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UN Children’s Fund: More than 600000 Kenyan Children are not in School

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there are more than 600,000 learners who are not in school.

The figure could be much higher owing to the unprecedented novel coronavirus pandemic. These high figures can be attributed to poverty, early marriage, gender-based violence, and backward cultural norms such as prioritizing boys’ education are still barriers to the education of the girl child.

ActionAid International Kenya is working to change the situation via the Education for Life (EFL) project which is intended to provide literacy and numeracy catch-up classes to girls who are aged between 10 to 19.

The project started in September 2018 and is set to last until March 2023 and was designed to address issues in education that affect the girls who are out of school and to improve their chances in life.

The program is helping school girls with disabilities in Isiolo, Garissa, Kilifi, and Migori counties.

The Executive Director of ActionAid, Susan Otieno said that the EFL has helped girls to practice autonomy and be more proactive when making decisions.

“In the past, we dealt with girls who did not have options and were facing challenges of making choices even in situations that concerned them,” explained Otieno at the launch of the project’s evaluation report on Thursday.

Besides basic education, the girls are taught life skills and information about their reproductive health.

ActionAid is working to ensure that the lives children go through are changed through transitional pathways such as formal education, entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, and vocational training.

Through the project, an 85% transition rate was realized, with 48% in apprenticeship and in entrepreneurship (25%) being the most preferred pathways.

Fred Haga the Chairperson of the National Steering Committee lauded the program for its achievements and appreciated the government’s support for future EFL projects.

According to Haga, the EFL has done a great job in promoting inclusive education and providing girls with another chance. In addition, he said that the project will leave a legacy on completion.

He said that the government is willing to collaborate with non-governmental organizations that have the same objectives and goals.

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