Uwezo Regional Office Intern
25th July 2013
The Kangundo DEB primary pupils streamed in and were led to the VIP section. They were seated on the same row as the Vision 2030 Director General – Mugo Kibati; senior educationists; and the political top guns: Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi and Parliamentary Committee on Education Chairperson: Sabina Chege. If you are wondering what type of occasion promotes pupils to share the VIP seats, then I am pleased to let you know that it was the vibrant and informative Uwezo Kenya launch held on July 23rd at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.
Uwezo Kenya’s Country Coordinator Dr. John Mugo informed the audience that the 2012 nationwide assessment tested 153,900 children in basic literacy and numeracy skills. The report revealed that children are still not learning at the required level. Another shocking revelation was that 1/5 children between class 6-8 did not know the meaning of the colours of the national flag. Although enrolment rates are high, children are still not learning at the expected levels despite this message being repeated to the public in the last three years.
2012 though was a different year. As Hon. Sabina Chege commented that education stakeholders made major decisions without considering the learners’ voice, it was high time the ultimate consumers of education spoke for themselves. Antony, one of the honoured guests attending the launch as a student from Kangundo DEB Primary School earnestly recounted the major factors that enhanced learning: consultations between parents and teachers, creating a harmonious environment enabling pupils to seek clarifications from their teachers and teachers making extra effort by being caring, supportive and motivating students.
Another pupil and honoured guest – Sheila – expanded on the factors that hindered learning: poverty leading to poor concentration in class, child labour and lack of proper school facilities. The last hindrance was: teachers not caring for pupils which she emotionally demonstrated by mimicking an imaginary teacher by saying ‘Let them do what they want, after all at the end of the month, I will get my salary. No problem, even if they play, I am going to get my salary.’
This statement was followed by an uproar from the audience and it took a few moments for her to continue her speech. As the launch continued, Hon. Kibati and Hon. Cheboi drew from this important statement. Hon Kibati further stated that Uwezo Kenya carried out a survey that required radical action because Vision 2030’s ultimate objective is to provide a high quality of life for all citizens and these citizens are in fact children. Hon. Cheboi, also drawing from Sheila’s sentiments, commented that the issue she raised was not to be taken lightly. He congratulated Uwezo Kenya for exposing Kenya’s education situation.
Following these speeches was a discussion panel comprising of Baringo Governor Cheboi, Chairperson of the National Assembly Parliamentary Education Commission Sabina Chege, Nancy Macharia from the Teachers Service Commission and educationist Anna Obura, moderated by Uwezo Regional Manager, Dr. Sara Ruto. All in all, the launch was a successful event that attracted over 200 guests. We thank all Uwezo friends and partners who were involved in this event, and we welcome your feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
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