Need for Quality Education to change Literacy levels in Kenya
I know I am late to post this up but I couldn’t just let the draft go to waste so here is what i complied around International Literacy Day.
This day established by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is aimed at raising awareness on child and adult literacy worldwide, and highlighting the changes and improvements in literacy development. International Literacy Day has been celebrated since 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies plus shedding light on the need to emphasize collaborative efforts to more literate societies.
They say education is the best gift parents can give to their children because that knowledge can never taken away, yet we have educated members of the society making the most uninformed decisions.
Literacy is the ability to read and write. Reading helps one to understand and interpret context and also helps expound one’s brain to capturing vocabulary.
Males have higher literacy and numeracy rates of 64.2 per cent and 67.9 respectively, compared to 58.9 and 61.4 per cent for females, Kenya National Adult Literacy Survey Report 2016. This gap is due to the fact that in Kenya girls are prone to being separated from school for various reasons including Female Genital Mutilation which for a girl means that after that she assumes the role of wife as she is already “ripe” for marriage.
Early Childhood Development is being spearheaded in the country because study shows that young children miss out on important habits like potty training, sleeping for growth and etiquette mannerisms.
Looking at the millennial children between 0-5 years of age, I would comfortably say and most of you will agree that they do know much more than we did during our days of nursery school. For example, I look at what my three and five year-old nieces can do and I just thank God that times have changed and so has technology as well as the modes of child upbringing. But aren’t children amazing?
According to Uwezo Kenya report of 2016, nationally, 9% of children cannot identify letters (16% in Western, 2%in Nairobi) and 11% cannot recognize figures (18% in Western, 3% in Nairobi).
This figures in different regions are fluctuating for the obvious reasons that children in the arid and semi-arid areas sometimes or barely are out of school compared to their counterparts in other parts of the country.
With this matter, it is not only important for children to go to school, BUT to go to school and learn. Children need and deserve the best education foundation as it is the duty of the national government.
Over the years, Kilifi County has been ranked for illiteracy for both children and adults but that has changed over the years according to County Director of ECDE programmes James Angore.
“The construction of the new 595 Early Childhood Development Centers has greatly reduced the distance that young pupils travel to access quality education in the county. Before, young children had to walk for miles in order to access class, but these centers have eased that burden…”
Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International in partnership with USAID started Tusome “Let’s Read” program working to improve the literacy of over 6 million children in grades 1-3 across Kenya. The project activities include basic skills like letter sound fluency and decoding skills, but also oral reading fluency and reading comprehension.
In 2017, former Education CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i announce that about 5,000 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results were cancelled on the basis of cheating. He went ahead to raise the concern that it is highly likely in over the recent years, students have been proceeding to the A-level with undeserving points to get them there. This went a long way to show that QUALITY education was not something of value really and that is something that needs to be addressed with the seriousness it deserves.
“Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world,” Nelson Mandela
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