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ODM MPs to amend bill seeking to reduce school drop-out cases

31 March 2014, 14:49 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – A section of MPs allied to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have proposed to make an amendment to the Basic Education Act Number 14 of the 2013 to close the transition gap between basic primary and secondary education in an effort to curb the ever rising rate of school drop-outs in the country.

The MPs led by Hon. Opiyo Wandayi for Ugunja constituency was concerned with a large number of 2013 KCPE candidates who have missed secondary school admission for failing to meet the threshold grade of 250 marks, insufficient funds to cater for their secondary education, and inadequate physical facilities in schools and teachers.

“In the year ended 2013, a total of 839 759 candidates sat for the annual Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam. Out of these children, only 417 483 scored above the mean grade of 250 marks proceeding to secondary school to continue with high school learning. The other 422 276 are set to discontinue their education,” said Wandayi.

Wandayi cited that the 2010 Constitution provides education as a basic human right in its Bill Of Rights noting that being one of the millennium development goals key pillars in addition to Vision 2030’s social Pillar, there is need to amend the 2013 Basic Education Act for basic primary education to be in line with the two targeted goals to achieve a globally competitive workforce.

“This is in line with our Orange Democratic Movement party ideology of social democracy which seeks to cater to the welfare of all strata of the society within the framework of a capitalist State. We want to see all Kenya’s children educated and empowered with the life skills to create new opportunities for the future,” stated Wandayi.

He noted that the amendment on the Education Act will ensure the National Government is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring full transition of all candidates from basic primary to secondary level education.  

The Ugunja legislator further cited that World Bank’s recent report on education revealed that if a woman can read and write, then her children shall have a 50% chance of living past the age of five. He added that there are dire illiteracy implications to contemplate in North Eastern region of Kenya especially very high for women at the rate of 98%.

“This is why we expect our counterparts in Jubilee to throw their collective weight behind this noble initiative to see the children of Kenya better lives, stated Wandayi,

We shall be seeking a bipartisan cooperation to address this national issue because regardless of political affiliation, all our children are suffering. We must sow the seed of education today so that we harvest a prosperous future tomorrow.”

Other ODM legislators present at the press conference were; Hon. John Mbadi for Suba constituency, Hon. Joyce Wanjala Lay, Taita Taveta, and Hon. Junat Mohammed, Suna East.

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