Secondary Education Science Teacher

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process

Evacuated Volunteers: Coming in late May, there will be an expedited application for returning to service. Get details and subscribe to updates.

Project Description

For over 50 years, more than 5,100 Volunteers have served the people of Kenya. Since the program’s evacuation in 2014, the Kenyan government has been steadfast in its desire to have Peace Corps Volunteers return to the country. Education priorities are highlighted in Kenya’s strategic plans and reinforced in its national Millennium Development Goals. Our Kenyan partners value the experience and Peace Corps Volunteers’ abilities to engage in community level roles, and believe that with their Kenyan counterparts, their work could align with Kenya Vision 2030 and the government’s “Big Four” development agenda – of which targeted education programming undergirds the social pillar’s vision of transforming key social sectors.

The Education Program is located in Western Kenya, a region with specific needs that align with Peace Corps’ experience working in Mathematics and Science. The long-term outcome for Peace Corps/Kenya’s Math and Science project is for Kenyan Students to acquire STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills and math and/or science knowledge. Volunteers will work together with counterparts and community members to build teacher and student capacity in STEM and increase community involvement and access to materials/resources to support a STEM approach to math and science. Also, PCVs will develop the life skills of students by inspiring them to become responsible, productive citizens who encourage gender equality and HIV/AIDS prevention.
As with all Peace Corps programs, flexibility and a positive attitude will be important for this project. Volunteers may be asked to teach a variety of subjects aside from the one they have been invited to teach. Volunteers will teach in the classroom and do activities to build capacity among their counterparts and co-teachers. Activities might include the broader community and things like math competitions, science fairs, camps and clubs, and school improvement projects.

Peace Corps Kenya promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in Kenya and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Corporal punishment is illegal in Kenya. While the government has regulations regarding corporal punishment, these rules are not always followed or enforced at the local level. Volunteers will often encounter different levels of corporal punishment. Many Volunteers find this aspect of life very challenging, particularly as it is necessary to develop good working relationships with colleagues. Peace Corps Kenya encourages open dialogue between Volunteers and their colleagues, and exploring culturally appropriate and acceptable alternatives to corporal punishment.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with concentration in any science
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with secondary certification in science
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any physical science or any biological science or equivalent
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with a minor or equivalent (15 semester/22 quarter hours) in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics

Desired Skills

Most successful candidates will have one or more of the following relevant qualifications and qualities:

• Prior teaching experience;
• Ability to teach large classes (50+ students);
• Experience designing educational content;
• Ability to adapt and use different classroom management techniques;
• Experience in school and/or community presentations with children, youth or adult learners;
• Interest and/or familiarity with HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention; and
• Must have interest or skills working with primary and/or secondary school age children.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Trainees will receive 11 weeks of training in Kiswahili, and must pass a language exam before swearing-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Additional language training will be offered through independent tutoring and training as needed during Peace Corps service.

Living Conditions

The schools will provide a house comparable to what is given to other faculty at the school. Volunteers, in many cases, are housed in a stand-alone abode alongside a host family. This is particularly the case at smaller, more rural and less resourced schools which are typically set up and run by Boards of Management (BoM) for secondary schools and Parent Teachers Associations (PTA) for primary schools. BoM/PTA are influential people in the village who have been supporting the school. Other times the schools will rent a small house near a market area. Housing structures vary from mud houses with metal roofs to concrete houses with glass windows. Volunteers use pit latrines, outdoor bath facilities, fetch water from a village water source, and may or may not have electricity in the house.

Volunteers will be placed primarily in underserved and underdeveloped rural communities of the Lake Region in Western Kenya. These sites will generally be within a few hours of County capitol, with banks, a variety of shops, markets, local restaurants and guesthouses. Travel to Kisumu can take anywhere from 20 minutes to five hours by road. Volunteers will use public buses/mini-vans as a main mode of transportation.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Volunteers are welcomed within the Peace Corps Volunteer and staff community, and many LGBTQ Volunteers have served here successfully. However, it is important to note that same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Kenya and punishable by imprisonment. Culturally, LGBTQ are not well accepted by many Kenyans, and LGBTQ Volunteers cannot safely serve openly. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.

Personal appearance is of great importance in Kenya. Female Volunteers are expected to wear modest dresses and long skirts (well below the knees, with upper arms and shoulders covered) and modest shoes or sandals in their communities. Male Volunteers should wear slacks, collared shirts, and loafers or other closed toed shoes when presenting themselves professionally. Hair should be neat or tied back. Volunteers’ professional appearance, work habits, and positive attitude towards colleagues and community members will go a long way towards helping them gain the respect of their community.

Volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop as this enables you to complete required assignments.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Kenya: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Peace Corps Kenya can accommodate couples. Your partner must apply and qualify for:

Deaf Education Teacher

Couples live and serve together throughout their service. This includes living with a homestay family during the 11 week Pre-Service Training. Housing requirements for couples are the same as those for single Volunteers because it is uncommon to find houses that are much larger than the standard small house. While couples will live together in the village for their 2 years of service, they will work at different schools.

Due to Kenya’s expectation that whenever a man and woman live together they are by default married; unmarried couples should be prepared to present themselves as married throughout their service.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

Does this sound like the position for you?
Get started on your journey.

Apply Now

Related Openings

View All

Read More

Read More

Read More

Read More

What Happens Next?

View Volunteer FAQs
The types of work Volunteers do are ultimately determined by the needs of host countries and the potential of a Volunteer to contribute to these needs and to the Peace Corps’ mission.
Learn about the application process
The most significant accomplishment will be the contribution you make to improve the lives of others. There are also tangible benefits, during and after service of joining in the Peace Corps.
More benefits from service
Our recruiters are here to help you! Whether you have a question about your application, requirements, or anything else, our recruiters have the answer. Chat live with them now!
Find a recruiter