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CBM joins education stakeholders

 CBM joins education stakeholders in launching the 2015 EFA Global Monitoring Report in Kenya                                            28-04-2015

Halima Ismail, the Speaker of the Children's Parliament addresses guests at the 2015 EFA Report launch

Halima Ismail, the Speaker of the Children’s Parliament addresses guests at the 2015 EFA Report launch

Commemorating the Global Action Week (GAW)

The 2015 Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report has been successfully launched at a multi sectoral forum in Nairobi, Kenya. CBM joined the Ministry of Education, UNESCO, UNICEF, the Children’s Parliament in Kenya, civil society and academia in reviewing the achievements and challenges in the education sector, as captured in the comprehensive and evidence based 2015 report. The colourful event was officiated over by the Cabinet Secretary of Education in Kenya, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi.
The launch of the report coincided with the Global Action Week (26th April to 2nd May) as a commemorative event seeking  to amplify the right to education as part of the post 2015 discussions on sustainable development goals. During to the Global Action Week (GAW) 2015, global and regional campaigners will be drawing their attention to the successes and outstanding challenges of the last 15 year of the EFA movement and will call for a robust rights-based post 2015 agenda on education.

Tracking Kenya’s progress

©CBM Daniel Baheta, UNICEF Kenya Chief of Education makes a presentation on a human rights based approach to education

©CBM Daniel Baheta, UNICEF Kenya Chief of Education makes a presentation on a human rights based approach to education

The 2015 Global Monitoring Report (GMR) findings indicate that in spite reasonable gains that have seen the number of children out of school drop by 50% since the year 2000, they are still 58 million children out of school globally. Additionally, there is the stack reality that about 100 million children will not complete primary education in 2015 as intended.
However, not all is bleak. Approximately 52% of the 164 EFA member countries have achieved universal primary education (EFA goal 2).  Kenya is one of the countries that is proud of this notable milestone as highlighted by the Cabinet Secretary of Education in Kenya, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi, the chief guest at the report launch. “The gross primary school enrollment rate in Kenya has increased from 99% to 119%. This translates to an increase in student population in primary schools from 7.4 million in 2004, to 10.3 million in 2013,” he said.
EFA policy initiatives embedded in the Free Primary Education (FPE) and Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) programmes have enhances access to education in Kenya. “7.2% of the Kenyan Governments budget is allocated towards education which surpasses the 6-7% EFA benchmark for member countries,” Prof. Kaimenyi added.
 

Focusing on children with disabilities

However, with all the achievements made, a silent and invisible population of children is lagging behind in accessing quality education globally, as well as within the continent. The 2015 report illuminates a sad reality occasioned by poverty. The world’s poorest children are four times more likely not to go to school compared to the world’s richest children. Inadequate access to primary education for children, particularly girls, in difficult circumstances, those with disabilities and those belonging to ethnic minorities remains a persistent challenge in achieving universal primary education under EFA’s goal 2.
These gaps reinforce CBM’s continuous focus on addressing the cyclic exclusion of children with disabilities from education. In developing countries, disability is often linked with poverty hence hindering access to education even more than socio-economic status. The EFA report indicates girls with disabilities are especially marginalized.
Children with disabilities’ right to education is normally limited by lack of understanding about the different forms of disability, and the needs of these ‘forgotten’ children. Additionally, the lack of teacher training and physical facilities, as well as, discriminatory attitudes towards disability worsen the neglect.
 

Moving forward

©CBM Lucy Muchina, CBM's sign language interpreter assists a member of the audience in delivering his remarks to the plenary

©CBM Lucy Muchina, CBM’s sign language interpreter assists a member of the audience in delivering his remarks to the plenary

By participating in this forum, CBM was able to join like-minded development and state education stakeholders to emphasis on the need for greater inclusionary practices in Kenya that will actively seek to move children with disabilities into mainstream education.
The outcome of the report launch and stakeholder discussions gave birth to four critical criteria that should reinforce the right to education for all children in the country. These include:
  • Availability: Education models should adopt a human rights approach with firm government commitment of budgetary resources to sustain and ensure the quality of elementary and secondary education.
  • Accessibility: Non-discrimination of marginalized and vulnerable groups, and ensuring physical and economic accessibility is achieved.
  • Acceptability: Education systems should be focused on content that is relevant, culturally appropriate and of quality.
  • Adaptability: Education models should respond to the needs and abilities of the students.
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