USAID Education Program Expands into Informal Settlements
Having improved education for nearly a million children in rural areas, USAID/Kenya is now boosting education in informal settlements in Nairobi and Mombasa.
“Many schools in informal urban settlements are ‘non-formal’ or ‘community’ schools. But just because they are not ‘government’ schools does not mean that those pupils do not deserve well-trained teachers, a good learning environment, and the opportunity to succeed, both academically and professionally,” said USAID/Kenya Mission Director, Erna Kerst.
The first settlement to benefit from this program expansion are Mukuru in Nairobi and Mwokoeni near Mombasa. Reading for young children will be the main objective.
Education is a centerpiece of the Kenyan Government’s Vision 2030. Since 2003, the government introduced free primary education. This increased primary school enrollment by nearly three million pupils. As a result, the number of schools grew by more than 7,000.
Still, nearly a million children remain out of primary school. Only one in four of official secondary-school age is enrolled due to cultural practices and poverty.
About EMACK II
USAID Education for Marginalized Children of Kenya (EMACK II) is a $17.8 million program that hasbeen in operation in Kenya since 2006. Implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation(AKF), EMACK II has been working in partnership with other non-governmental organizations, community based organizations and the Ministry of Education to increase pre-school and primary school opportunities for the marginalized children. The focus has been in the North Eastern and Coastal regions of Kenya.
EMACK II trains teachers in large class management, active learning and preparation of teaching materials as well as guidance and counseling.This strengthens teachers' ability to work with students from marginalized populations to improve their learning outcomes.
EMACK II’s key strategy is the “Whole School Approach”: parents, other community members, and teachers talk and work together for the benefit of the children. They pinpoint challenges, come up with solutions, create and implement school strategic plans to improve the quality of education students get at the schools.
“By 2014, EMACK II expects increased use of School Development Plans by School Management Committees - to better manage school resources and to leverage Constituency Development Funds (CDF) and Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) funding,” said Kerst.