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Govt urged to set aside KES 1 bln from Uwezo Fund to poor scorers

29 November 2013, 13:33 Bob Ndwiga

Malindi - The Jubilee government should dedicate part of the KES 6 billion Uwezo Fund to the empowerment of the more than 3.8 million young people who have for years failed to pursue higher education due to poor grades, the Secretary General of the Kenya National Association of Parents (Knap), Musau Ndunda said Thursday.

Ndunda said that those who failed in their form four examinations should not continue to be ignored as majority resorted to drugs and crime.

He was addressing a workshop of stakeholders in Education from Malindi and Magarini Districts at Barani secondary school.

He also noted that research by the association has revealed that  within the last 10 years, close to 4 million young form four leavers who had failed in their examination by scoring grade D and below were not benefiting from any government packages.

The secretary said  it was unfortunate that the large group of young people, despite their youth and energy, appear to have been generally ignored by the government and other institutions.

He asked the government to review the Uwezo Fund policies to dedicate at least KES 1 billion specifically to form four leavers who scored grade D and below in their national examinations.

Placing the huge number of young people who scored a D and failed to pursue further education together with good performing college and university graduates end up creating unfair competition for loans, said Ndunda.

He wondered why the young people were never captured properly in the various youth programs launched by the Jubilee government.

“Should we continue to ignore all those young people merely because of their failure to achieve better grades in the academics? Can't we identify their other potential and exploit them for their benefit and that of the country’s economic and social wellbeing?” asked Ndunda.

He urged the government to urgently review its national education policies in a bid to ensure that those who performed poorly in academics were not condemned to failure.

He said that young Kenyans had the potential to excel in various areas including extra-curriculum activities, and that that potential should never be sacrificed at the altar of overemphasis in academics alone.

The examinations oriented system of education as practiced in Kenya today, Ndunda noted, has created discrimination against an entire group of young people whose hearts were not in academics and whose lives always appear to have ended when they failed in the national primary and secondary examinations.

He said, “All children, irrespective of the academic performance or potential, must be incorporated and catered for within the broad national education system; failure to do that is discrimination and abuse of the constitution of this country.”

An analysis of the national primary and secondary school examination results by Knap, Ndunda revealed, indicates that at least 80 percent of young people who took the examinations failed.

The secretary general wondered why the Kenya National Examinations Council continued to examine millions of candidates and declare more than 80 percent of them as failure each year.

Ndunda said that the competition for academic papers in Kenya has become so ruthless leading an increase in bogus colleges and universities whose managements ripped off innocent Kenyans in their guise that they would provide them with diplomas and degrees.

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