School Is Out: Unequal access to education a reality for Kenyan children
It was the 4th of January and the first Monday of the year. In homes throughout Kenya excited children put the last bits into their backpacks before heading out with their parents. This was a morning with a huge difference...they were heading to school! For the first time since March 2019 when the onset of Coronavirus forced the education system to shut down, classes were back. But for tens of thousands of others there would be no change.
Despite progress in recent years towards increasing access to education 1.2 million Kenyan children still cannot go to school. Although the government has increased the number of free school places, there has been no help with daily expenses. For an average family living on just $2 USD a day, the added costs of school uniforms, shoes, pencils and school books are completely unaffordable. And as the pandemic worsens so too does this level of extreme poverty. The loss of more than 1.7 million low paid jobs has heightened the already considerable barriers to education that exist for the most impoverished children. And as their parents struggle to find alternative sources of income, these children have been sent out to find often dangerous work to help feed younger brothers and sisters.
Those children lucky enough to get back to public school are faced with a very difficult environment. They are expected to sit in classrooms with dirt floors, overflowing with other children with barely enough books to go around. And the moment their parents can no longer afford the $1.31 USD per day cost, school comes to an abrupt end. This is where the DCI school programme steps in. By providing free classroom-based learning sessions from accredited teachers, children can continue with the vital education which will free them from a lifetime of poverty and insecurity. Each child has access to textbooks, individual desks, mentoring and lunch food so they can focus on what is important….learning. And if they start facing peer pressure to drop out, each child can turn to a qualified mentor for extra support and encouragement! But with so many other disadvantaged children missing out on their education, we need your help to reach them.
Find out how you can help our school programme here.