Inaccessible Secondary Education Shutters Dreams.

Secondary education has recently been receiving a lot of attention in most African countries like Kenya. Dating back, education in general has and still is facing tremendous and diverse challenges in spite of government efforts. In brief, secondary education In Kenya falls under three categories; private, Harambee, and government-funded schools.

The government-funded schools are further classified based on performance into national, provincial, and district schools. After completing the Primary level successfully, students expect to join the Secondary level. Depending on the scores attained by the student, the government-funded schools can choose. Students with higher scores get into renowned and prestigious National High schools, which most students yearn to get. Unfortunately, those whose performance was not very desirable they end up joining the district schools or Harambee schools, while those who are from a stable financial background family may join the private schools.

Improved Students Performance.

Student performance continues to improve despite the challenges faced. Although those in urban areas perform better than those in rural regions, there has been a significant change in their rate of performance. Individual performances from the different rural areas of the country continue to prove that with commitment, anyone can succeed regardless of place or circumstances. Some of these students with excellent results come from very humble backgrounds. They had to work twice as hard as the other students from the urban areas to achieve these results because of the circumstances. Them being in this position is all they have dreamt of the whole of their lives as the saying goes, “a good education is a key to success.” They, therefore, have so much expectation, hope, and joy in what the future holds. Most of them have very big dreams.

Finances make secondary education inaccessible.

A 14-year-old boy who scored 416/ 500 marks in his primary examination has resorted to praying. The boy seats at what seems to be a home in fear that his dream of becoming a pilot in the future wholly dashed. The young teenager was sponsored by his good neighbor throughout his primary education until he sat for his primary examination. However, the money needed for his high school education, the samaritan, can no longer afford.

The boy lives with his mother, who does casual jobs like washing clothes to earn a living. In a day, she earns around 3$ to 5$ to buy their daily bread and left with nothing or very little to save. They live in a single room that cost 10$ per month. With this kind of income, the mother is not able to raise the required school fees for the boy.

His teachers say he is one of the best performers at school. He was called to an excellent performing high school and is required to report in two weeks’ time. In fear of losing the opportunity, friends advise him to repeat his final year for him to push time as he waits for the next year, hoping they will be able to get a scholarship. Students mark timing in their final year has been the drill n most rural areas in attempts to prevent children from completely dropping out of school. Most of these children, therefore, wait in despair yet still hopeful that maybe one day well-wishers may sponsor their high school education.

While others out of despair, let their children face a hard life and look for manual labor to contribute towards finances. It results in many dreams, skills, talents, and brains wasted in most developing countries.

Where is the Future of 100% Transition rate to Secondary Education?

The government is targeting a 100% transition rate of students from primary to secondary school by 2030. Policies have been put in place to push this agenda to success. In 2008, the Kenyan government introduced plans to offer free Secondary Education to all Kenyans. However, the transparency of this statement has not yet reviled itself. School fees, especially in good performing schools, increase day by day due to competition and the high number of students admitted. National boarding High schools pay an estimate of 30,000 per term and may be higher during admission.  There are very many factors that play a critical role in the success of the 100% transition rate, which is not yet solved. These factors include culture, corruption, lifestyle, health, among others.

Education CS George Magoha insisted that all students must report to their particular schools irrespective of their financial constraints. He adds that it is a right for all children to access and receive education; therefore, they should not stay home. Some of these students heeded to this and made their way to school, taking along nothing except themselves to offer. The schools have, however, not been very supportive as they refused to admit these students unless they pay the required fee. There are insufficient communication and correspondence between the government and the public schools.

Government efforts towards Education

There have been efforts to tackle this situation by the government and other organizations. Different organizations and institutions that absorb a handful of students every year continue to offer fully-funded scholarships. One of these donors being the World Bank, which started funding Africa’s Education since 1975.  More good Samaritans in the society like bishops offer help every year to solely sponsor these children. The community has also formed groups towards contribution to educating a few students in the area that have excelled. The government continues to allocate more finances to the education sector. However, with the increased population of children going to school, the allocation of funds becomes more and more challenging.

Favorable policies and affirmative actions passed only to enable more children to access education. Some of these policies are successful and manage to increase the rate of female students, especially to access education. Government plans such as the feeding program deliberately put in place to help students who could not afford to attend school due to hunger. With these strides, it is hopeful that both the state and the non- state actors will join to make secondary education more accessible to all children in Africa despite their financial background.

Internal bond: 4 Challenges Facing the Education Sector in Africa


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