The Ministry of Education has embarked on mopping up exercises in Busia County, to ensure the Government Policy of 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school is realized.
It has emerged that, more than 480 pupils who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) last year are yet to report to their respective secondary schools.
Addressing parents, Administration officers and 2021 KCPE pupils, in Butula Sub-county, the Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for University Education and Research, Ambassador Simon Nabukwesi, challenged parents to take responsibility of their school going children and support the government in its efforts to have the children get education.
He noted that the government has invested heavily in education to ensure every Kenyan child go to school.
The PS defended Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), as one of the Best Education models and urged learners to exploit their competencies while at school, noting that co-curriculum activities have the potential for their success in life.
Following the roll-out of the 100 per cent transition Policy to complement Free Day Secondary School, primary to secondary transition rates have increased from 83.3 per cent in 2018 to 95 per cent by the first quarter (Q1) of 2020. Busia County is at 95 per cent of the 2022 intake.
“Secondary education is largely financed by National and County Governments, income generating projects, alumni, private sector, donors and non-governmental organizations. The national Government’s expenditure on Early Learning and Basic Education increased from 11 per cent of the total spending on education in 2015/16 to 15 per cent 2018/19. Expenditure on secondary school education accounted for above 95 per cent of total spending on Early Learning and Basic Education throughout the period,” noted Nabukwesi.
His sentiment was echoed by Butula Boys High School principal Dan Ouma who lauded the government efforts to provide infrastructural development and human resource capacity for smooth transition into the new CBC system.
“The move towards attainment of 100% transition from primary to secondary education is just one step towards attainment of universal basic education,” said Mr. Ouma.
The PS challenged parents to invest in education particularly digital learning for the youth, to enable them to be relevant in the job market and be productive, so as to shape the future and not to be victims of drug abuse and early pregnancy.
“For societies to compete in the global economy, its citizens need a secondary school education in order to acquire the specific skills and aptitudes necessary for an increasingly technology-driven marketplace, this will play a vital role in achieving our ‘Big 4’ agenda,” added Nabukwezi.
Parents’ attitude toward education and poverty have been the major hindrance toward 100 percent transition. Though the government has put mechanisms in place to enable transition exercise, parents are still recovering from post covid 19 pandemic challenges.
According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics between 2016 to 2020 secondary school enrolment by class and sex grew by 8 per cent to about 3,520,000, out of which 50.3 per cent were girls. This increase was attributed to the government’s policy of ensuring 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.
Looking at the 2020 school year, following the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenya’s total secondary school enrolment decreased from 3.5 million in March 2020 to 3.3 million in March 2021, a 5.7 per cent drop as schools reopened. Moreover, out of those enrolled in March 2020, approximately 233,300 students did not return to school to resume learning when schools reopened in March 2021, representing 6.6 per cent of the students enrolled in March 2020. The number of secondary schools that were able to reopen increased by 0.4 per cent.
Many parents in Busia County attributed failure of 100 per cent transition to lack of resources hindering them from sending their children to secondary school, a challenge that has been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19.
Busia County emerged the second-best county in the 2021 KCPE results announced early this year. Even though that was not the same at secondary school results KCSE.
By Absalom Namwalo