A look at the education system in Kenya:
In 1963, The Kenyan Government promised free primary education for all. Not until 2003, as part of the Millennium Development Goals to end extreme poverty across the world by 2015, Kenya would obtain free and compulsory primary education.
Now that education is free, many more children are able to attend. This has caused these children to receive insufficient attention due to a shortage of teachers and classrooms. These children are a combination who were unable to afford school before, and ones that are taken out of low class private school so family’s can save money. The teacher to student’s ratio has risen to an average of 1:80 and reaches even 1:200 in extreme cases.
The Kenyan Government is aiming to increase the percentage of children who move on from primary to secondary education, from the 2007 projections that range from 24% to 47% to a goal of 70% by 2009.
After talking to the ministry of education in Kenya, I have learned that now in 2009 roughly 63% of primary students move onto secondary school. This substantial increase is largely due to what happened in 2008 – the Kenyan government started to subsidize secondary school. The government is now paying for about 10500 KSH each year. This is a good step, however, the children are still forced to pay another 8000 KSH at least per year, which stops many students from attending secondary school.
While the basic literacy and numeracy skills learnt at primary school are immensely important, they are not enough to guarantee a reasonable living, and are certainly not sufficient to enable young rural Kenyans to break out of the poverty cycle and to find employment beyond what their parents could find. The lack of cheap day secondary provision also acts as a disincentive to teachers and pupils in primary schools. There can be so little hope of gaining a place at secondary school, regardless of the marks attained in KCPE(Primary School) exams. Estimations are that there are around 85% of Kenyans who go to primary school. Some projections are as low as 2% for the amount of Kenyans who move on to higher level education after high school.
So why would you want to donate to help someone go to College when there are people that cant even go to secondary school?
There are a few reasons why you would consider this. I believe the answer to this lies in the snowball theory (perhaps a theory not very well known in Kenya!). Once you roll a ball of snow down the hill it picks up more and more snow becoming larger and larger affecting all the snow around it. So by helping college and university students, you will also be affecting the lives of others that they will help with their new education. Then in the future, they will be in a position to help someone in need go to high school or college.
- Our proposed student’s plans and goals are specific of what they will do once graduated.
- All their plans tie into serving and protecting the environment, and making a positive impact on people in their community.
More information on the education system in Kenya – Go here:
Find out what two Oxford undergraduates started to make secondary school more affordable in Kenya: http://hsk.org.uk/ – EIP is always happy to find out about people doing similar work in Africa such as this U.K. based NGO called Harambee Schools Kenya.
Giant step for Kenya’s schools: http://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/july-2005/giant-step-kenya
The millennium campaign on global education: