CNC report from Kenya
Added On June 16, 2011
International Day of the African Child is marked every year to promote the protection of children and to remember those who died fighting for a better education system in South Africa.
On June 16th, 1976, hundreds of children were shot in Soweto, South Africa as they marched to protest the lack of good schools in the country! More than 100 died.
International Day of the African Child not only remembers the lives lost , but also continues their dream for a quality education.
Thankfully, the loss of life has led to improvements in education around Africa.
But, as Lifestyles learned, there is still much work that needs to be done!
STANDUP: RUTH BARU, CNC CORRESPONDENT
“Since the introduction of free primary education in Kenya in 2003, the number of students qualifying for secondary school education has increased by 26.3%. However, as much as this is a good thing, not all of them actually manage to go to the secondary school because of problems such as school fees.”
Ranson Ouma is a student of Alliance Boys High School located in central Kenya.
He is one of the lucky students who have managed to go to a national school, despite coming from a very poor family.
Ranson completed his primary school education in 2009 and even qualified to attend one of the top national schools in Kenya!
But, he couldn't afford to go --- despite desperate attempts to raise enough money.
SOUNDBITE: RANSON OUMA, STUDENT
“I tried to find a way to get afford this prestigious school. I was living with my grandmother and my parents were not able to pay for my school fees. So, I tried with my uncle, my maternal uncle. We woke up early every morning to find money to pay the school fees. We tried our best, but we didn't succeed.”
SOUNDBITE: RANSON OUMA
“I worked from 6 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon and I earned around 1 US dollar. I would spend half of the money on my family and the other half to buy myself some clothes.”
Despite his dedication, Ranson was unable to pay for his chance at a prestigous education! And, his story isn't uncommon!
The average cost of secondary education in Kenya is 400 US dollars a year --- too much for the average Kenyan family, since 60% of people in the country live below the poverty line!
That's why organizations like The Edumed Trust are stepping in!
They heard about Ranson's story and are now paying to make his dream come true!
The non-profit educational organization supplies grants to children like Ranson who can't afford to attend school.
Co-founder Henry Rugendo says if poor children have an opportunity to pursue higher education --- they will lead their country out of poverty!
SOUNDBITE: HENRY RUGENDO, EDUMED TRUST
“We believe if we educate children in poverty, most of whom have very good grades, we will see engineers, we are seeing doctors, we are seeing economists in this group. If we empower those people, they will find their way to their perfect position in society."
The Kenyan Government is also offering children in poverty assistance, through scholarships and subsidies.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, it is working!
1.7 million children were able to pursue a higher education in Kenya in 2010 --- that's a 12.6% increase from the year before!
Making education affordable for all
Added On June 16, 2011