Why does GEF work in Kenya?

1. In Kenya – only 60% of students are enrolled in Secondary Education. Worse, their attendance rate is only 41%.

Global Education Fund supports Kenyan organizations working to develop youth in their country. GEF concentrates on secondary age students living in poverty and effective approaches to developing leadership and other skills essential for these youth to lead productive and independent lives.

2. While access to education has improved, learning levels remain low.

Primary school enrollment increased from 63% to 84 % in Kenya between 1999 and 2011. Overall enrollment rates for secondary went from 38% to 60% during the same period.  However, only 19% of sixth grade pupils are reading at grade level, and this low level persists through secondary school. The government provides free public schooling only up to 8th grade. After that, students must rely on scholarships or their family to attend secondary school.

Dropout rates are high, especially for girls.

This financial challenge hits poor communities the hardest, with school fees for tuition, textbooks, uniforms and supplies often forcing children, especially girls, to drop out.  According to a 2014 report by a Task Force on improving the performance of public primary schools, commissioned by Nairobi County’s Governor, Evans Kidero, the transition rate from primary to secondary schools in the city was at an all time low. Only 50% of pupils who complete standard 8  proceed to secondary school due to lack of school fees or insufficient facilities. This is worrying because we know that just over 23% of girls with only a primary school education are mothers compared to 10% of those who have a secondary school education or higher.

Quality education is lacking in many schools.

Many of those already in school do not acquire the skills needed to gain access to the job market and to become leaders and productive members of their communities. Rote learning is still too often the accepted mode of teaching, where  critical thinking, problem solving and practical skills applicable to sustaining livelihoods is missing. Leadership skills training and experiential learning are proven, evidence-based methods to meet that need.