Kenya shows considerable success in improving access to education. In particular, the net enrolment rates in primary education have developed positively; by now around 96% of the children at national average have access to free primary education (most recent available data from 2011). Moreover, since 2005, the student numbers in secondary education doubled.
However, significant challenges remain: most significantly the quality of schooling lags far behind the quantitative increase in enrolment. Likewise, there is insufficient provision of applied science or vocational training. In addition, there is a shortage of teachers in remote and in poor urban areas. Especially in public schools, the indirect costs of education continue to be very high, such as for school uniforms, learning and working materials as well as school meals.
Of central importance and as a main priority is the successful completion of secondary school. Hereby, particularly children from very poor strata of the population have a chance to escape the curse of poverty, thus contributing to reducing the ever-growing inequality (Gini Index in 2012 : 47.7).
Objective and Orientation of German Development Cooperation
The German Development Cooperation (GDC) is expanding its support to the scholarship programme "Wings to Fly" which has been set-up by the Equity Group Foundation. The objective is to award 500-700 scholarships to high-performance primary school graduates, who do not have the opportunity to proceed to an appropriate secondary school. Expanding secondary education for underprivileged pupils contributes to upwards social mobility within the Kenyan society and hopefully promotes a new generation of leaders.
In the future, the scholarship programme will establish an intensified reference to Germany, e.g. through a closer collaboration with the German Business Association or German cultural and educational institutions based in Kenya as well as charity clubs.
Examples: What are the achievements?
So far, German Development Cooperation supported primary school infrastructure in poor urban areas (Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Naivasha) and thereby provided approximately 41,000 pupils with improved teaching and learning conditions. These schools provide a friendly learning atmosphere and trouble-free retreat in the middle of a difficult environment, both by awareness raising and sensitization measures as well as an architectural design which is customized for urban poor settlements (“slums”).
Already by now the German support to the ”Wings to Fly” scholarship programme allows 350 needy children - mostly girls, often orphans – to attend secondary school including mentoring programmess and extracurricular activities. In early 2014, the first of these fellows finished their secondary education and will start a professional career or proceed to tertiary education at university level..