Narok County Commissioner Mr. Evans Achoki has warned parents in the county who do not take their children to school that they risk being arrested and prosecuted.
Mr. Achoki said the government was providing free primary school education in all public primary schools and free day education in all public day secondary schools and there was no reason why any child should stay at home.
He directed all chiefs and their assistants to ensure all children in their respective areas of jurisdiction were in school. He spoke at transition to form one in the county stands at about 85 per cent. Education in the pastoralists’ county is affected by various socio-cultural issues such as early marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
He was speaking during the International Literacy Day (ILD) celebration held in Suswa area in Narok East sub-county on Wednesday. The day was set aside by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1967 to remind the world about the importance of literacy. It’s commemorated annually.
During the event, 49 adults graduated with certificates from the ongoing adult literacy classes in the Narok East and Rapland which is part of Nakuru County bordering Narok where various partners have been running a literacy programme under a project known as Public Private Development Partnership (PPDP), which was started in these two counties in 2019.Several other learners also graduated with certificates in various vocational training courses through this programme.
Mr. Achoki congratulated the graduates for the achievements and urged them to aim higher in the academic journey they have started, saying literacy skills empowers one both socially and economically.
“Do not be satisfied with what you have achieved in literacy skills, you can acquire more,” He said adding that it was shameful for one to seek help in retrieving information from a digital device such as Mpesa message in your phone or seeking somebody to do a translation for you when you are illiterate as you can also be misled.
Speaking during the event, the Counsellor for Development Cooperation of the Swedish international development Agency at Swedish embassy in Kenya which has been sponsoring the project Ms. Lena Rupp said that Kenya commission of revenue allocation 2017, ranked Narok 42 out of 47 in counties in Kenya with regard to women literacy levels.
She added in partnership with the county government of Narok and Nakuru over 680 trainees are pursuing demand driven courses in four partner vocational training centers namely; Nairegi Enkare, Maiella, Narok and Mirera since 2019.
Ms. Rupp shocked the gathering when she revealed 41.4 per cent of Narok residents were literate which is far lower than the national level of 66.4 per cent. She said in Kenya it is estimated that people above the age of 15 years had low literacy levels by the year 2018. The department of adult education was started in Kenya in 1979 to try and address this literacy issue.
Over 190 trainees have so far successfully undergone assessments and certifications with some trainees securing wage and self-employment.
The project will be piloting The Technical and Vocational Education and Training Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification Council (TVET CDACC) competency based at level 4 in five area skills of welding, plumbing, electrical installation, foods and beverages and fashion design.
The coordinator of the Regional manager for forum CIV hub Eastern and Southern Africa who are one of the partners of the program said that the effects of covid-19 disrupted learning among both adults and children , and these effects magnified pre-existing inequalities regarding to access to meaningful literacy and opportunities.
He added access to electricity and connectivity infrastructure to engage in technology also limited learning options hence they had to embark on adaptive learning in order to prevail during the pandemic and enable learners to continue.