10 July 2012

Kenya: School Dropout Rises

APPROXIMATELY 1.3 million children start primary education but only 800,000 complete this education cycle, a survey reveals. The secretary Higher Education, Science and Technology Harry Kaane said out of about 600,000 students who join secondary education cycle only about 400,000 complete since universities enroll about 80,000 students annually.

Kaane said the highlighted rates translate to more than nine million children in primary, 1.9 million students in secondary schools, 2,000 in Technical and Vocational Education and Training and 250,000 students in universities both in Kenya and in the region "The population of primary school, secondary school and tertiary age groups is 10 million, 4.5 million and eight million respectively," Kaane said.

He was speaking during the official opening of the African Virtual University policy and curriculum conceptualisation workshop yesterday in Nairobi. He said Kenya's population is approximately 40 million thus more than 60 per cent of the population is below the school and college age. Kaane said a situation where most youth who should be in secondary school and tertiary institution miss out is not only unique to Kenya but applies to other African countries.

He said most African governments have formulated policies to help them meet their national education goals and the MDGs on education including free and compulsory primary education and free day secondary school education. Kaane said the strategies have contributed greatly towards achievement of the set national education performance indicators.

He said the success of primary and secondary education levels is posing a major challenge to tertiary education. "We anticipate that the number of candidates that obtain minimum qualification for university admission will double in 2014 when the first group of the free education policy complete the school cycle," Kaane said.

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