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Why Thousands of Kenyan Children are Missing School – Survey

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Why Thousands of Kenyan Children are Missing School – Survey

According to new research, thousands of students are being put out of school because the government has failed to fund their education. It also found that the current disbursement of government funding per pupil is minimal, which hurts vulnerable households, particularly those in rural communities. 

The findings were reported in a study titled “Transforming Education Financing in Africa: A Strategic Agenda for the African Union Year of Education 2024.”

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Several organizations contributed to the study, including the Centre for Economic and Social Rights, OXFAM, ISER, Global Alliance For Tax Justice, Tax and ED Alliance, Tax Justice Network, Global Initiative for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Grade, Action Aid, Tax Justice Network Africa, and Global Campaign for Education. 

According to the report, 38,904,483 primary school students in the region have been forced to drop out due to the high cost of education, with Kenya accounting for 727,200 of those.

In terms of capitation requirements, the research states that each primary school children in Kenya requires at least Sh62,577 per year to cover their education costs. 

According to the report, if the government provides Sh173.5 billion, or 20% of GDP, about 2,772,616 primary school students in Kenya will return to school.

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The analysis issued this month reveals that acute budget cuts, freezes, or squeezes in government funding have exacerbated the issues. 

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According to the study, the region lags behind in education investment, with only seven out of 35 countries allocating 20% of their GDP to education. Kenya is one of ten countries in the area that spend less than 15% of their budgets on the industry.

The report states that there is a need for significant increases in education spending for African countries to fulfill the continental education plan and SDG 4. It acknowledges that education systems fostering African fundamental values and promoting sustainable development require long-term financing and resource mobilization, especially at the national level, as per CESA 16-25.

It also found that, while remarkable progress has been made in enrolling students and tackling educational inequality, major discrepancies continue. Gender, disability, parental education, ethnicity, and migrant and refugee status are all factors that continue to influence completion and progression rates, particularly among young girls.

According to the report, it is stated that girls are more likely to face exclusion from basic education when budgets are reduced. Additionally, women experience a loss of access to some of the best opportunities for decent work, such as roles as teachers and other education personnel.

This suggests that many people are facing specific issues that necessitate additional interventions, protection, and support.

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According to the research, it was noted that girls undergo various and overlapping forms of discrimination due to factors such as their class, social origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or migrant status, among other dimensions.

According to the research, schools have faced acute teacher shortages for the past 50 years, with 44 million primary and secondary teachers required globally to reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4. In Africa alone, over 17 million teachers must be recruited in both elementary and secondary schools during the next six years.

However, with the majority of African Union countries intending to reduce total government spending over the next two years, there is concern that teachers would be affected.

The recent report indicates that during periods of overall constraints on public spending, it becomes evident that education budgets will experience an impact. Consequently, there will be a need to decrease the number of teachers or adjust teacher salaries.

The report also accuses debt repayment and the conditions imposed on assistance supplied to African regions of contributing to educational inequality.

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Why Thousands of Kenyan Children are Missing School – Survey

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