objectives and presents corresponding documentation in the annual accounts and the balance sheet.
The Board of Directors:
The school board is also the association board and bears the legal responsibility for the association. It is generally made up of eight members, who are each elected for two years. At the end of each annual members’ meeting, half the board members resign or present themselves for re-election. The association board chooses the chairperson and their deputy, the clerk and the treasurer from its members, as well as the members of the various committees. Currently there is a finance and planning committee and a staff committee at the German School Nairobi. Representatives of the school board, the school officers, participate in the teacher conferences and in parents’ council meetings (without voting rights). The school board represents the school in court and out of court and makes legal statements or accepts these in its name. The particular responsibilities of the association include electing and engaging the headteacher in accordance with the recommendations of the Federal Administrative Office’s Central Office for International School Matters and engaging and extending the contracts of teachers and school employees. In coordination with the school and administrative management, the association decides on all financial and economic matters for the German School Nairobi (budget and school fees) and authorises the school and conference regulations in coordination with the school management.
There are two members’ meetings per year. In the meeting in October/November, the members of the school association elect the school board as their representatives. By participating in the members’ meetings, the parents express their personal interest in their children’s schooling and are asked to vote on important decisions, such as new investments or the organization of the school fees. By putting themselves forward as a candidate and working on the board, they can actively influence the way the school develops. It is only through the active engagement of the parents that the German School Nairobi can maintain and further develop its position as a German-speaking educational institute in East Africa.
Constitution (Updated in 2021)
The German School Nairobi offers parents various opportunities to engage with the school on a voluntary basis. Whether as a parent representative in their own children’s class or together with teachers and students in various working groups. The promotion of good communication between parents, school management, students and teachers, and assistance and mediation in the event of queries and problems are particular concerns. The work by parents goes far beyond administrating the class fund.
Particularly pleasant tasks include planning and organising various events for the school community. These include the annual reception of the new parents on the first day of school, two annual jumble sales, the Christmas market at the school concert in Tigoni, organising Christmas gifts for local employees, Summer Festivals and much more.
Parent representative committees at the DSN
The German School Nairobi is operated by the German school association. All parents are members of the school association.
The board, elected by the members of the association, is made up of parents working on a voluntary basis and is responsible for long-term planning and progress monitoring.
The board works closely with the school management, that is to say the headteachers and administration, who enable the teaching staff in turn to effectively instigate learning.
As well as the board, parents can participate in the following committees:
|The General Parent’s Council (GER) serves to inform parents about progress and problems and to listen to their ideas and requests. It is made up of two elected parent representatives, one from each class, and meets two to three times a year with the representatives from the board, the school management, the teaching staff and the student body.
|A representative and a deputy representative are elected to the Parent Sub-Committee (SER) for each school section from the members of the General Parent’s Council (GER). The SER meets monthly and deals with topics that affect all parents.
|Primary: Caroline Lackmaier
SEK 1: Francis Oluoch
SEK 2: Thomas Braun
Scholarship: Lilian Wangechi
|Primary: Florine Stammler
SEK 1: Katarina Leligdonova
SEK 2: Laetitia Zobel
Scholarship: Rita Karoki
Since November 2014, students from the German School Nairobi and the Star Kid School in the Githongoro Slum on the northern bypass near Runda have benefited from a collaboration between the two schools. The idea for the project grew out of a teacher training project from the Siemens Foundation, which was run together by the Biology and Chemistry departments. Two schools from the Slum not sponsored by the Kenyan state also took part in this teacher training. Two teachers from the Star Kid school were part of the project team from the start.
The initiators of the shared project idea were Ms Sudra, a primary school teacher at the DSN at the time, and Mr and Ms Busch. This led to the creation of a project, which is still pursued intensively today: communal learning in science workshops for the 10th and 11th grades at the DSN and the Star Kid School.
Over the years, we have put together two large cultural projects with the Höxter Education Centre and the Evangelical Church with the themes “Freedom of the People” and “Homeland and the Needs of Germans and Kenyans”. Primary school projects, sports, and games competitions extend the encounters between our two schools. In 2017, we received 3rd prize in the international school competition run by the Chamber of Commerce “Students Build Bridges Worldwide Together” in Berlin for the collaboration with the Star Kid School, which was worth 25,000 Euro. After the award ceremony in Berlin, we found a further partner, the German international vocational school FEDA Madrid, which now also works on the project and donated 20,000 Euro of their prize money (1st place in the international school competition 2017) for the collaboration with the Star Kid School.
In the end, it looked as if the school would not be able to open. The first inspection on the part of the Kenyan Ministry of Education was about the structural conditions at the school and the small classrooms.
Likewise, all the teachers who lived in the school had to move out and find a room in the slum.
They all helped diligently so that the somewhat unusual new academic year 2020/21 could also start successfully at the school hill in Githongoro.
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AHK Dual vocational Training
Dual education is a programme, which combines theory and practice so that the trainees don’t just acquire theoretical knowledge at the end of their training, but also practical experience in their profession.
The AHK Kenya training programme has been adapted to the German framework teaching plan for chefs and the hotel trade and is thus recognised by the Kenyan government as well as by Germany as a professional diploma.
The programme was started in Kenya by the Delegation of German Economics (AHK) in partnership with the German School Nairobi and some hotels with the goal of offering young adults high quality training. They should be qualified enough to quickly enter the job market because companies are prepared to employ them after receiving their diploma. This should lower the unemployment rate in Kenya.
Since the start of 2019, the German School Nairobi has been part of the training programme. The theoretical lessons take place at Kibondeni College in Westlands, Nairobi, under various tutors, the practical lessons are taught by the kitchen managers at the German School Nairobi.
Although the German school association is not a hotel or a restaurant, we have decided to participate in the programme to extend our educational remit in this way and to offer a vocational education option, especially for young Kenyans in additon to the academic education.
Work is still going on here ...
To make it easier for our alumni to network, we operate an interactive alumni Facebook group. Our global network, currently consisting of over 600 former DSNers - students, teachers, parents - therefore has a professional connection to our school.
How can you register for our alumni network?
1. Please use this link to register on Facebook. and/or
2. Send an email to email@example.com requesting to be included in the network.
Enjoy the discussion!
What are they actually doing...?
It is not always easy to maintain contact with former classmates and colleagues. This is especially true when they are scattered all over the world, as is the case at the German School Nairobi. We therefore regularly ask alumni to tell us about their lives. You can read the results here.
If you would also like to tell us what you actually do, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The history of the German School Nairobi
At the same time as the celebrations for its 50th anniversary, the German School Nairobi took part in a tender from the German Foreign Office and the Central Office for Schools Abroad and was awarded the contract to publish its school history under the title “Remembering for the Present - How Us became what we are “to work through.
First of all, 12 pupils from grades 9-12 got together in a voluntary working group and worked out a concept to work through and present the history of the Michael Grzimek School.
In order to reach the broadest possible group of interested parties and to make the results usable in the future, the young people decided to create a website.
You can marvel at the result at geschichte.germanschool.co.ke .