The dream of every teen in Primary school is to finish KCPE, get good grades and join a nice secondary school, sit for KCSE and join the University of their choice.
Ask primary school pupils randomly and this is the answer majority will give. Not knowing that the transition is not without flaws.
Transition entails change which is inevitable and sometimes can be very painful. The desire of many teens in Kenya is curtailed by the transition from Primary to secondary and to tertiary institutions.
Every year after the results are announced, we celebrate the performance of pupils and students in Primary and Secondary schools respectively, not knowing the frustrations, disappointments, and hard work that will ensue in search for bursaries, scholarships, sponsorship leave alone getting a good school.
Teenage pregnancies among teens are also another elephant in the room that denies teen girls a chance to continue to the next level even with the return to school policy in place.
In 2018, Kenya adopted a global commitment and Policy on Universal Access to Basic Education to ensure there is a 100% transition rate for Primary and Secondary school teens. According to Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) data 1,223,554 pupils registered for KCPE and 1,214, 031 sat for the final exam.
This is the highest number of teens registered by KNEC for the last five years who anticipate joining the secondary school. We must be asking ourselves whether all the pupils will matriculate for secondary school education. Your guess is better than mine.
The sad reality is that not all of the 831,026 students who sat for KCSE this year will transit to tertiary institutions.
The important question boggling our minds is “Is the Ministry of Education prepared to absorb all the teens in Public and private schools?” Worse still, a proportion of bright teens are left in the cold as the majority lack the support to join secondary and tertiary institutions of their choice.
Kenya constitution 2010 under the bills of right recognizes the right to basic education for all children. Sustainable Development Goal 4 target 1 emphasizes the need to have free equitable access to educational rights for both boys and girls.
Due to the high cost of living in Kenya, it is imperative that we be our neighbors’ keepers and support teens that are near us and fail to raise school fees and other basic needs.
Supporting teens to transit to the next educational level will help Kenya achieve its demographic dividend and ultimately contribute to reduced high unemployment, dependent youths, and sexual reproductive health challenges.
The author of this article ANGAZA YOUTH INITIATIVE and RHNK Youth Committee team leader