Kenya pledges to boost school enrollment among girls


Kenya’s Ministry of Education on Monday said it will enact far-reaching policy and legislative frameworks to boost school enrollment of girls in marginalized regions.

Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Education, said achieving gender parity in basic and post-secondary education is a major priority of the government.

“Kenya has been narrowing the gender gap in primary and secondary school enrollment though political action combined with partnerships and adequate funding is key to ensure all girls have access to quality education,” Mohamed said.

She told Kenya’s multilateral partners at a high-level forum that the East African nation has invested heavily in female literacy programs as part of efforts to achieve the vision 2030 blue print on socio-economic transformation.

Mohamed regretted that outdated cultural practices, extreme poverty and policy gaps have undermined the quest to achieve universal access to basic education among girls.

“We are grappling with a high rate of teenage pregnancies, early and forced marriages, female cut and lack of sanitary towels that force girls in remote settings to drop out of school,” said Mohamed.

She said Kenya has fast-tracked domestication of global and continental instruments that root for gender parity in school enrollment.

“There is need for a multi-sectoral approach to address education needs of the girl child. We must therefore galvanize political action to ensure every girl attain basic literacy,” Mohamed said.

Government statistics indicate that an estimated 1 million children in Kenya are out of school while the bulk of them are adolescent girls.

Mohamed noted that conflict-prone and resources-deprived northern frontier districts continue to record the highest levels of female illiteracy that is undermining their economic progress.

She said the government aims to achieve 100 percent female literacy rate in the near future through scrapping tuition fees, provision of meals and sanitary towels to girls in remote counties. Enditem

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