14 December 2012

Kenya: Free Education Fails to Keep One Million Children in School

OVER a million children are still out of school despite government's introduction of free primary education nine years ago, education officials have said.

National Director of Basic Education Leah Rotich said the most affected children are those who come from pastoralist communities since parents force them to abandon learning and go in search of water and pasture for their livestock.

Speaking yesterday during a workshop for Country Quality Assurance and Standards Officers drawn from North Rift, Western and Nyanza Provinces at an Eldoret hotel, Rotich said government has had to join hands with development partners and ngo's to bring children back to school.

She said over 9.4 million children have so far enrolled in public primary schools since inception of free primary education. She said that although government had made big strides in making sure free education is available to all, the greatest challenge remains ensuring that once enrolled, children stay in school and actually complete their studies.

The five day seminar sponsored by UNICEF was also attended by director of Quality Assurance and Standards Mohammed Mwinyimbe and UNICEF programme officer education section Elias Noor.

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