Mobile Non Formal Education
IN MARSABIT COUNTY, KENYA, ONLY 17.6% OF PEOPLE OVER AGE SIX HAVE EVER ATTENDED SCHOOL AND OF THAT NUMBER, ONLY 14.6% ARE GIRLS. THE COUNTY ALSO EXHIBITS THE POOREST EDUCATION INDICATORS IN THE COUNTRY, WITH LITERACY LEVELS AS LOW AS 20%.
Girls’ transition rate from primary to secondary school is only 28% compared to a national average of 72%, while the completion rate is 42% against a national average of 74%. There are a growing number of children in the County who are school dropouts. Furthermore, the population in Marsabit is scattered across a vast area in relatively small settlements, requiring long distance walks to reach the nearest school, which naturally discourages parents from letting their children, especially girls attend school. Pastoralists have suffered for decades while national educational policies overlooked mobile education as a model in favor of urban and settled schools, and there are very few existing mobile school initiatives that provide education to nomadic communities. This project therefore seeks to enhance access to education for pastoralist children, with emphasis on girls; contributing to their economic empowerment, and increasing their participation in the work force hence contributing to poverty alleviation.
This two and a half years program (January 2014 to June 2016) is designed to enhance access to education for children in Marsabit County who are currently not enrolled in any formal schooling. The model aligns project activities with the migratory patterns of pastoralists and their seasonal calendars to ensure their accessibility to an education model that does not conflict with their livelihood priorities and nomadic lifestyle. It is designed to avoid the pitfalls that have reduced the effectiveness of previous school approaches among mobile pastoralists. The project is expected to benefit 300 children; with emphasis on the girl child. The project which aims at improving the life chances of marginalized girls in the pastoral areas, through the provision of non-formal education and vocational skills training, targets 180 girls and 120 boys, aged 13 to 18 years.
Through the provision of non-formal education and vocational skills training, it is expected that the livelihoods of marginalized girls in pastoral areas will improve, leading to their economic empowerment, as well as increasing their participation in their respective communities and hence contribute towards poverty eradication. Adeso appreciates that 300 children is a very small number in an area where many children are deprived of their basic right to education. However, through documenting and disseminating positive outcomes and lessons learned from this project, we hope to encourage other actors to scale up this model to cover more pastoralist areas, so that eventually all 84,000 children in Northern Kenya who are currently out of school (of whom 50,000 are girls) can access educational support.