Kenya launches initiative to boost school enrollment in remote counties

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Officials said the Operation Come to School project aims to enroll 300,000 children in the nine counties to a formal learning institution by 2018.

“Provision of basic education for all children is enshrined in our constitution to improve their socio-economic status in future. We have prioritized public private partnerships to boost literacy in marginalized counties,” Education Cabinet Secretary, Professor Jacob Kaimenyi.

According to statistics from the ministry of education, 1.6 million young Kenyans aged 6-17 years are out of school due to a number of social, economic and cultural factors.

Kaimenyi noted that poverty, harmful cultural practices, insecurity and natural calamities are to blame for low school enrollment in the northern frontier districts.

“The government is committed to eradicate early marriages, female genital cut, child labor and insecurity that has disrupted provision of education to children in remote parts of the country,” Kaimenyi told education stakeholders in Nairobi.

He added the State has rolled out incentive like school feeding programs and provision of sanitary towels to boost learning in resource constrained settings like urban slums and rural areas.

The East African nation is among the Sub-Saharan African countries grappling with a high number of children who have never enrolled in a school.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Belio Kipsang revealed that 3 percent of Kenyan children have never obtained basic education while 55 percent of them are girls.

“We are committed to implementation of affirmative action policies and investments in modern learning facilities in remote corners of the country to ensure children have access to quality and affordable education,” Kipsang said.

Multilateral agencies and foundations have partnered with the Kenyan government to explore innovative strategies to boost school enrollment in remote counties.

The UNICEF Representative in Kenya, Pirkko Heinonen stressed that investments in education for poor children will boost economic growth and national cohesion.

“Access to quality education for children in remote settings will help address Kenya’s pressing challenges like poverty, disease, insecurity and widening income disparities,” Heinonen said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

Kenya launches initiative to boost school enrollment in remote counties

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