Leaders want learning crisis in Kenya tackled

By Roselyne Obala

Nairobi, Kenya: Various stakeholders have acknowledged that there is a serious crisis in the education sector that must be addressed urgently, following a damning report that suggested many Class Eight candidates can barely read or write.

Uwezo Kenya, a non-governmental organisation which deals with research and education policies, released its findings on the literacy and numeracy skills public schools.

The research demonstrates that it is not enough for the government to concentrate on increasing enrolment, gender parity, improved infrastructure and teacher recruitment, without addressing the issue of quality.

Vision 2030 Director-General Mugo Kibati, Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi, National Assembly Committee on Education chairperson Sabina Chege admitted that there was a problem and radical measures should be taken to salvage the situation.

The three, who were present during the official launch of the report by Uwezo Kenya Country Co-ordinator John Mugo, noted that there was need for a radical shift to looking at learning outcomes.

They regretted that a vast majority of Kenyan children in public schools are not able to perform at the required level.

The report documented that too many children complete primary schooling without basic competencies in reading and arithmetic.

Dr Kibati stated that the report was a yardstick to measure where the country is in terms of education, which is key pillar of Vision 2030.

He warned that for Vision 2030 to be realised, the country must invest heavily in education.

“We do not have a choice, we must succeed in achieving Vision 2030 and education is a vital foundation,” he stressed.

Dr Kibati welcomed the Uwezo report noting that it has given a candid picture of education situation in the country.

“As the government offers compulsory education, curriculum reforms and quality of education is important to conform with the changing times,” said the Director-General.

Uwezo Kenya Country Co-ordinator noted that this is the third report and hopes that the government will address key issues raised.

The organisation’s regional manager Sara Ruto on her part noted that the low learning levels affect all Kenyans.