By Joe Ombuor
According to an economic survey report by the Ministry of Planning, Kenya has made great strides in the attainment of the second MDG, which states that all children across the world must have access to universal primary education by 2015.
The report indicates that enrolment in primary schools has hit about ten million. The number of pupils at both primary and secondary schools has been growing since the introduction of Free Primary Education in 2003. About half a million pupils have been joining primary schools every year. In 2010, according to the statistics, there were 9.38 million pupils in primary and the figure jumped to 9.86 million in 2011.
“The increase in enrolment is an indication FPE programme is successful. We now have about ten million pupils in schools, which is a tremendous achievement,” said Minister Wycliffe Oparanya.
FPE programme was started to enable pupils from poor families to attain basic education. The Ministry of Education says the programme has enhanced access and equity in provision of education.
And as the number of pupils rise, transition rate from primary to secondary schools is also in the increase.
Data from the Ministry of Education indicate that we have attained a 75 per cent transition rate from primary to secondary school, surpassing a 72 per cent benchmark set in MDGs. It was seen in the number of pupils who sit for exit exams at primary school level. Last year, a historic 776,214 pupils sat for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations.
Out of these graduates, 562,761 joined Form One, which was a rise from 532,128 the previous year. The rise in the transition rate has consequently led to increase in the number of pupils in secondary schools.
The Ministry of Planning statistics indicate there are currently 1.77 million students in secondary schools. This number jumped from 1.65 million last year.