Kenya: Light Moments as Boris, Kenyatta Tour Schools Virtually

Nairobi — Pupils from two public primary schools in Kenya and the United Kingdom on Thursday had a chance to interact with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a virtual visit.

The pupils freely interacted with the two leaders, while asking basic education questions like their best teachers and subjects.

The two leaders were on virtual visits of Westlands Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya and Cleves Cross Primary School in Ferryhill, England as part of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) initiative.

It was also a unique chance for President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Boris to exchange pleasantries while teasing each other about their school performance, on specific subjects.

It is President Kenyatta who started it, telling Prime Minister Boris that he excelled more in mathematics than him.

"I actually passed my math's unlike you Boris," the President said amid laughter.

In a rejoinder, the Prime Minister said, "I passed my math's Uhuru."

They also shared their best moments with teachers while in primary school.

"My favorite subject was Ancient Latin and Greek, which was a very important subject. Very crucial. They are the foundation of our understanding of the modern world... " Prime Minister Boris said, to an interjection by the President, who said "not important as Swahili."

The Prime Minister admitted having little knowledge in Swahili but went ahead to say "Asante Sana" which means Thank You.

Both Kenya and UK are engaged in a campaign to ensure 88 million girls across the world access education, with a cumulative target of 175 million more children.

The joint visit was also attended by the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott, and Cabinet Secretary for Education, Professor George Magoha.

It comes just two months ahead of Kenya and the UK co-chairing the Global Education Summit to raise money for education across the world.

The UK has been the largest donor to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), contributing 13 percent of the GPE income since 2005. Kenya has been the largest beneficiary, receiving Sh10.9 billion to date.

Ahead of the summit in London on July 28 and 29, Kenya and the UK are pushing other countries to raise Sh536 billions over five years to give 175 million children the opportunity to learn.

"Supporting girls to get 12 years of quality education is one of the smartest investments we can make as the world recovers from Covid-19. Otherwise we risk creating a lost pandemic generation," the Prime Minister said.

"Across the world there is a vast untapped resource - girls whose education has been cut short or denied altogether, who could be leading efforts to pull their communities out of poverty. I'm going to be working throughout the UK's G7 presidency to ensure leaders invest in those girls and boost children's life chances around the world."

On his part, President Uhuru Kenyatta said, "in some parts of the world, like Kenya, resources are scarce. That is why we are really trying to work hard over the next couple of months, to ensure no child is left behind and everyone has an opportunity to get a quality education that therefore gives them a quality foundation to be great citizens of the globe in years to come."

The event comes as the UK announces Sh8.3 billion for a new programme to drive crucial research into education reforms, turbocharging efforts to get girls into school and learning.

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