by Reading Kenya
on effective, child-centered strategies to promote literacy in their classrooms
supported through the provision of collections of children’s books in English, Kiswahili and Maa
Located in East Africa, Kenya is home to seventy distinct ethnic groups and over 30 different languages. Recent successes in Kenya’s education sector include an increase in primary school enrolment, from 8.8 million in 2010 to 9.86 million in 2011 (Government of Kenya 2012).
With more children attending school, new efforts must be made to ensure that there are sufficiently qualified teachers. However, the Kenyan government reports limited funding for teacher training and continuous professional development (Government of Kenya). In fact, a survey of primary schools in Kenya found that Grade 6 teachers scored only 60% on tests designed for their students (UNESCO 2014).
Through Reading Kenya, CODE and its local partner, the National Book Development Council of Kenya (NDBCK), hope to help improve the reading and writing skills of early primary school students in their mother-tongue.
In Kajiado, home to many marginalized communities, too few teachers are adequately-prepared to teach reading and writing and schools are unable to supply the engaging books needed to motivate students to read and learn for pleasure.
The project addresses these issues by:
Reading Kenya aims to develop a culture of reading so that children can grow up to be critical thinkers, and life-long learners with a better chance at a bright future.
CODE’s Burt Award for African Literature, which supports the writing and publication of high-quality fiction in English for young adults (from 12 to 18 years old) has also been present in Kenya since 2011.
Population: 44.353 million
Area: 582,650 km2
GDP (per capita): $133 billion
Languages: Kenya has two official languages, English and Kiswahili, but there are 67 spoken languages throughout the country.
Literacy Rate: 85.9%
Literacy Rate for Women: 86.6%
Literacy Rate for Men: 85.2%
Out-of-school Rate: 13.8% of school-aged children do not attend school
Where We Work: Kajiado region, a semi-arid area inhabited by the Maasai community
In this and other arid regions of Kenya, an average of 7 out of 10 children in class 3 cannot do class 2 work.* Are Our Children Learning? Annual Learning Assessment Report 2011, 2012 Summary of Findings
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