CES Alumnus Create HopeJune 30, 2017 1:00 am
Since 2004, CES Canada has helped to reduce levels of acute poverty in western Kenya, providing hope through education. The impact is already seen through the actions of CES Alumnus who are now engaged in careers including agriculture, teaching, medicine and business. Communities in western rural Kenya will be strengthened and attitudes towards education for girls are slowly changing as CES scholars take their place in society.
UNESCO’s 2014 Global Monitoring Report shows 1 million children in Kenya were not attending primary school, making it the country with the ninth highest number of primary school children out of school. This is despite the free primary education, the Basic Education Act enshrined in the Constitution and the huge expenditure on education.
The arid lands of northern Kenya have two-thirds of children out of school. A huge factor is the fact that these are nomadic people and during times of drought are forced to move. Children often are forced to abandon their schooling in search of water and food. Corruption, lack of investment in education and frequent conflicts are some of the factors driving children out of school. In addition, it is difficult for the Kenya Teachers Service Commission to place teachers in these areas.
Girls aged between 6 and 14 years whose mothers had never been to school were seven times more likely to be out of school than their peers whose mothers completed the primary school cycle. Children’s literacy and numeracy competencies increase with mothers’ level of formal schooling.
The challenges Kenya faces to develop as a whole are monumental. Education is the equalizer and the most powerful tool for reducing poverty. Learning must be equitable regardless of geographical location. Children in such remote rural and arid regions must be helped to access the existing education institutions and to give them higher chances of staying longer in school.
Students completing secondary education still face the hurdle of massive unemployment. But they at least have a chance at creating a decent life for themselves. CES Canada has provided 2500 scholarships for 750 students with a 95% success rate of students graduating. Now that is an achievement worth celebrating.
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