|UNICEF Representative in Kenya Olivia Yambi, Education Minister Prof. Sam Ongeri and Permanent Secretary Prof. James Ole Kiyapi are joined by Njomo Wainaina and Frida Njagi of Nairobi Primary School to launch the Child Friendly School manual.|
NAIROBI, Kenya, 7 February 2011 – The foundation for key improvements in the quality of teaching and learning was laid recently in Kenya with the launch of a manual on implementation of the 'Child Friendly School' concept.
The manual, developed by education experts with support from UNICEF, provides guidelines to teachers and helps them understand how to use this model effectively. The launch was presided over by Kenya’s Minister of Education, Hon. Amb. Prof. Sam Ongeri, MP, and attended by UNICEF Representative in Kenya Olivia Yambi. Children from two primary schools in Nairobi, where the Child Friendly School concept has been piloted, participated in the launch.
“A child friendly school is what makes education cool … for school is never the same,” the children from Ayany Primary School recited in a poem.
Under the Child Friendly School framework, schools must not only help children realize their right to a basic education, but are also expected to equip them with the skills to face the challenges of a new century; enhance their health and well-being; guarantee them safe and protective spaces for learning, free from violence and abuse; raise the teacher morale and motivation; and mobilize community support for education. A child-friendly school assures every child an environment that is physically safe, emotionally secure and psychologically enabling.
It aims to develop a learning environment in which children are motivated and able to learn.
The minister of Education called on communities to support schools in providing a quality education for children:“We must address all facets of a child’s life. We must take care of psycho-motor development, physical development, the environment the socialization of the child,” he emphasized.
Education for all
According to the Minister, primary school enrolment had increased from 5.9 million children in 2003, when free primary education was introduced, to 8.6 million this year. Transition to secondary school has also increased from 43 per cent to 72.5 per cent.
The UNICEF Representative stressed that by embracing the Child Friendly School concept, schools would be managed in a way that ensured a child’s holistic development. It would also address the questions of equity, access and quality of education.
“The Child Friendly School concept is aimed at reducing inequities in education. It defines the role of the school to seek out all children and diversify teaching processes in a way that allows children, irrespective of background, to learn at their full potential,” she said.
With the launch of the manual, the concept, which has been piloted in some schools in Nairobi, Coast and North Eastern provinces, will now be rolled out countrywide.