Most learners in secondary school cannot read, new report says

In a report released by Zizi Afrique Foundation, at least 60 per cent of learners in high school were found to have difficulty in basic reading. [iStockphoto]

Majority of learners in primary school may be transiting to the next level without the necessary reading skills.

In a report released by Zizi Afrique Foundation, at least 60 per cent of learners in high school were found to have difficulty in basic reading.

The foundation’s Executive Director John Mugo noted that out of 10 learners, six are unable to express themselves.

Dr Mugo says the country must lay a good foundation in learners in order to make any meaningful step in the education sector.

The meeting brought together academicians and policy-makers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi and Sierra Leone whose rallying call was closing the education gap among children.

Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang said the government is willing to support initiatives aimed at improving learning and numeracy literacy in the early stages of learning.

According to the PS, this will close the education gap for children falling behind in lessons. 

"This forum is important as it brings together leading academicians and policy-makers with focus on foundational learning," said Kipsang in a speech read on his behalf by Evelyn Owoko, the Director of Quality, Ministry of Education.

Former Chief Administrative Secretary in the ministry Sarah Ruto said education systems need to be revolutionalized in order to bring back urgency and action. 

"If we don’t demand for policy linking between researcher and policy-maker; then evidence producers will walk on one path, and the government implementers will walk on a parallel path," noted Dr Ruto.

Zizi Afrique, through an accelerated time-bound learning programme, rolled out the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach that is proven to improve basic numeracy and literacy skills for children.