Reading skills highest in Nairobi and Nyeri - Report

By Lonah Kibet

Kenya: Only two counties in the country surpassed the 50 per cent mark of children in class three, who can read a story in English or Kiswahili and do division of class two level, Uwezo report showed.

Nairobi and Nyeri counties each recorded 57.3 per cent and 54.3 per cent respectively, barely passing the mark, while more than five counties recorded the lowest percentages below 20 per cent.

The report showed the weakest counties were Wajir, Kisumu, Tana River, Turkana, Siaya, Garissa and Samburu each with 18.6, 17.9, 16.9, 15.9, 14.5, 14.4 and 13.0 per cents respectively. Murang’a, Kiambu, Tharaka Nithi, Mombasa and Taita Taveta recorded 47.2, 46.9, 44.7, 43.4 and 40.7 per cents respectively, while the rest of the counties fell between 20 and 40 per cents.

The report titled “Are Our Children Learning?: Annual Learning Assessment Report Kenya 2012” showed that nationally, seven out of ten children in class three cannot do class two work.

It also revealed that 11 out of 100 children in class eight cannot do simple class two math while seven out of 100 in the same class cannot read a simple English or Kiswahili story. The report to be launched Tuesday at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development was conducted in 156 districts in the 47 counties.

The report revealed that while teacher attendance has improved in Baringo County, numeracy and literacy levels remain low.

“There is noticeable increase in numeracy skills and dramatic fall in literacy levels in Baringo North,” read the report in part.

It also showed that while the learning levels in Mombasa and Nairobi counties are higher than the national average, they had dropped significantly compared to 2011.

In Narok County, learning levels in Trans Mara dropped dramatically with only one in every three pupils being able to read a Kiswahili and English paragraph.