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MoE and UNICEF Working Together To Return 250000 to School

The Ministry of Education (MoE) and the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have launched a three-year programme to ensure 250,000 children return to schools in the country.

The initiative was started in January 2021 and its purpose is to get children aged between six and thirteen in informal settlements in Nairobi, Wajir, Bungoma, West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, Narok, Tana River, Marsabit, Mandera, Garissa, Isolo, Baringo, Kilifi and Kwale.

The first phase of the initiative took place between 2015 and 2019 achieving a great result with 350,000 school children from 11 counties enrolling in schools from 11 counties.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof George Magoha has directed parents, guardians and caregivers to ensure that all children of the age that is supposed to attend school should be given access to, transit to and complete their education at all levels.

The Principal Secretary Prof Fatuma Chege said that statistics have revealed that some counties in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) have recorded some of the highest figures regarding children who are out of school.

According to CS Magoha, for all children not going to school to be re-enrolled, it must be a collective effort from parents and stakeholders to adhere to the National Re-entry Guidelines.

He added by saying that the longer the duration that children are stuck at home, the harder it becomes to get them back to school.

“We must do everything we can and as quickly as possible to get these children back into class,” said CS Magoha.

“All children have the right to education,” said UNICEF’s representative to Kenya, Maniza Zaman.

According to Maniza, the COVID-19 pandemic and drought experienced across the country have hindered the efforts of returning the learners to schools.

Both the Ministry of Education and UNICEF’s National Out of School Children Study Report and the Kenya National Council for Nomadic Education a survey report were revealed during the event dubbed Naconek.

The baseline report reveals that most of the out-of-school children are from Mandera and Kwale. Turkana recorded 144, 520, Wajir 152,130, Mandera 170,050 and Garissa (166,010).

Mandera had a higher percentage of boys and girls who are out of school.

Naconek CEO Harun Yusuf on his part said that the involvement of society and the improvement of livelihoods, among other ways, will be important in achieving the goal of taking children back to schools.

According to Naconek a survey, the most common reasons for children dropping out of school are being orphaned, being forced into child labour, early/child marriage and pregnancy.

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