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Shock as popular county records lowest literacy levels
By Wema Theuri | Updated May 11, 2017 at 12:02 EAT
A student studying in class

Nakuru County has recorded low learning levels where class eight pupils cannot do class two work.

This shocking revelation is contained in a report – Uwezo Kenya Learning Assessment Report Nakuru County 2016 – that was launched on Tuesday in Nakuru by Twaweza East Africa also indicated that girls perform better than boys in reading both English and Kiswahili.

The learning assessment survey was conducted in 1,442 households where 2,863 children were assessed on basic literacy and numeracy skills using class two syllabus and 119 primary schools visited.

“Only 31 out of 100 children in class three can do class two work and 11 out of 100 children in class eight cannot do class two work. This is worrying and parents must take active role in educating their children and government must improve the quality of education,” said Izel Kipruto the Twaweza Communications manager during the launching of the report at Cool Rivers hotel in Nakuru.

Teacher absenteeism is high compared to that of pupils. The report indicates that “ten out of 100 pupils missed school compared to 17 out of 100 teachers who missed school on the day Uwezo visited.”

The survey was done in former districts of Nakuru North, Naivasha, Nakuru and Molo. Molo recorded the lowest literacy levels in the county and ranked 57 nationally with an average percentage of 49.6.

Mwangi Muhia who represented KNUT Nakuru Branch defended teachers saying the teacher – student ratio in the country which stands at 1:72 does not meet the UN recommendation of 1:42 and called on the government to employ at least 80,000 teachers to meet the UN recommendation.

Other education stakeholders who attended the launch attributed the lower levels to the environment the children are being brought up.

“The Environment is critical in the education of a child particularly the physical environment. Political environment which has not been conducive especially in areas of Molo and Kuresoi among others has affected the learning of our children from that area,” said Masese Kemunche who is a Programmes Manager at Center for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG).

Masese urged the education stakeholders to focus on the indicators of dropout and transition rates and promotion of good governance in schools as a way of improving the literacy levels.

The assessment was carried out in 2015 and Nakuru County is ranked number 18. Nyeri county leads with the highest literacy levels and Wajir ranked the lowest.

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