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What Are The Obstacles Faced By Kenya’s Education Goals?
Education plays a key role in any country for its sustainable development. The benefits of education are many from raising the incomes of individuals, improved employment rate, and drive towards gender equality which ultimately results in the social progress of the country. During the Covid pandemic, the education sector suffered a lot. Sadly, even before the pandemic, the educational sector suffered from serious challenges in many developing countries including Kenya. The impact of the same was visible in the lockdown that was enforced during the pandemic in the form of rising socio-economic inequalities in the country.
In Kenya, more than a million students completed their primary schools in 2020 and in 2021, it was expected that they would be joining high schools. The dream was shared as a result of the Bill of Rights in Kenya to meet the Sustainable Development Goal. However, the dream remained a dream as many children could not join high schools in Kenya due to a wide variety of factors. The main culprits behind crushing the dream were the increased fees of the schools that many parents could not afford and the long distance between from home to school that required additional money. Many a time even after schooling, the students need additional coaching to clear exams for Government Jobs which not many can afford. The ones who can afford quality education are lucky enough to see their name in Sarkari Result which further contributes to rising socio-economic inequalities. In short, the financial obstacles faced by the Kenyan parents are crashing the dreams of their children.
Government Of Kenya Is Trying Its Best For Education Sector
Even though the Government of Kenya is doing its best to ensure education for all by waiving the fees of secondary schools, it is not enough. The government of Kenya is also serving as a model for other countries by allocating more than a quarter of the budget of the government to education. The parents are still expected to bear the cost of transport, learning materials and uniforms which is unaffordable for many. In addition to that, there is an additional burden to bear the cost of school development projects. The accessibility to education is particularly difficult for the girl students where gender, culture and other community rules are enforced.
However, the government is still trying to aggressively stick to its policy of 100% transition from primary school to secondary school. Even though it failed to meet the set goal, the determination alone resulted in a huge improvement. The result of the same is visible in 95% transition from primary school to secondary in 2020 from 83% in 2018. However, due to the Covid pandemic, the government is again facing a setback for the goal. When schools reopen after the lockdown ended, 8% of the boys and 16% of the girls did not return to complete their education.
Education Sector Faces The Wrath Of Covid
The pandemic has affected the education sector of many countries and there is an urgent need to take the situation into control. The Covid pandemic has especially left the girl students in a vulnerable situation which if not controlled will result in more cases of child marriages and female genital mutilation. Even though the pandemic has posed its share of obstacles, it can also be seen as an opportunity to bring a revolution in the education system to improve it further. For instance, many schools and colleges across the globe have shifted to digital platforms for education and such innovation should be welcomed to give a richer experience to the students.
Obstacles In Meeting The 100% Transition Goals
The current obstacles for the Kenyan government to meet its education goals include political interference and inadequate resources. Older challenges like teenage pregnancy and dropouts are also acting as hurdles in addition to newer challenges like insufficient infrastructure for the children. The inequalities are also visible inside the classrooms in the form of overcrowded classrooms with a screwed teacher-student ratio. In such a scenario, proper planning is required from the government side to ensure that the teacher-student ratio improves and more resources are used to build the infrastructure for the students.
In addition to that, it is important that government-private partnership is welcomed to train the teachers, improve the infrastructure and enhance the technology to ensure that the Kenyan students receive nothing but the best. In order to achieve the goals of 100% transition, the governments should consider various stakeholders to improve the situation by reaching sustainable solutions.