ACCESS TO EDUCATION

Number of literate adults increases in the country

Kenya has attained a 78 per cent literacy rate compared with 61.5 per cent in 2007

In Summary
  • The improvement is attributed to sustained adult education programmes, free primary and day secondary education, leading to enhanced access.
  • The PS also highlighted the role of digital platforms during the Covid-19 breaks when students were home for nine months.
Principal Secretary Julius Jwan.
ACCESS TO EDUCATION: Principal Secretary Julius Jwan.
Image: JACK OWUOR

The Ministry of Education has noted an increase in the number of adults who can read and write.

The country has attained a 78 per cent literacy rate compared with 61.5 per cent in 2007.

The notable improvement is attributed to sustained adult education programs, free primary and day secondary education, leading to enhanced access to education.

Speaking on Wednesday during International Literacy Day, director general Elyas Abdi noted that the adoption of digital platforms posed a challenge for illiterate people.

Abdi delivered the speech on behalf of the Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education Julius Jwan.

“The growth and adoption of digital platforms for the transaction of all manner of business created more difficulties for people who can’t read and write,” he said.

The PS also highlighted the role of digital platforms during the Covid-19 breaks when learners were home for nine months.

“This occasion affords us an opportunity to relook at the role digital platforms play in sustaining and expanding the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills when the normal educational environment is disrupted,” he added.

The Ministry of Education set up measures to facilitate learning during the temporary closure through radio, TV, and YouTube.

However, the crisis brought to light the digital divide that exists around the world particularly in developing countries.

The PS regretted that the disruption of normal learning and the adoption of online studies compromised the quality of education in the country.

“These developments threatened to undermine the gains the government has made in ensuring access to quality education, retention, and transition from one level to another,” he said.

Most girls dropped out of school after the pandemic due to early pregnancies and marriage but the ministry sought to ensure they were retained back to school.

All relevant agencies and partners were advised to design and put in place quality, accessible and need-driven learning programs.

The programs for adult learners and out-of-school youths are meant to enhance the participation of learners in adult education programs.

The ministry has been working together with national government administration officers to ensure all learners who sat for KCPE transit to secondary education.

Mop-up activities have been conducted in several counties, including Nairobi, Kisumu, Kwale, Busia and Nakuru.

Education ministry officials are required to account for all the learners who sat last year’s KCPE examinations.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)