Posted on: August 9, 2021 Posted by: Kamadi Amata Comments: 0

 

By Michael Barnabe.

In the year 2019, Kenya adopted a policy that will ensure that all learners transit from primary to secondary levels of education until they attain ‘basic education’, which is a fundamental right as recognized in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. Historically, learners with disabilities and special needs in Kenya have had very low transition rates from primary to secondary levels, a factor which might jeopardize the government policy, unless drastic measures are undertaken to include this marginalized population into the education system.

 

This situation then begs the question as to what new strategies the country will employ to ensure that all learners are able to acquire quality inclusive basic education regardless of their disability. In a case study paper done by Frederick Haga Ochieng, Director Special Needs Education, Ministry of Education, Kenya Nathaniel Muthomi Murungi, Special Needs Education Expert and Education Policy Consultant, critically analyzing the considerations that are being made and the strategies put in place for all learners with disabilities to transit, in the spirit of ‘leaving no one behind’.

 

In doing this, it questions whether indeed there can be complete transition of the said group of learners under the prevailing conditions, hence addressing equity in accessing education, or whether this is a pipedream. The study focuses on the policy framework and the practical steps that are being taken to ensure 100% transition for learners with disabilities in the country. The role of technology was also discussed.

 

The Act stipulates that any parent who is Kenyan or whose child resides in the country must enroll them for primary and secondary education. The move towards attainment of 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary education is just one step towards attainment of universal basic education. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 4 calls for “inclusive and quality education for all”.

 

The challenges associated with 100% transition in Kenya’s secondary schools was due. The influx of students enrolling for secondary education is a force many countries, Kenya included, need to consider. The 100 percent transition policy is part of a global campaign to give all children access to 12 years of learning, and also show government’s commitment to the constitutional imperative of the right to education.

 

In 2016 the Ministry of Education released the 2016 statistical booklet which continues to affirm its commitment to deliver reliable and accurate data information. The purpose for data collection was to help in planning and implementation of Education projects. The booklet covers Early Childhood Development and Education, Primary and Secondary based on the 2016 school census conducted in basic education institutions.

 

In the report the number of Early Childhood Development and Education centres increased from 40,775 in 2015 to 41,248 representing a 1.2% growth in 2016 while the average size of a centre maintained an average of 78 (85 in public centres and 66 in private) Primary schools increased from 31,333 in 2015 to 33,232 in 2016 representing 6.1% increase compared to 6.4% in 2015; the average school size dropped from 322 to 309. Growth in Private schools remained stagnant at 15% while Public schools decreased from 3.2% to 2.4% representing 0.8% decrease.

 

In Secondary education, the number of schools increased from 9,440 in 2015 to 9,966 in 2016. Secondary schools also reported an increase of 5.6% between 2015 and 2016 compared to 8.1% between 2014 and 2015. Public schools increased by 3.8% compared to 18.7% in private schools. The average size of secondary schools increased from 271 in 2015 to 273 in 2016.

Basic Education CBC  Framework

Image Courtesy

 

ECDE enrolment increased by 1% between 2015 and 2016 slowing down from growth of 4.9% between 2014 and 2015. Gender parity based on absolute enrolment dropped marginally from 0.97 to 0.96. The report read.

The report also showed Primary education, enrolment increased by about 190,000 students representing 1.9% between 2015 and 2016. Gender parity based on absolute enrolment has been stable for the last five years at 0.97.

 

In secondary schools, enrolment increased by about 165,000 students representing 6.4% growth between 2015 and 2016. Girl’s enrolment continued an impressive growth of 9.6% between 2015 and 2016 pushing up the gender parity 0.05 units from 0.9 to 0.95. The number of special needs enrolled in primary schools stood at 222,700 pupils with 11,400 students enrolled in secondary schools. The number of girls with special needs in both primary and secondary is similar at 45%.

 

In primary 44% of pupils with special needs have intellectual impairments while 34% have hearing and visual impairments (17% hearing and 17% visual). 14% have physical impairments while 8% have multiple special needs cases. (Full report) https://www.education.go.ke/images/REPORTS/Basic-Education-Statistical-Booklet—2016.pdf

 

The Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) in ECDE stood at 31 and 25 in public and private respectively. The overall PTR stands at 29. Primary schools has a similar PTR as ECDE at 29 with private schools having a teacher for every 17 pupils. Secondary schools PTR stands at 20 for both public and private.

 

Due to fewer numbers of high schools in the Dagoretti south constituency, the ratio has seemingly disadvantage to the poor parents. The current area MP John Kj Kiarie through the NG_CDF has iniciated the process of constructing more secondary schools.

 

Currently 2 secondary schools have already been completed and other 2 that are still under construction. The completed schools are Riruta satellite secondary school and Mutuini girls secondary schools. Kagira and Mukarara secondary schools are still under construction.

 

These schools are built within the original primary school land parcels.

“Dagoretti residents were involved through public participation on the need of more schools in the locality.

‘’Our children are walking a long way in search of education, but now we have decided to add schools around them to help those parents and students,” said John KJ Kiarie, while initiating the commencement Kagira secondary school.

Ongoing construction of Kagira secondary school

 

More than 200 form one students are expected to be enrolled in the new schools in Mukarara and Kagira secondary when form ones join in August.

 

“We want to assure you that when form ones open in august all schools under construction will have been completed that at least more than five hundred students can join,” said John Kiarie.

 

The construction of these schools will also ensure that at least 50 youths in respective wards are employed. The ministry of education will bring at least 20 new teachers to assist students in their studies.

 

Originally Dagoretti south constituency has 6 government high schools. These include; Lenana school, Dagoretti high, Ruthimitu girls, Ruthimitu mix, Nembu girls and Mutuini secondary schools. These schools have an average of 11,000 students.

The constituency has a total of 13 primary schools, which includes; Kinyanjui, Ndurarua, Riruta satellite, Kabiria, Nembu, Mukarara, Mutuini, Kirigu, Kagira, among others. According to Dagoretti department of education Mr. Musyoki, these 13 schools had 3,561 students who sat for their 2020 KCSE national examinations.  Out of 3,561, only 36% managed 250 marks. 64% scored below 250 marks.

 

 

This story was produced by Michael Barnabe at Mtaani Radio in partnership with Code for Africa, Kenya Community Media Network and the Catholic Media Council with support from the German Cooperation as a part of Our County Our Responsibility project.