As Form One students report to various schools from tomorrow, parents have been challenged to ensure the government’s 100 per cent transition target is met.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago said the government has expanded education opportunities and it is the responsibility of every parent to ensure all children access education.
The governor warned that action including prosecution, will be taken against parents who blatantly neglect the right of children to pursue education.
“Even KCPE candidates who scored low marks should not be condemned. When KCSE results were released last month, there were some candidates who managed an A despite having scored low marks at KCPE level,” said Mandago.
The governor’s call comes as a non-governmental organisation raises concerns that candidates from poor families in informal settlements in the region could be languishing at home due to lack of funds.
According to Street Children Outreach Innovation Centre report on primary to secondary school transition, over 100 girls who sat for 2018 KCPE did not proceed to high school due to lack of school fees, with most of them forced into early pregnancies and marriages. “Girls from poor families living in sprawling estates like Langas, Kamukunji and Kipkaren could not even afford Sh10,000 per year for lunch in public day secondary schools,” said Peter Njenga, founder of the outreach centre.
The official pointed out five needy cases of KCPE candidates in Langas who scored well but need support to enable them pursue their education.
“Already, we have girls between ages of 13 and 15 years and from their KCPE results, they are willing to perform even better though their parents depend on law paying causal jobs for a living,” he said.
Njenga noted that due to high poverty levels that affect most families in informal settlements, most of their children who performed well in KCPE opt to move to the streets to scourge for a living after missing out on secondary school.
Uasin Gishu County Education Director Mbaga Githonga said poverty is a major setback to the 100 per cent transition. “Every parent must ensure their children acquire secondary school education; the government has totally facilitated learning and the only thing parents should do is follow up on their children,” he said.
To maximise the transition of all girl children proceeding to secondary school, the county education boss said he is planning to meet secondary school heads to discuss how to provide food for the learners.
“There should be plenty of food prepared in schools to support children so that they actively participate in learning,” said Mbaga Gothonga.