The challenge in Kenya

picture 3Kenya has significant weaknesses in its education system and, although the government has increased investment in education, there are still huge challenges with access and quality. Over 1 million children are not being educated. Many who do attend primary school go no further, and are still illiterate or semi-illiterate when they leave.

Very few children from poor rural backgrounds go to school or achieve worthwhile outcomes from their education.

Where schools are available they sometimes charge fees for the children to attend. In rural areas, those children who can attend a school may have a very long journey to get there and the classrooms are normally over-crowded, with only the very basic learning aids provided. In September we visited a school with 100 pupils in a classroom of 32m2. Most schools do not provide food, and vital drinking water may be a long walk away.

The lack of skills obtained from having no or only poor education will impact the lives of these children forever. Over half of children in this situation will have no income generating activity in the future, and, for those who do find jobs these will usually be casual, which at best will maintain them at or around the poverty line.