Tuesday October 2, 2018
ome 852,000 children aged between six and 17 years are out of school this year, the Education ministry has said.The report comes as the government strives to achieve 100 per cent transition of learners from primary to secondary schools.
A ministry report puts Mandera at the top of the dropout list, with 124,800 children. This represents 15 per cent of the total population of children out of primary schools.
Turkana ranks second with 10 per cent and Garissa is third with 8.9 per cent of children out of school. They are followed by Wajir, West Pokot, Isiolo, Marsabit, Tana River and Nairobi, in that descending order.
A third of those out of school are children living with disability.
The statistics were released last week by primary school education director at the ministry, Habat Abdi.
“The numbers are alarming, Mandera represents 15 per cent of children who do not go to school, Turkana 10 per cent, Garissa 8.9 per cent and Wajir 6.7 per cent,” Abdi said.
Many dropouts are girls from poor families and those who drop out of school due to sickness and indiscipline. “Six of 10 children are out of school due to poverty. Education is not a priority in these families. Many are in dire need of help,” Abdi said. He said parents should be encouraged to take children to school early.
Abdi called for alternative learning programmes, informal education and mobile schools for nomadic communities and inclusive education for those living with disability.
In the case of mobile schools, migrating parents are allowed to enrol their children temporarily in a multi-grading system. A single room is used to accommodate several classes and one teacher is put in charge of all learners. Pastoralist communities in Northeastern are predominantly Muslims.
Madrassa centres are available at mosques where the government can deploy teachers for formal education.
Education CS Amina Mohamed has urged parents with disabled children to report to any education office to ensure they get education.
“There should be no child missing school because of disability,” she said.