REPORT ON THE EDUCATION STAKEHOLDERS DAY
VENUE: St.Johns Catholic Church korogocho
DATE: 6TH OCTOBER 2011-10-12
ATTENDANCE: 150 people
The meeting started at 1000 hours with a word of prayer from the Imam of Korogocho Mosque.
Brief introduction by the participants followed.
Welcome remarks was made by Sammy Ndirangu. He urged all stakeholders to feel at home and be ready to actively participate to the day’s discussion whose theme was “Korogocho. A mirage or a reality; what’s the scene behind it”?
David Musungu took members through a brief over view of ACORN Kenya Trust field operations and a brief profiling. Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is an affiliate of ACORN International which was founded 43 years ago in North America by Wade Rathke as its chief organizer. The organizing drive took place in the low income and impoverished areas. Campaigns were carried around poor housing, medical cover for the low income earners, remittance and poor wages.
Other chapters are in Canada, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Peru, Czech, India, Italy, and Kenya. ACORN mode of organizing started in Kenya in 2009 in Korogocho specifically Kisumu Ndogo and Highrigde and the program was officially launched in 2010 by the chief organizer .While engaging the community myriad of issues came up among them, insecurity, water and sanitation, poor health, child abuse and wife battering, alcohol and drug abuse, unemployment and education.
Education was prioritized for immediate action.
In engaging these issues ACORN employs multi tactic and strategies, direct action and membership participation in policy and financing to achieve its goals and those of the community.
Sammy Ndirangu took participants through the key highlights of education status in korogocho by giving insights of the first base line report that was conducted in November 2010.
That korogocho has 34 schools only two are public managed by the City Council of Nairobi, these are Ngunyumu and Daniel Ngomboni primary schools. The rest are private and fall under informal schools. The total population of school going children was 11,317 almost a half of this number does not go to school. There are 340 teachers with only 182 trained. Only 5% of teachers in the informal schools are trained.
Korogocho has no secondary school and no polytechnic or any other tertiary collage to accommodate drop out cases.
The survey indicated that out of the total number of school going children 586 girls and 648 boys live under difficulty circumstances in terms of adequate meals and uniform. Children are forced to leave school early in order to scavenge in the Dandora dump site to make the ends meet. On the other hand young girls are encouraged by their parents/guardians to do prostitution to support their family.
Three quarters of the informal schools lack basic facilities for normal learning. Most of the structures used as classes are poorly constructed poor ventilation, poorly light, no playing grounds and toilets are shared with outsiders.
The survey further indicated that out of the total number of candidates who sit for the primary certificate of education, only 20% of them are able to advance to secondary school and 50% of the drop out of school later.
While this is happening there is bursary funding in form of devolved funds that can arrest the situation. Majority of parents do not know their existence and those who are aware cannot access it.
The second survey was conducted in February 2011 to get more data on the number of non going school children. More than 500 young people out of many others are willing to return to school should any opportunity arise; 70% of these young men and women are orphans while others are from single parent headed families. Out of 234 dropouts that were interviewed 8% had scored a mean grade B and above while 35% of them had scored above the averages mean score.
This high level of drop out was attributed to high level of poverty among the house holds while poor performance attributed to poor learning environment, lack of teaching and learning materials as well as lack of qualified teachers.
Reactions from the participants
Before reactions from stakeholders, there was an entertainment from St. Johns primary children and Ngunyumu primary schools who presented songs, poems and skits.
Stakeholders were argued to carefully look into education gaps that were highlighted in the report for a focused way forward.
Moving the discussion forward, a representative from an Organization called Kesho asserted that issues mentioned in the report are directly or indirectly related to education. He said that an educated and well informed community can easily address their concerns and interns instill peace within the community.
Other issues of concern that were raised included:-
- Advocacy for parental sensitization and
- Lobbying from the main stakeholders
- Parents from korogocho don’t actively participate in supporting education and hence advocated for sensitization.
- The community has been dis-empowered many by NGOs through handouts and lack of accountability and efficiency.
- There is generalyl poor leadership
- The community does not take education seriously and hardly make a follow up of their children in school and home.
- There is enough space in Ngunyumu primary school and yet children opt to stay at home.
- A campaign should be carried out for children to go to school.
- Parents should also listen to their children to get and understand their concerns
- Alcohol and hard drug abuse is also alarming in the area.
- Many parents discourage their children for further education- and instead encourage them to engage in Jua kali (small scale business enterprises) sector.
- Dandora dump site has negatively impacted on korogocho children. Most of them leave school to scavenge there.
- Stake holders should come up with sustainable projects in education.
- There should be a unity of purpose in education.
- A strong need to make follow up in school by parents concerning the education of their children.
- There is lack of continuity in most of the schools as a result of poor payments.
Recommendations from the stakeholders
- To up grade the current schools in korogocho
- The government and other stakeholders to support all primary schools including private and non formal in teaching and learning materials
- Embark on training and refresher courses for all teachers in public and non formal schools.
- To push the relevant ministries to establish a public secondary school in korogocho.
- To establish a vocational training centre to nurture the talents of the youth.
- Streamline the bursary funding process in order to reach and benefit the needy cases
- Create more employment opportunities for the youth.
- Initiate an education support kit to sponsor the bright children from poor families from Korogocho.
– Establish an education committee to address aforementioned recommendations.
The composition of the committee shall be drawn from the education stakeholders.
– ACORN Kenya Trust to come up with a date for the stakeholders meeting.
Vote of thanks was given by Pastor Paul Gathiru and a closing prayer said by the Bishop Wesonga from Kao la Tumaini Worship Center.
Guests were served refreshment and then left at their own pleasure at 20:00hours.