An empty classroom at Sinoni primary school in Mochongoi, Baringo south constituency on March 6, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

Garissa has emerged as the county with the highest number of adult and continuing education learners in the North Eastern region. 

During the national celebrations to observe the International Literacy Day (ILD) held in Mandera County, it emerged that the county has some 5, 380 learners enlisted in the programme, followed by Mandera and Wajir counties with 3,377 and 2,232 adult learners respectively.

This year’s theme was Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces. The annual event is observed among UNESCO member states and seeks to enrich multiple spaces such as home, and community centres where learning can takes place to make them learner-friendly.

In Mandera, Mandera East has the highest enrollment with 743 learners. Mandera Central has the highest number of registered KCPE candidates while Mandera East boasts of the community learning and resource centre with the best adult education programme categories, respectively.

Nationally, Nairobi has the highest enrolment category with 14707 learners while Tana River registered the highest enrolment in primary Continuing Education.

 Education Director-General Elyas Abdi said that the positive trends in the uptake of literacy programmes among pastoral communities are the result of a multi-stakeholder effort to stamp out illiteracy in the region.

Abdi, however, said that there is still work to be done to ensure that the learners' transit to the next levels of education.

“Despite the efforts made in enhancing access to education, there is still a need for a holistic approach by key stakeholders to meet the learning needs of different people and in different contexts,” Abdi added.

He said that high literacy skills have enabled individuals to contribute significantly to the community and national development.

Mandera GK Prisons emerged as the centre with the most integrated adult and continuing education programme in the county.

The centre offers literacy classes, farming and carpentry courses to 302 adult learners.

According to the Kenya Population and Housing Census report 2019, about one million people aged 14 and above in North Eastern are illiterate. Out of that 314,153 people living in Mandera County lack basic literacy and numeracy skills.

“The government is determined to enhance enrolment in literacy programmes to ensure all its citizens can effectively participate in socio-economic and cultural development,” Abdi said.