• Adult Continuing Education provides basic education and training to adults and youths age 15 and older.
• Women also trained in skills and start their own business to support their families.
Philomena Nzige, 38, dropped out of Class 8 for lack of fees.
She was ridiculed.
“Every time my friends laugh at me saying that I cannot be employed because of my age. But the knowledge am getting helps me develop my business,” the juice vendor said.
Nzigei is among 1,415 women enrolled in adult education in Taita Taveta county; about 520 attend continuously.
She's learning to read, write, count and start a business.
Only 355 men are enrolled in adult education in 65 centres in the county.
County director for adult education Christopher Magambo said students learn basic literacy for two hours a day in the evening. Forty-three teachers are employed in both lower and upper adult classes.
The program has attracted mostly women compared to men. Most dropped out of school at Class 7 due to high levels of poverty, early pregnancy or expulsion.
"We are giving them hope as well as fighting literacy,” Magambo said.
These women should be celebrated. Their zeal for education has proved that age is just a number.Taita Taveta county commissioner Rodah Onyancha
In grades 1-3, 3,894 women and 233 men are enrolled but only 521 women and 132 men have been attending classes consistently.
Magambo said there are 223 men and 894 women at grade 1-3 classes while only 132 men and 521 women have been attending the classes throughout.
“Illiteracy among women i is higher compared to men. We not only train them in regular subjects but also business and agriculture," Magambo said.
Sixteen secondary education centres are spread across the county.
Adult Continuing Education provides basic education and training for adults and ouths aged 15 and older.
A spot-check by the Star established that many attended classes without fail.
Jane Mwakudua a teacher at Kirumbi Adult Education Center said at the beginning she had very few students but they increased from 15 to 24 , most of them women.
Learners are also taught about poultry keeping, baking cakes, basket weaving, value addition and marketing of their products. Most have started small businesses to sustain their families.
Taita Taveta county commissioner Rodah Onyancha applauded the women, urging parents and guardians to take education seriously and fight illiteracy.
“These women should be celebrated. Their zeal for education has proved that age is just a number,” the county boss said.
(Edited by V. Graham)