Christopher Khaemba: Ex-Alliance High Principal Who Co-founded Nova Pioneer Group Of Schools

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Christopher Khaemba: Former Alliance High Principal Who Co-founded Nova Pioneer Group Of Schools
Christopher Khaemba Photocredit/Courtesy

The quality of educational in Kenya is unparalleled in the region. The quest to offer the best education has seen a steady rise of private schools. In this article, WoK brings you the story of Christopher Khaemba: the former principal of Alliance High who co-founded Nova Pioneer Group Of Schools which operates both in Kenya and South Africa.

Background

Christopher Situma Khaemba was born on 18th January 1960 in Bungoma County where he spent the better part of his childhood. He trained as a Diploma science teacher at the Kenya Science Teachers College. He later attended Kenyatta University where he graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) specialising in Strategic management.

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Career Journey

Khaemba began his career journey as an officer and pilot with the Kenya Air Force before quitting after the 1982 attempted coup to become a teacher. He joined the prestigious Alliance High school as a physics and mathematics teacher, remaining in the position for 14 years. In 1995 he was appointed by the government to become the principal of Friends School Kamusinga, a position he held for three years.

He made a comeback to Alliance High School in 1998 but this time as the school principal. He served in the position for 10 years and during his tenure, Alliance was consistently ranked among the top ten best performing schools in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination.

In 2008, Khaemba was appointed as the founding Dean and Ambassador at large of the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. In August 2010 he was appointed as the General Manager – Education Pillar at Equity Group Foundation. Two years later he was appointed by the then Prime Minister Raila Odinga to become his Special Advisor on matters of Education.

In April 2013, Khaemba joined the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) as a Deputy Director – Teacher Management.  He went on to join the Nairobi City County in September 2013 as an Executive in charge of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services before getting promotion to become an executive in charge of Urban Planning and Lands.

Establishing Nova Pioneer Group of Schools

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In 2015, Khaemba together with his friends Oliver Rothschild, Oliver Sabot and Chinexi Chijioke established a new educational program dubbed Nova Pioneer. The program was based on the African Leadership Academy model of an academic curriculum together with additional leadership trainings. The first Nova Pioneer School was opened in January 2016 which received 128 male students.

In January 2017, they opened Nova Pioneer Girls High School and a year later Nova Pioneer Primary – Tatu City came about. Other branches include Nova Pioneer Girls – Eldoret, Nova Pioneer Boys – Eldoret (Ksh 1.6 billion), Nova Pioneer Girls Boarding – Tatu City, Nova Pioneer Boys Boarding – Tatu City and Nova Pioneer Day – Athi River.

In South Africa, the group of schools runs Nova Pioneer Boksburg, Nova Pioneer Midrand, Nova Pioneer North Riding, Nova Pioneer Ormonde, Nova Pioneer Ormonde Secondary, Nova Pioneer Paulshof and Nova Pioneer Ruimsig.

Other activities

Apart from being at the helm of Nova Pioneer Group, Khaemba serves as a Director at Housing Finance Foundation. He also sits on the Global Advisory Board of the Africa Leadership Academy and supports the school with fundraising and alumni support.

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