Education and Youth
Although Kenya introduced Free Primary Education in 2003, many children are still unable to access education due to long distances between home and school and poor quality of learning environment and teaching methods, among other obstacles. Retention and completion rates need to be improved, especially for girls and vulnerable children such as orphans, children living in arid and semi-arid lands or urban informal settlements street children, child labourers/workers and children with special needs – these are all children at heightened risk of dropping out of school.
The programme component contributes to the UNDAF outcomes that aim to increase access to basic services (outcome 1) mitigate the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS (outcome 3) and enhance institutional and technical capacity for disaster management (outcome 6, 7 and 8).
The programme also contributes to the MDG and EFA goals of universal primary education and gender equity by 2015.
The Education programme focuses on three result areas: Early Childhood Education, Primary Education and Complementary Education. This programme component also manages the Youth and Life skills education in schools. The overall goal of the Education and Youth Programme is to contribute to the realization of the rights of all Kenyan children and youth to quality basic education, with specific targets of achieving gender parity in primary and secondary education by 2005 and towards gender equality by 2015. The main thrust of the programme is on the access, retention quality and completion of quality education, with focus on girls and other disadvantaged groups of children, including orphans, street children, child labour, and children with special needs, in eleven selected arid and semi-arid districts and urban informal settlements.
The Education and Youth Programme uses a three-pronged approach. These include support to: national level policy and partnership-building activities for national coverage; activities focused on selected school clusters to develop context-specific and replicable approaches to improve girls’ education and education quality, and life-skills education to reduce HIV/AIDS transmission among children, youth and teachers in target districts; and broad efforts in advocacy, partnership building and programme development.
The overall strategy focuses on fulfilling the rights of girls to education at all levels, to achieving progress towards the education of all children. Specific strategies used include capacity strengthening for improved planning, management and service delivery; catalytic support to interventions designed to improve all facets of quality education; advocacy to build up consensus for maintaining quality early childhood, primary and complementary education development, girls’ education and HIV/AIDS prevention; programme communication to create awareness at all levels of the importance of Early Childhood Education; promotion of multi-sectoral approaches (in particular, water and sanitation, health, nutrition and child protection); and partnership-building for improving education as a collective responsibility. Particular attention will be attached to a “whole school” approach through establishing and operational zing the “School Cluster” as a means of both a) improving the quality of learners’ content, teaching/learning processes, teaching/learning environment and learning assessment and b) strengthening delivery systems.